Show-Me State Prioritizes Infrastructure, Workforce Development

Myriad companies have moved into communities around Kansas City, St. Louis, and Joplin over the past year.

By Kari Williams
From the January/February 2024 Issue

 

Missouri has had “countless economic wins” in recent years, according to Missouri Governor Mike Parson. And with several companies investing in the state in 2023, the trend has continued.

“Whether it is investments in Missouri One Start, broadband, education, or so on, by prioritizing infrastructure and workforce development, companies are choosing our state to invest,” Gov. Parson said.

“Whether it is investments in Missouri One Start, broadband, education, or so on, by prioritizing infrastructure and workforce development, companies are choosing our state to invest.”

— Governor Mike Parson

Of the companies that have established or expanded a presence in the state, several have selected the St. Louis, Joplin, and Kansas City areas to do so.

Throughout Fiscal Year 2023, the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) collaborated with 16 companies as part of their expansion plans in the Kansas City region, bringing nearly $100 million in investment and up to 654 jobs to the area. Medical marijuana cultivator True Level Investments ($18 million) and Niagara Bottling ($40 million) are among the entities.

The St. Louis area has seen commitments from at least 10 companies—including medical and adult-use cannabis product producer Curio Holdings MO ($44 million) and Arch Precision, a metal components and light assembly manufacturer ($15.5 million).

Missouri
(Photo: Adobe Stock/Sean Pavone Photo)

 

Additionally, Frogfish Corp., a German security company, plans to establish its first North American facility in St. Louis, according to DED. The company anticipates employing 20 people.

Central Missouri also has seen its share of investments, with three companies bringing more than 250 jobs to Mid-Missouri—Altasciences plans to invest $65 million to expand its research center in Auxvasse, creating 209 jobs; GME Supply anticipates adding 60 jobs in Columbia; and Midwest Dock will establish a site in Salisbury, investing $540,000, according to DED.

There has been an average annual employment growth of roughly .35% over the past five years. Overall employment increased 1.25% from 2018 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Missouri Ramps Up Workforce Development Efforts

Missouri is an ideal location for businesses, and the state is welcoming unprecedented new investments from global powerhouses.

From Sikeston to Kansas City, communities across the state are top choices for internationally renowned companies searching for the perfect place to build new facilities. Both cities recently made headlines, with two major announcements happening just days apart.

Missouri
Carlisle Construction Materials has invested more than $100 million in a new, nearly 500,000-square-foot LEED Platinum certified production and manufacturing facility in Sikeston, MO. (Photo: Courtesy Missouri Partnership)

 

Ace Hardware Corporation announced plans to open a 1.5 million-square-foot Retail Support Center in Kansas City that’s expected to create 350 new jobs. One week later, state and local leaders celebrated the official opening of Carlisle Construction Materials’ newest production and manufacturing facility in Sikeston, which will bring 100 jobs to the community.

“This brand-new plant, which will create 100 jobs in the Sikeston region, is Carlisle’s second location in Missouri. Carlisle is committed to success and growth here in Sikeston, which is an ideal location to serve our strategic and growing markets.”

— Steve Schwar, President,
Carlisle Construction Materials

“We at Carlisle are grateful for the warm welcome we have received from the State of Missouri and the people of Sikeston,” said Steve Schwar, President of Carlisle Construction Materials. “This brand-new plant, which will create 100 jobs in the Sikeston region, is Carlisle’s second location in Missouri. Carlisle is committed to success and growth here in Sikeston, which is an ideal location to serve our strategic and growing markets.”

Both companies cited Missouri’s highly skilled workforce as a motivator for investing in the state. And they’re not alone. Industry leaders from a variety of sectors, including agriculture, food processing, advanced manufacturing, and technology know they can find success when they expand into any of the state’s communities.

Missouri One Start, the state’s premier workforce recruitment and training division, leads the way for eligible businesses that need to find or train their team. Customized recruitment to help fill open roles complements training programs tailored to the specific needs of the company.

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For eligible businesses that relocate their workforce to Missouri, training funds can be used to offset a portion of a worker’s moving expense. New in 2024 is the Intern and Apprentice Recruitment Act, which provides tax credits to eligible businesses, large and small, that grow the number of interns or apprentices they employ. This act works hand in glove with Apprenticeship Missouri, ranked No. 3 and No. 4 in the U.S. for new apprentices and completed apprenticeships, respectively.

The state’s investments in its workforce have paid off in dividends, as it continues to attract top-tier companies like global fiber cement siding manufacturer James Hardie. The company is currently building its newest manufacturing facility in Crystal City. The region’s strong workforce and training programs were cited as key factors in bringing the 100-year-old leading manufacturer to the state.

Along with a highly skilled workforce, Missouri is affordable with the second-lowest business costs in the nation. From a low cost of doing business to an unmatched commitment to workforce development, Missouri offers the resources, talent, and training that businesses need to expand and thrive.

Visit www.missouripartnership.com for more information.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect more accurate data for Missouri’s employment growth.

Check out all the latest news related to Missouri economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.

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