From: Missouri Department of Economic Development []
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 6:02 AM
Subject: Missouri Focus - The Economic Development Newsletter for the State of Missouri
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January 3, 2014
Gov. Nixon Highlights a Successful Year of Economic Growth in Missouri
Following the release of the latest jobs report, which showed Missouri was a top 10 state for job growth in 2013, Gov. Jay Nixon highlighted the strategic investments and strong economic growth that made the past year a success. During the month of November 2013, Missouri employers added 15,000 jobs, bringing the state’s unemployment level down to 6.1 percent, its lowest point since August 2008. Additionally, nonfarm payroll employment throughout the state has increased by 43,900 jobs since January 2013, more than all but nine other states in the nation. Gov. Nixon said, “This week’s positive economic news demonstrates once again that these proven strategies are paying off, as Missouri’s economy continues to move in the right direction.” Other notable facts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics include Missouri’s distinction of having an unemployment rate below the national average for 51 consecutive months, with the current rate nearly a full point below the national rate. For more information on Missouri’s accolades, rankings, and investments during 2013, please click here.

Springfield Distribution Company Plans $4.1 Million Investment
Salon Service Group, a distributor of professional salon products, recently announced that it will be expanding its operations in Springfield. The company, which was founded in Springfield in 1987 with just one product line, has since expanded and now supplies salon products from nine major health and beauty brands to salons in 10 states. In order to accommodate this growth, Salon Service Group is making a $4,175,000 capital investment to construct a new headquarters. The expansion is also expected to create 10 new full-time jobs. “Springfield was a great place to launch our company and it continues to be a great place to grow it,” said Gino Barbo, owner and founder of Salon Service Group. Read more...

Aviation Industry Leader to Create More than 500 New Jobs in Kansas City
Aviation Technical Services (ATS), one of North America’s largest third-party transport aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul providers, recently announced that it will be opening a new 607,000 square-foot facility in Kansas City. The expansion is expected to create more than 500 new jobs over the next three to five years, with the potential for 1,000 employees over time. Aviation Technical Services, headquartered in Everett, Washington, is one of the largest suppliers of airframe maintenance work in the world. The company’s Kansas City location will be its first outside of the state of Washington. Through its presence in Missouri, ATS will be in closer proximity to some of its largest customers, allowing it to improve its customer service and expand its client base. According to company president and CEO Matt Yerbic, “Expanding to Kansas City in the super hangar facility allows us to meet existing customer requirements and adds to our platform from which to grow and diversify our service offerings over time." Read more...

Air Medical Group Holdings to Invest $1.4 Million in West Plains
The Missouri Department of Economic Development recently announced that a leading provider of air medical services will be expanding its operations in West Plains. Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) is planning to increase its presence in the Show-Me State with a $1.4 million capital investment that is expected to create 20 new jobs. AMGH is the largest independent provider of air medical services in the U.S., responding to emergencies that require air medical services in more than 66 Missouri counties. The company is currently based in Lewisville, Texas, but its Air Evac Lifetime business unit is headquartered in O’Fallon. AMGH already employs approximately 300 people in four separate buildings within the West Plains area. The planned expansion includes the construction of a new 40,000 square-foot building that will consolidate most of its West Plains employees to one location. Read more...

Missouri Claims Many “Best-Of” Rankings in 2013
Throughout 2013, the Show-Me State’s tourism assets made dozens of best-of lists, ranging from regional to national to international publications and organizations. One of the state’s most noted accolades was its distinction as America’s “Best Trails State” by the American Trails organization, an honor that launched Gov. Nixon’s 100 Missouri Miles challenge. Also, Missouri’s capital of Jefferson City was named the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” this year as part of Rand McNally’s Best of the Road series. Kansas City was also recognized as the No. 1 U.S. city for an affordable getaway by Travel+Leisure, while the Bonne Terre Mine in the small community of Bonne Terre was ranked No. 3 among the World’s Top 10 Diving Resorts by Fox News. Missouri also showed that it’s a great place to settle down, with the town of Ballwin claiming a spot on Money Magazine’s 2013 Top 50 Best Places to Live list. A full list of Missouri’s 2013 accolades can be found at

St. Louis is One of Five Startup Cities to Watch
According to Upstart Business Journal, which covers entrepreneurs and emerging companies that are shaping the next phase of the global economy, St. Louis is one of the five U.S. startup cities to watch in 2014. According to the publication, the top five cities have “got new and growing incubators and startup community centers in town, inventive plans to tackle the challenges of startups, and creative ways they’re spurring economic development among entrepreneurs.” Upstart recognized St. Louis programs such as Launch Code and Arch Grants, as well as the plethora of research and inventions spinning out of local college Washington University. They noted, “recent chats with St. Louis enthusiasts have convinced us that the city has a lot to offer a startup.” St. Louis was ranked alongside Provo, Utah, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Detroit. Read more... 

Truman State University is One of the Best Values in Public Colleges
Kiplinger, a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, recently released its December 2013 list of the top 100 values in public colleges and universities. The list is compiled using a combination of academic quality and affordability, and measures data such as the admission rate, test scores of incoming freshmen, graduation rates, tuition rates, and availability of financial aid. Truman State University in Kirksville received high marks from Kiplinger this year, earning the distinction as the No. 12 best value for in-state students, as well as the No. 9 best value for out-of-state students. The publication reported that Truman State boasts a low 17-to-1 student to faculty ratio and maintains high academic standards, with 25 percent of the student body achieving a score of 30 or greater on the ACT test. Read more...

Missouri Partnership 2014 Open House
The Missouri Partnership invites you to attend its 2014 Open House between January 7 and 9. The team at the Partnership values this annual opportunity to host regional and local partners for discussions on the coming year's plans for marketing and business-recruitment, as well as for updates from partners on what is going on in their communities. During the 2014 Open House, the Partnership will be hosting visitors at its offices in both St. Louis and Kansas City. Please click here for details and more information. If you would like to RSVP for either Open House reception, or if you would like to schedule a meeting in either of the Partnership’s offices during the listed times, please contact Erin Pettit of the Partnership to make an appointment. Erin can be best reached at 314-725-0949 or by e-mail at

Economic Indicator Webinars   
Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) is currently offering webinars with extensive training on economic indicators that is useful in understanding your labor market. The Labor Market Fundamentals module is the introductory course, while each subsequent module offers more in-depth training. Each module consists of 2-3 self-guided webinars lasting approximately 20-30 minutes each. Read more...

Missouri Ranks High Among Border States for Research and Development Funding
Missouri ranked 2nd among border states for academic research and development expenditures with over $1.1 billion in spending in 2011. Among border states, only Illinois ranked higher in R&D funding. Funding was received from the federal government, state government, businesses, non-profit corporations, institution funds and other sources. Read more...

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Now Accepting YOP Applications
The Missouri Department of Economic Development is now accepting applications for 2014 Youth Opportunities Program funding. The program is offered to help broaden and strengthen opportunities for positive development and participation in community life for youth, and to discourage such persons from engaging in criminal and violent behavior. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, schools, faith-based organizations, local governments, and other community organizations. To assist organizations in the application process, the Department of Economic Development is offering workshops. The workshops are free and open to the public, but space is limited. The next workshop will be held Wednesday, Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Read more...

Go Green in 2014
Whether you run a business or a home, increasing energy efficiency can help you reduce energy costs and save money. Follow some of these energy tips to save money in 2014:

• Use fluorescent or LED light bulbs instead of incandescent
• When cooking, make sure to use the right size pots and pans. And don’t open the oven door too often
• Next time you buy electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR® rating
• Unplug electronics when not in use. Even when turned off, electronics still draw a small amount of energy
• Set your programmable thermostat to use less energy at night
• Empty the trunk of your car - less weight in the car will increase gas mileage and decrease fuel costs
• Calk or weather strip around windows
• Keep air vents clear of obstructions like furniture or décor
• If you have a properly maintained fireplace, use it as a low-cost way to heat your home
• Turn off lights, ceiling fans, and TVs when you leave a room

Increasing energy efficiency is not only good for the environment, it's also great for your business! For more information on how saving energy can save you money, please visit

Science City to Expand at Union Station
The Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB) recently approved $2.25 million in tax credits for Kansas City’s Union Station to expand and upgrade Science City exhibits, programs and facility as well as improve visitor access to the building. “The endorsement and major investment by the State of Missouri for this initiative demonstrates the significant impact Union Station and its Science Center continues to have on STEM education, tourism and entrepreneurial development in our community and throughout the Midwest,” said George Guastello, President and CEO of Union Station, Inc. “The tax credits will allow the Station to engage the civic and business community to help support the continued growth of Union Station.” Union Station will celebrate its 100th anniversary later this year. Once serving as a transportation hub, today Union Station serves the greater Kansas City community as an important civic center. Read more...

SLATE Starts Open Call Sessions in Jan/Feb/Mar for Ballpark Village Jobs
The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) will conduct four open call sessions from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 21, Feb. 4 and 18 and March 4 in the first floor conference room of the SLATE MCC-Downtown. The open call sessions will assist hiring managers of Ballpark Village’s businesses to identify qualified candidates. SL ATE will assist potential candidates through the screening process. Participants will be able to complete an application, submit their résumés, and network with potential employers. Applicants will not be hired during these sessions, but those selected by hiring managers will be invited back for an interview at a later date. Applicants must pre-register for one of the sessions through SLATE’s Skills team. Open space for each session is 500 people. Those not registered on the day of the event will be able to register for the next available session. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Stacey Fowler at Read more...

Unemployed TANF Recipient Hired at New Grocery Chain
Eboni Robinson came to the SLATE/Better Family Life’s Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) program in hopes of finding employment, but unfavorable life circumstances presented a challenge. To help her get started, LaTonya Jackson, Career Specialist at Better Family Life, placed Robinson into a Job Readiness Training class. Over the course of the next three and a half weeks, Robinson spent eight hours a day, five days a week, in the classroom learning life and work-readiness skills. Once training was over, Robinson experienced a renewed zeal and determination to succeed in life and worked on developing a career plan, which significantly improved her chances when a job opportunity later presented itself. Robinson was among 250 people who showed up for the Save-A-Lot food store’s job fair conducted at SLATE in October 2013. With the new store scheduled to open next month, the St. Louis’ neighborhood discount grocer was looking to hire for multiple positions across various departments, including janitors, cashiers, cleaning crew, stockers, and store clerks. A total of 89 interviews were conducted that day, with Robinson being among the first 40 people selected for hire. Eboni Robinson is now working at Save-A-Lot’s new location on Jefferson Avenue. She is doing wonderful and is on track to be promoted after her 90 days of probation. Read more...

In a Town of 800, a Small Grocery Store is a Big Deal
Communities lose a lot when they lose a grocery store - convenience, identity, pride. Not to mention the jobs associated with it as well. Just ask the residents of Pilot Grove, which lost the town’s lone grocery store about four years ago and were unable to convince another store to service the town. But the residents of this town of 800 in rural Cooper County would not take “no” for an answer. When you want or need something bad enough, sometimes you have to do it yourself, even if that means building your own grocery store. About 23 of the town’s residents – farmers, the mayor, a doctor, an electrician, business owners, the high school FFA, regular folks and some retirees – pooled money and came up with $320,000 for the new store, which had its grand opening on Dec. 7. Read more...

University of Missouri Business Development Programs Release Economic Impact Results
The University of Missouri Extension Business Development Programs recently released results detailing the economic impact of the programs over the last three years. The study found that during this time period, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC) and Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (MO PTAC), both programs of the University of Missouri Extension Business Development Program (BDP), assisted Missouri companies with technical assistance and education resulting in a $666 million increase in sales and $661.9 million in investments. Additionally, the MO SBTDC and MO PTC programs assisted clients in creating or retaining over 30,000 jobs. For more results of this study, please click here.

Mercy to Invest $8 Million in Sullivan
Mercy recently announced plans to invest $8 million on a new, 19,800 square-foot medical building in Sullivan, Mo. Construction on the building is set to begin this summer on eight acres in Sullivan, 68 miles southwest of St. Louis. Mercy currently has physicians in Sullivan at two locations, and the expansion will allow the hospital to bring more doctors and services to the area. Following the expansion, patients will have access to many additional services, including specialists, oncologists, pulmonologists and pain management specialists. The building, which is expected to open to patients in 2015, will house 10 physicians’ offices, along with imaging services, a laboratory, ultrasound services and X-ray services. Read more...

Craft Beer Industry Reports Huge Economic Impact in Missouri
According to a study by the Brewers Association, craft brewing in Missouri has an economic impact of $612.4 million. The industry also supports 6,622 jobs across the state, with an average wage of more than $30,000. Missouri’s largest craft brewer is Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Co., which is also ranked No. 12 in the nation. Nationally, craft brewing boasts an economic impact of $33.9 billion, and supports 363,703 jobs. Read more...

Missouri Hog Farms Announce Joint Venture to Produce Biogas
Murphy-Brown of Missouri, a Smithfield Foods subsidiary, and Roeslein Alternative Energy recently announced plans for a $100 million joint venture to turn hog manure into energy at Murphy-Brown’s northern Missouri farms. The manure will be used to produce biogas, a fuel similar to natural gas, which is produced when organic material decomposes without the presence of oxygen. The gas will be harvested from Murphy-Brown finishing farms using state-of-the-art technology installed by Roeslein. Besides producing and selling biogas, the project is also expected to have other environmental benefits, including reducing odors from the pig manure. It is also anticipated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shrink Murphy-Brown’s carbon footprint. Murphy-Brown operates farms in five northern Missouri counties, as well as 12 other states. It is the largest pork producer in the world. Installation of pumps, pipelines and other processing equipment for the Missouri project is slated to start this spring. Read more...

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2014 Asia Trade Shows: Food and Hotel Industries
The state of Missouri will be exhibiting at two upcoming Food & Hotel shows in 2014. The Missouri Department of Economic Development’s International Trade & Investment Office is currently looking for companies in the food, drink, hotel, restaurant, foodservice, bakery and supermarket industries that are interested in exploring trade opportunities in Asia to join in exhibiting at these trade shows. The first show is Food & Hotel Asia, and will take place in Singapore on April 8-11, 2014. The second show is Seoul Food & Hotel, and will take place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on May 13-16, 2014. Participation in the trade show includes benefits such as exhibit registration, exposure in the Missouri booth, networking opportunities, market research and logistics assistance. The ITI is currently offering a special rate for businesses interested in exhibiting at both shows, and the registration deadline is January 31, 2014. For more information, please contact Krista Hinrichs or Ivry Karamitros. Read more...

Staff from Missouri’s New Canada Trade Office Visits Missouri
One of the new foreign offices opened as a result of Gov. Jay Nixon's Export Missouri Initiative is located in Canada. Staff from this office recently visited Missouri for training and to meet with exporters. Pictured, clockwise from left corner, are Mr. Lou Caporusso, Director, Missouri Trade & Investment Office – Toronto;  Mr. Ludovic Ortuno, Director, Missouri Trade & Investment Office – Montreal; Mr. Jason Rose, Associate Director, Missouri Trade & Investment Office – Montreal; and two representatives from Essex Industries. These individuals are helping organize a trade mission to Canada, planned for March 3-6, 2014, that will be led by Gov. Nixon. Missouri companies are invited to participate. Look for more details soon on the Missouri Export Portal.  

Global News
Missouri Partnership Marketing Events
Schedule of Missouri Partnership Marketing Events 
January 13, 2014
Registration Deadline for 2014 Missouri Partnership Cooperative Marketing Program 
January 14-16, 2014

2014 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
Chicago, IL 

January 16, 2014

2014 State of St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

January 16, 2014
"Protecting Your Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace" Workshop
Kansas City, MO 
January 16-18, 2014

2014 Missouri Governor's Conference on Agriculture
Kansas City, MO 

January 31, 2014
St. Louis Business Journal Women's Conference
St. Louis, MO 
February 11-12, 2014

Missouri Municipal League Legislative Conference
Jefferson City, MO

February 6, 2014
Application Deadline for MTC Seed Capital Co-Investment Program
February 6, 2014
Application Deadline for MTC Venture Capital Co-Investment Program
February 24, 2014
Deadline for FY2015 Missouri Arts Council Grants
March 8-14, 2014
Infrastructure Business Development Mission to the Gulf Cooperation Countries
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar 
April 7-11, 2014

Grantsmanship Training Program
Nevada, MO 

April 8-11, 2014
Food & Hotel Asia Trade Show
Singapore, Singapore
May 13-16, 2014
Seoul Food & Hotel Trade Show
Seoul, Republic of Korea 
Missouri Focus
December 20, 2013
Missouri Focus
December 13, 2013
Missouri Focus
December 6, 2013
Missouri Focus
November 22, 2013

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Questions or Comments?
Please contact:

Jamie Volkart
(573) 522-1593

or email:

Missouri Department of Economic Development

P.O. Box 118, Jefferson City, MO 65102

Phone: (573) 751-4962 FAX: (573) 751-7384

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