From: Missouri Department of Economic Development []
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 6:01 AM
Subject: Missouri Focus - The Economic Development Newsletter for the State of Missouri
If you'd like to view this email in a Web browser, please click here
Please share with a friend!
Banner Image
February 28, 2014
Fortune Magazine Special Edition: Missouri on a Roll
The state of Missouri was recently featured in a special spread of Fortune magazine entitled, “Missouri on a Roll.” The magazine highlighted Missouri’s many large expansions that have taken place in recent months, including announcements by Monsanto ($400 million investment, 675 new jobs announced in April 2013), Pharma Medica Research, Inc. ($30.8 million investment, 320 new jobs announced in October 2013), and General Motors ($133 million investment, 55 new jobs announced in June 2013), among many others. Fortune also noted Missouri’s stance as an agriculture powerhouse, as well as its complementary world-class industries in animal health sciences and plant technology. Also featured was the Innovation Campus initiative, Missouri’s “proactive approach to preparing a skilled workforce for next-generation jobs;” Missouri Works, the state’s newest initiative to streamline and improve business development incentives; and our growing financial services sector. To read Fortune magazine’s “Missouri on a Roll” feature, please click here

Missouri Economic Research and Information Center Releases Medicaid Impact Study
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), the research division for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, recently released a report detailing the economic impact of Medicaid expansion in Missouri. The analysis found that the expansion of Medicaid eligibility for adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level is expected to generate more than 23,000 jobs, $9.9 billion in new wages, and $14.6 billion in new Gross State Product from 2015 to 2022. The report also found that Medicaid expansion would generate $402 million in new general revenue from 2015 to 2022. Please click here to view the full report. Read more...

St. Louis Company is Among Best to Work For
Glassdoor, the world’s most transparent career community, recently released its sixth annual Employees’ Choice Awards, which honors the 50 best places to work in the United States. The winners of these awards are determined by the people who know the companies best – their employees. This year, St. Louis-based company Nestle Purina PetCare was ranked as the No. 10 best place to work, receiving an overall score of 4.1 out of 5 from 180 company reviews. Some of the reviews of the company, given by employees, raved, “This is a place where careers happen, not just jobs!” “Can’t imagine ever leaving,” and “BEST company in the world!” Nestle Purina PetCare, the pet food division of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., manufactures many popular pet food products such as Purina One, Purina Cat & Dog Chow, Alpo, Friskies, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats. Read more...

Kauffman Foundation’s 1 Million Cups Expands Again
Launched by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City two years ago, 1 Million Cups is a simple way to engage entrepreneurs in communities around the world by giving local entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their startups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs over coffee. Every week, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their companies to the audience and then field questions, ideas, and suggestions for about 20 minutes. Earlier this month, the program expanded into four new cities, bringing its total participation to more than 25 U.S. cities in just two years. The newest additions to the 1 Million Cups family are Springfield, Mo., Fargo, N.D., Fort Collins, Colo., and Provo, Utah. “We’re thrilled to welcome the entrepreneurs and their advocates in these three communities to our growing 1 Million Cups national network,” said program co-founder Nate Olson in a release. According to program coordinators, it is estimated that about 1,500 people across the nation now participate in the program each week.  Read more...
#BOOM Conference Attracts Missouri Entrepreneurs
The 4th annual #BOOM entrepreneurial event, organized by Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), was held at the Holiday Inn Expo Center in Columbia on Friday, February 21. The event, an entrepreneurial summit designed to provide support to growing the entrepreneurial community in Columbia/Boone County and the mid-Missouri region, featured 12 presenters who shared their entrepreneurial success stories. Among the presenters was Bryan Simpson, the founder of 5 Pound Apparel in Springfield, Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown, Stanton Brothers Eggs’ Dustin and Austin Stanton, and Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. According to event organizer Sean Siebert, the 2014 #BOOM event attracted a diverse audience of 400 attendees, ranging from high school and college students to professionals. One of the featured topics by many presenters was the use of social media to reach a wider audience and thereby grow a local business. Read more... Please click here to watch a video from this year's #BOOM event in Columbia.

Missouri Arts Council Feature: Snapshots of the Missouri Arts Blogosphere
Amidst the millions of blogs currently in use throughout the world, the Missouri Arts Council recently sought to locate blogs by Missourians about the arts throughout the state. Through a variety of different methods, the Arts Council was able to compile a snapshot of Missouri arts bloggers, encompassing everything from theater to music to architecture to individual artists’ work all across the state. Some of the featured blogs include Images of the Ozarks, written by Steve Snyder, a professional photographer, graphic designer, and founding board member of the Mount Vernon Regional Arts Council; the Kansas City Ballet blog, which takes readers behind the scenes of the organization’s productions; the Mizzou New Music Initiative News, postings about an array of programs by the School of Music of the University of Missouri-Columbia; and St. Louis Patina, a blog detailing the beauty of St. Louis architecture by Chris Naffziger, an art historian with the Saint Louis Art Museum. The sampling also includes blogs by government tourism experts, such as the VisitMO Spotlight by the Missouri Division of Tourism. Although not exhaustive, the snapshot is a great way to learn about the arts blog scene in Missouri, and the Missouri Arts Council encourages anyone who knows of a great blog about the arts or by a Missouri artist or organization to let them know at Read more... (Photo Above: Ice on Barbed Wire, taken at sunset on Christmas Eve 2013, by Steve Snyder of Mount Vernon. Posted on his blog, Images of the Ozarks, on January 7, 2014.)

Missouri Internet Access Increases    
Internet access across both Missouri and the nation increased in 2012 to record levels, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Almost three in four people age three and older in Missouri lived in a household with Internet access in 2012. Please click here to see the excel file for all states and national data. Read more...

Census Releases Mapping Tool for County-to-County Migration Flows
The Census Bureau has released a beta mapping tool for county-to-county migration. The new tool is a web mapping application intended to provide users with a simple interface to view, save, and print county-to-county migration flows maps of the United States. Read more...

focus on community Focus on workforce Focus on Business
Department of Economic Development Awards $1.7 Million in CDBG Funds
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) this week approved a combined total of $1,708,663 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to four Missouri communities. The four approved projects are:

• The City of Birch Tree was awarded $500,000 to make wastewater improvements by upgrading collection lines, allowing the city to meet Department of Natural Resources requirements.

• The City of Callao was awarded $500,000 to make wastewater system improvements and bring the city up to current standards set by the Department of Natural Resources. Additional funding for the Callao project is provided by the Unites States Department of Agriculture Rural Development funds.

• The City of Huntsville was awarded $500,000 to make wastewater treatment improvements by constructing a new treatment system to meet and bring the city up to current Department of Natural Resources standards. Additional funding for the Huntsville project is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development funds.

• The City of Dutchtown was awarded $208,663 to acquire properties that received significant flood damage during 2011. Additional funding for the Dutchtown project is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The CDBG program, administered by the Department of Economic Development, provides grants and loan funds to cities with a population under 50,000 and counties with a population under 200,000 to assist in a variety of public works and economic development projects designed to improve local facilities and address critical health and safety concerns in order to develop a greater capacity for growth. For more information on CDBG funding, please visit

The Third Annual What If…? Conference is Coming to Columbia
The third annual What If…? Conference will be held in Columbia at The Blue Note on March 21 and 22. During the two-day conference, educators, entrepreneurs, change-makers and thought leaders will seek to develop customized action plans to meet attendees’ unique challenges, be it growing a business or building a community. The What If… Conference features a diverse lineup of 20 presenters. General admission tickets cost $149. VIP admission is $249. Group pricing and student discounts are also available. The What If…?, founded in 2010, partners with businesses, schools, and community-based organizations to spur innovation and collaboration by asking questions that matter and developing active solutions. For more information on The What If…? Conference, please visit www.thewhatif

St. Louis and Kansas City Rank among Most Literate Cities
St. Louis and Kansas City both ranked among the nation’s top 15 most literate cities, according to a study by Central Connecticut State University. St. Louis ranked 9th while Kansas City ranked 13th. Both cities held the same spot in the rankings as in 2012. Of its surrounding states, Missouri was the only state to have cities ranked in the top 15. Overall, the Midwest/Plains states ranked as the nation’s second most literate region. The Mid-Atlantic/New England region was determined to be the most literate. Washington, D.C. was ranked as America’s most literate city. The study was limited to cities with an estimated population of at least 250,000. Rankings were compiled by comparing newspaper circulation figures, internet news site visits, magazine and journals subscription data, number of booksellers and stores, educational attainment data, and library data. Read more...

Former SLATE Youth Customer Recruits a New Generation of Operating Engineers
When Byron Saunders, Sr. conducted an information session on behalf of Operating Engineers Local 513 at the SLATE Downtown location last year, it was not his first encounter with the city’s workforce development agency. In his teens, he was one of many St. Louis youth placed into summer employment through SLATE’s WIA Youth program. To this day, Saunders remembers the experience as one that started him on the career path he is successfully pursuing today. SLATE, Byron said, instills local youth with “[a sense of] responsibility and a good work ethic,” helping them take pride of ownership as they earn wages. While working on the streets of St. Louis as a youth customer, keeping its sidewalks and parks clean, Saunders became curious about operating the heavy equipment he observed. He was introduced to the Construction Training Center on Knox Industrial Drive, where he was placed in a pre-apprenticeship program. Later, Saunders was assigned to a project at Lambert Airport, working as an oiler maintaining a massive crane driving piling. In about a year, the union dispatched Saunders to a job with premier industrial contractor Alberici, where he stayed for the next 28 years. Read more... 

Report: Solar Jobs Shine Brightly in MO for Now
Solar energy equipment manufacturers, installers, and suppliers added 1,600 jobs in Missouri in 2013, one of the highest growth rates in the nation, according to a new report from The Solar Foundation, but there are concerns that growth won't continue. According to executive director P.J. Wilson of Renew Missouri, it's no surprise the state now ranks 12th in the country for the number of solar jobs, up from 20th just two years ago."Back in 2007 there were, I believe, four solar installers in the whole state of Missouri, and today there's around 45 solar installers," he said. "We've gone from literally half a dozen jobs in the state and today there's around 2,800 jobs." Wilson said the rapid growth is due in large part to a 2008 ballot initiative which required the state's utility companies to offer rebates to customers who installed solar panels. Read more...

Crowder College’s New Training Facility a MoHealthWINs ‘Cinderella Story’
What was once a traditional nursing program held in a remodeled lumberyard is now a thriving healthcare training experience in a new $6 million facility, thanks to MoHealthWINs and the Missouri Foundation for Health. Along with high-tech medical equipment for Crowder College’s new McDonald County Nursing Program, the funds also provided tuition waivers and educational services and opportunities for residents - an especially important benefit for a community that is medically underserved. Crowder College grants manager Kathy Collier reports that program students, grant staff, and local employers all acknowledge how this effort has been a catalyst to create a top-notch healthcare career training program. “This program has given me the opportunity to accomplish one of my lifetime goals of obtaining a degree in the healthcare field,” said Ryan Parson, one of the first new program students who is set to graduate this May. “Although school expenses have been overwhelming at times, the financial support from MoHealthWINs helped me to concentrate more on educational achievements. Plus, being able to train close to home is a blessing in itself." Read more...

Black History + Labor History = American History
February is Black History Month, and the U.S. Department of Labor's Books that Shaped Work in America project has several great suggestions that show the important and often overlooked contributions that African Americans have made to labor history and American history. Included on the list is "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, Written by Himself." This remarkable, 11-chapter memoir is rich in fact, grippingly personal, and significantly fueled the U.S. abolitionist movement in the early 19th century. Read more...

Easter Seals Midwest to Hire 150 in St. Louis
According to Easter Seals Midwest CEO Wendy Sullivan, the company has opened three new offices in the St. Louis area and is planning to hire more than 150 employees to staff the locations. Easter Seals Midwest, formerly known as Life Skills, is a nonprofit provider of autism services and assistance to those with developmental disabilities. The company recently closed its former location at Lindbergh and Olive boulevards in St. Louis and opened three new offices in its stead, allowing the nonprofit’s employees to meet clients in their own communities. Easter Seals Midwest will begin staffing the new offices within the next four months, with most of the 150 new hires in its living services segment, which helps individuals with developmental disabilities to live independently. Read more...

One of America’s Smartest Technology Companies Resides in St. Louis
According to an annual list released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Monsanto, one of the largest employers in St. Louis, is one of the smartest technology companies in America. The MIT Technology Review’s 50 Smartest Companies list highlights companies that have made a difference through their innovations. This year, Monsanto came in at No. 33 on the list, the only Missouri company to be featured. MIT recognized the St. Louis-based company for its work in helping farmers meet the clothing and food demands of a growing world. “At times it seems impossible to keep pace with important emerging technologies,” said Jason Pontin, publisher and editor in chief of MIT Technology Review. “Monsanto’s experience in both the genetic modification and cross-breeding of crops could be even more valuable in the coming years, as agriculture faces unprecedented pressures from population growth and climate change.” According to the pipeline report, which gives a glimpse into what Monsanto will be working on this year, the company is hoping to advance 29 projects in 2014 – the largest advancement of products to date.  Read more...

Folk Music Conference has $3.5 Million Impact on KC Economy
Last year, Folk Alliance International outgrew the conference hotel space in Memphis and began searching for a new city to locate its headquarters. After considering a dozen cities, it selected Kansas City, recognizing it as a friendly, musically-charged city. The organization moved to the River Market area in Kansas City last April, and recently hosted its 26th annual music conference in the city for the first time. The conference, which took place February 19-23 at the Westin Crown Center, is one of the five largest music conferences in North America. According to the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, the event drew more than 2,000 visitors, approximately 80 percent of whom traveled from outside the area, and had an estimated economic impact of $3.5 million. With its headquarters now located in Kansas City, Folk Alliance has stated that it wants to contribute to Kansas City’s already “strong music scene,” and plans to host its annual music conference in the city through 2018. Read more...      

St. Charles Startup Named Official Apparel Sponsor of U.S. Synchronized Swimming
Andrea Robertson of St. Charles launched the business Triflare two years ago as a way to spice up the triathlon suits currently available on the market. Today, she is leading the business into somewhat unfamiliar territory – the colorful world of synchronized swimming. The Missouri startup recently finalized a deal to be the official apparel sponsor for U.S. Synchronized Swimming through 2017. The Triflare partnership is the synchronized swimming team’s first apparel sponsorship, and under the terms of her sponsorship agreement, Robertson will receive marketing opportunities and can exhibit at the national championships for free. Read more...

Global News button
Gov. Nixon to Lead Trade Mission to Canada
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon recently announced that he will be leading a delegation of Missouri business leaders and state officials to Canada on March 2-6. Canada is currently Missouri’s largest export market, having purchased nearly $4 billion in Missouri goods last year. The Governor will meet with business and governmental leaders in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto, seeking to build upon this solid foundation of trade by identifying new opportunities to sell more Missouri products to Canada and expand investments by Canadian companies in Missouri. “As Missouri’s number one export market, Canada offers tremendous opportunities for Missouri businesses and farmers,” said Gov. Nixon. Joining the delegation to Canada will be: First Lady Georganne Nixon; Mike Downing, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development; Richard Fordyce, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; and representatives from many Missouri businesses, including Custom Metalcraft of Springfield, Essex Industries of St. Louis, Advantage Capital Partners, and Kent Precision Foods Group, Inc. of St. Louis. During the mission, Gov. Nixon will address a number of Canadian trade and industry associations as well as meet with leadership of major Canadian corporations that have made or are considering making investments in Missouri. Read more... 

St. Louis Car Rental Business Enters the Caribbean Market
Enterprise Holdings, headquartered in St. Louis, recently announced that it will be partnering with several Caribbean operators to franchise the use of its Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in three Caribbean countries. The new franchisees are Guyane Car in French Guiana, L.A.M. in Martinique, and S.G.L.V. in Guadeloupe. Peter A. Smith, vice president of global franchising for Enterprise Holdings, noted, “The introduction of the Enterprise brand to these important markets means international travelers and local residents will be able to experience first-hand our signature customer service and convenient rental process.” The three new franchise countries are all popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean and well-positioned to receive international travelers. Operating through its regional subsidiaries, Enterprise Holdings is currently the largest car rental company in the world, as measured by revenue, fleet, and employees. Read more...

Global News
Missouri Partnership Marketing Events
Schedule of Missouri Partnership Marketing Events 
March 3, 2014
2014 Missouri Community Service Commission Annual Celebration of Volunteerism and Service Nominations Deadline
March 3-6, 2014
Governor's Trade Mission to Montreal and Toronto
Montreal & Toronto, Canada 
March 5, 2014
Canada and the U.S.: Friends, Partners, Allies
St. Louis, MO 
March 7-11, 2014
South by Southwest Interactive
Austin, Texas 
March 8-14, 2014
Infrastructure Business Development Mission to the Gulf Cooperation Countries
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar 
March 26-27, 2014
InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum
St. Louis, MO 
April 7-11, 2014

Grantsmanship Training Program
Nevada, MO 

April 8-11, 2014
Food & Hotel Asia Trade Show
Singapore, Singapore
April 24-26, 2014
BioTech China 2014 Trade Show
Shanghai, China 
May 1-2, 2014
2014 Nonprofit Missouri Annual Conference
May 5-9, 2014
Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri
May 13-16, 2014
Seoul Food & Hotel Trade Show
Seoul, Republic of Korea 
May 20-22, 2014
CPhI Southeast Asia Trade Show
Jakarta, Indonesia
June 2-6, 2014
Missouri Agribusiness Academy
Northwestern and Jefferson City, MO 
July 14-18, 2014
2014 Farnborough Air & Trade Show
London, England 
Missouri Focus
February 21, 2014
Missouri Focus
February 7, 2014
Missouri Focus
January 31, 2014
Missouri Focus
January 24, 2014

State of Missouri

Dept. of Economic Development

Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM)

International Economic Development Council (IEDC)


Missouri Arts Council

Missouri Association of Councils of Government (MACOG)

Missouri Business Development Program

Missouri Business Portal

Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Missouri Community Betterment

Missouri Community Service Commission (MCSC)

Missouri Development Finance Board

Missouri Division of Tourism

Missouri Economic
Development Council (MEDC)

Missouri Enterprise

Missouri General

Missouri LocationOne

Missouri Main Street Connection

Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission

Missouri Partnership

Missouri Procurement and Technical Assistance Centers

Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers
{SBTDC Statewide Training Calendar}
 {SBTDC training seminars - MSU}
{SBTDC training seminars - UMKC}

Missouri Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board

Missouri Technology Corporation

Missouri Women Owned Business Network

Missouri Women's Council

Missouri Workforce Investment Board

Mizzou - Economic Development at Mizzou



MU - University of Missouri Extension

Subscribe to MOFOCUS

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

To learn why you received this and how to remove yourself from the list, see Privacy & Permissions Policy

Review / edit information about you || Remove yourself from the mailing list

Generated by Learn more