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JOPLIN, Mo. – One of the country’s largest independent pet-food companies broke ground today in Joplin on a new manufacturing and distribution center, an investment that is expected to create up to 150 new local manufacturing jobs.
Gov. Jay Nixon took part in the groundbreaking for Heartland Pet Products’ new 400,000 square-foot facility, which represents a major capital investment by pet-food maker Blue Buffalo Company. The Governor was joined at the ceremony in Joplin’s Crossroads Industrial Park by company officials, as well as by community leaders.
“Just as we saw this summer with Coca-Cola and Schaeffler Group USA, Joplin continues to see exciting economic developments, with another national brand like Blue Buffalo Company investing in this community,” Gov. Nixon said. “This is more evidence that Missouri’s stable and positive business climate is helping to move our economy forward, while creating jobs and prosperity for more Missourians.”
Earlier today, the Missouri Department of Economic Development released the September jobs report, showing that Missouri’s unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent – its lowest rate since December 2008. The state’s unemployment rate has remained below the national rate for 37 consecutive months. Missouri added 2,500 jobs during September, bringing the year to-date total of new jobs to 24,700. Combined, the number of new jobs for 2012 to-date and all of 2011 comes to more than 46,000.
To assist Blue Buffalo Company in moving forward with its growth plans, the company could be eligible for a strategic economic incentive package from the state of Missouri if it meets the strict job creation and investment criteria of each program.
The Blue Buffalo Company, located in Wilton, Conn., is the nation’s leading natural pet-food company, and provides a complete line of healthy and holistic foods and treats for dogs and cats. The company’s products are sold nationwide in pet specialty stores.