Local Economic Development Contacts
Missouri CORE (Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, and Osage Counties)
Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood Region (Laclede, Pulaski, and Phelps Counties)
Missouri’s Meramec Region (Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, and Washington Counties)
St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (Washington County)
America’s Heartland Economic Partnership (Lebanon and Laclede County)
City of Mexico
Columbia Regional Economic Development, Inc.
Fulton Area Development Corporation
Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce
Rolla Regional Economic Commission
Toll Free: +1.877.725.0949
120 South Central Avenue, Suite 1535
Saint Louis, MO 63105
12200 NW Ambassador Drive, Suite 234
Kansas City, MO 64163
Missouri's Central Region
The Central region is composed of 19 counties, and its largest cities are Columbia and Jefferson City. The region is home to the University of Missouri’s flagship campus in Columbia as well as the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, the U.S. Army training center at Fort Leonard Wood, the Lake of the Ozarks resort area, and the state capital. Major employers in the area include ABB Power, Brewer Science, State Farm Insurance and Tracker Marine.
Recent Investment Projects
May 2013: Meramec Electrical Products announced plans to expand its manufacturing operations in Cuba, adding 47 new full-time jobs.
Hubbell Power Systems recently announced plans to invest $8 million in its Centralia, Mo. facilities. The investment, which will take place in phases over the next few years, includes upgrades to a number of different buildings on the Hubbell campus.
March 2013: 3M announced plans to expand its specialty solar panel film production line at its Columbia plant over the next year, adding 50 jobs.
February 2013: Fluid Power Support, a steel fabrication company, will expand its operations in Mexico making a capital investment of more than $1.6 million and creating 15 new jobs.
Central Bank announced the addition of at least 25 new staff positions at their Jefferson City operations during 2013.
January 2013: Brewer Science Inc., a company that produces materials for smartphones and tablet computers plans to build a new manufacturing facility in rural central Missouri. The company expects to add 65 new jobs over the next five years as part of its expansion at the Rolla National Airport.
October 2012: Pro Food Systems Inc., which primarily markets and distributes Champs Chicken products, plans to invest $6 million to construct a new headquarters facility in an expansion that is expected to create 43 new jobs in Hots Summit.
August 2012: Savage River Inc., a company that makes meat substitutes, announced it will open a Columbia factory that could employ as many as 60 people within five years.
Tracker Marine, a company that manufactures boats and pontoons, announced it is making a capital investment of $15 million and expanding its two facilities in Lebanon. This investment and expansion is expected to create 76 new local manufacturing jobs over the next five years.
July 2012: Alpla, Inc., a company that manufactures packaging for a variety of products, announced an expansion that is expected to create 25 new jobs while retaining existing positions in Jefferson City. The company is making a new capital investment of $2 million.
March 2012: Spartan Light Metal Products announced plans to expand their Mexico Facility, adding 2 new production lines and creating 42 new jobs over the next 5 years.
||Population Projection 2030
||Civilian Labor Force (July 2012)
||Employment (July 2012)
||Unemployment (July 2012)
||Unemployment Rate (July 2012)
|Central Region Summary
Major area roads include I-44 and I-70, as well as US-63, US-54, US-50, and US-40. I-70 provides access to Kansas City and St. Louis while I-44 links the region to St. Louis, Springfield, and Oklahoma City. US-40, US-54, and US-63 allow travel to virtually the entire continental U.S., including New Jersey, California, Texas, Minnesota, and Louisiana.
Regional airports in Columbia and Fort Leonard Wood (Waynesville).
Class I rail access is provided by Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Union Pacific.
The region has also has a Missouri river port facility in Booneville.
Columbia (Pop: 110,438)
Jefferson City (43,332)
Fort Leonard Wood (15,235)
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2011
Higher Education Institutions:
Advanced Technology Center: (Mexico) 2-year, public
Central Methodist University: (Fayette) 4-year, private
Columbia College: (Columbia) 4-year, private
Lincoln University: (Jefferson City) 4-year, public
Linn State Technical College (Linn) 2-year, public
Missouri University of Science and Technology: (Rolla) 4-year, public
Stephens College: (Columbia) 4-year, private
University of Missouri—Columbia: 4-year, private
Westminster College: (Fulton) 4-year, private
William Woods University: (Fulton) 4-year, private
||High School Diploma
|Central Region Summary
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 5 year estimates, 2010
Discovery Ridge: (Columbia) Discovery Ridge leverages the University of Missouri's resources in life sciences, in the areas of agriculture, health, veterinary medicine, bioengineering, nutrition, biology and environmental services.
Missouri University of Science and Technology Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies: (Rolla) The Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies (CAMT) serves as a center of excellence in the U.S. for the development and transition of innovative advanced technologies for the aerospace manufacturing supply chain.
Missouri University of Science & Technology Center of Excellence for Aerospace Particulate Emissions Reduction Research: (Rolla) The Center of Excellence for Aerospace Particulate Emissions Reduction Research is a multidisciplinary effort drawing on the solid base of engineering and sciences provided by Missouri S&T. The Missouri S&T effort is integrated into a national consortium studying the environmental impact of aviation related activities.
Missouri University of Science & Technology Energy Research and Development Center: (Rolla) The Energy Research and Development Center was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for research in solar energy and energy management, which will enable students to use hybrid solar thermal electric panels in house design.
Missouri University of Science & Technology GE Aviation Development Center: (Rolla) Performs software development, verification and validation, mechanical design and hardware design for aviation.
Missouri University of Science & Technology Materials Research Center: (Rolla) The Graduate Center for Materials Research (MRC) is a multi-disciplinary research and development organization. Established in 1964 , MRC provides a graduate education environment that fosters significant advances in the fields of materials science and engineering. MRC provides research facilities, an equipment base and a support infrastructure that enables faculty members, students and industry professionals to conduct successful, team-oriented research and development projects.
National Center for Soybean Biotechnology: (Columbia) The U.S. Congress selected the University of Missouri to host the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology (NCSB) based on their interdisciplinary research on soybean genetics, genomic, and related sciences. The ultimate goal of the NCSB is to provide innovative molecular approaches that can be applied toward soybean improvement.
University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry: (Columbia) The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA), established in 1998, is one of the world's leading centers contributing to the science underlying agroforestry. The mission of the Center is to support the long-term future of the family farm and play a part in the revitalization of rural America. The Center’s research focuses on two major themes: 1) Providing scientific evidence that documents many of the environmental benefits of agroforestry practices (e.g., improving soil, water and air quality); and 2) Demonstrating the viability of niche crop production to augment the economic opportunities on the family farm.
University of Missouri Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution (CELDi): (Columbia) CELDi is a multi-university, multi-disciplinary National Science Foundation sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research Center . Research focuses on supply chain modeling, material flow design & improvement, and intelligent systems. Missouri companies that have worked with MU-CELDi at MU include Leggett & Platt, Ameren, Boeing, and Hallmark.
University of Missouri Center for Sustainable Energy: (Columbia) The Center for Sustainable Energy was launched to support and coordinate research, education and commercialization of renewable energy sources.
University of Missouri Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center: (Columbia) This recently opened, state-of-the-art center promotes interdisciplinary research aimed at increasing food production and quality, improving human and animal health, and enhancing environmental quality.
University of Missouri Life Sciences Business Incubator at Monsanto Place: (Columbia) The incubator is able to accommodate a range of tenants specializing in the fields of biomedical technologies, information technology, renewable resources/green technology and nanotechnology as well as more traditional consumer based businesses.
University of Missouri National Swine Resources and Research Center: (Columbia) The National Swine Resources and Research Center is the only center in the United States dedicated to the research of swine genetics and reproduction as a comparative model. The center cloned the first pig in 1989 and was the first to sequence the DNA of a pig in 2006. In 2007, the center was the first to reproduce a pig using in vitro fertilization.
University of Missouri Plant Transformation Core Facility: (Columbia) The goal of the Plant Transformation Core facility at the University of Missouri is to enhance both basic and applied research in plant biology for the public. Current research includes improvement of maize and soybean transformation, efficiency of RNAi in soybeans, and mapping mutant soybean lines.
IDEXX RADIL: (Columbia) The Laboratory is one of the two largest research animal diagnostic laboratories in the U.S. and the largest at an academic institution.
University of Missouri Research Reactor: (Columbia) MURR is the largest university-operated research reactor in the country, specializing in developing innovative techniques for the diagnosis and cure of cancer and other diseases.
University of Missouri Technology Park: (Fort Leonard Wood) The Tech Park, located on an active Army post, collaborates with the University of Missouri on technology transfer and is focused on biochemical, homeland security and GIS projects.
Quality of Life
Residents of Missouri’s central region enjoy an excellent quality of life. In addition to a cost of living far below the national average, the central region boasts access to excellent hospitals and outdoor recreation.
Top hospitals in the region include Boone Hospital Center (Columbia), The University of Missouri Hospital (Columbia), The Capital Region Medical Center (Jefferson City), Callaway Community Hospital (Fulton), Audrain Medical Center (Mexico), Lake Regional Hospital (Osage Beach), Mercy Lebanon, and Phelps County Regional Medical Center (Rolla).
The region offers a variety of outdoor activities- including boating, hunting, fishing, hiking and golfing. It also includes portions of the Katy Trail, a 225 mile bike trail, and Mark Twain National Forrest. There are many wineries in the Central Region, including Les Bourgeois, St. James, and Stone Hill.
The Lake of the Ozarks area offers 1,100 miles of shoreline, 15 premier golf courses, great fishing, and quality resorts. Attractions include the Bridal Cave, Ha Ha Tonka State Park , as well as Missouri’s largest outlet mall.
The Central Region’s largest city, Columbia, is home to Mizzou atheletics and the True/False Film Festival.
The Isle of Capri Casino in Booneville is the only casino located between St. Louis and Kansas City.
The Winston Churchill Memorial and Museum is located in Fulton, the site of Churchill's famous Iron Curtain speech.
Jefferson City is home to the Missouri State Capitol Building and State Museum.
Located near Lebanon, Bennett Spring State Park offers fly fishing, camping, canoeing, and hiking among other activities.