Missouri was recently awarded the Silver Shovel award for states with 5+ to 9 million population by Area Development magazine. Missouri previously received a Silver Shovel award in 2007.
The state is enjoying a strong first quarter in 2012, with 27,500 new jobs added and increased manufacturing exports, especially transportation equipment. During this same time Missouri’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent, nearly one full point lower than the U.S. unemployment rate.
During the first four months of 2012 Missouri gained more than 7,000 new manufacturing jobs — the result of major expansions started last year by Ford in Claycomo and General Motors in Wentzville. These two projects combined represent a total capital investment of approximately $1.5 billion and will create more than 3,200 new auto manufacturing jobs in the state. “The historic expansions of Ford and General Motors in Missouri, facilitated by the signing of the Missouri Manufacturing Act of 2012 by Governor Jay Nixon, have driven the state economy forward,” notes John Fougere, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
ProEnergy Holdings, a manufacturer of gas turbine engines, plans to invest $25.7 million in its Sedalia facilities over the next three years, hiring 309 workers. Improvements include a new 110,000-square-foot facility for servicing gas turbine engines and a 225,000-square-foot warehouse for storing engines, turbines, and component parts.
Another sign of Missouri’s improving economy is the expansion of professional services across the state. These include Mortgage Research Center in Columbia ($1.8 million, 300 workers) and North American Savings Bank in Kansas City ($5.9 million, 262 workers).