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Missouri Workers Create the Products That Help Keep America Free

Happy 4th of July!!!

As we prepare to kick off Independence Day weekend, we thought it was a great time to celebrate Missouri’s contribution to the industries that help keep America free.

Did you know that Missouri has a rich history in aviation, especially military aviation?

From Charles Lindbergh to the Mercury space program, Missouri has led the way in every aspect of aviation for nearly 100 years. Today, that cutting-edge innovation continues with 100 aerospace manufacturing companies across Missouri, including Boeing, leading the way in every aspect of military aviation and equipment, and hundreds of suppliers who support these manufacturing companies.

In fact, Missouri talent builds the F/A-18, EA-18, F-15 and T-7 fighter jets, the MQ-25 unmanned refueller, composite parts for the 777X, and a huge array of military ordinance.

GKN Aerospace employs approximately 600 highly skilled workers at its aerospace manufacturing facility in St. Louis. Seyer Industries in St. Peters specializes in high-complexity machined parts for the aerospace industry. PAS Technologies near Kansas City manufactures, maintains and overhauls components in the aerospace industry. NEMO Manufacturing, a manufacturer of electrical components for fighter jets in La Grange expanded in 2017.

But Missouri builds more than just fighter jets and ordinance.

From the more than 3,000 employees at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West in St. Louis providing intelligence support to U.S. forces globally, to EaglePicher‘s high-tech lithium batteries that power NASA and the U.S. military built in Joplin, to the Kansas City National Security Campus supporting the warfighter and keeping America’s nuclear deterrent safe, secure and reliable, Missouri is a defense industry leader in the heart of America.

With billions in prime and subcontracts awarded each year to companies located or performing work within the state, the DOD has a large impact on Missouri’s economy. In fact, defense contracting directly affects more than 600 industries and more than 25,000 businesses in Missouri.

When it comes to military bases, Missouri is home to Whiteman Air Force Base and America’s B-2 Spirit stealth bomber fleet, where both highly-skilled military and civilian personnel work to defend the U.S. For example, technicians from L3 Technologies maintain the B-2 Bomber simulators on base. Additionally, Missouri is home to Rosecrans Air National Guard Base and their “Top Gun” C-130 training program, and Fort Leonard Wood Army Base with the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, along with the U.S. Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear SchoolEngineer SchoolMilitary Police School, and 5th Engineer Battalion.

One of the main reasons Missouri has been so successful in the aerospace and defense industries is because Missouri understands that an educated and trained workforce is essential to success. As a result, Missouri offers traditional and non-traditional training options for workers and companies that allows employers to recruit a workforce that is customized to fit their needs.

A key Missouri example in the aerospace and defense industry is the customized pre-employment training developed by Boeing and St. Louis Community College.

And across the state, aerospace and defense training programs are developing the talent pipeline needed for today’s aerospace and defense industry at Missouri’s Knowledge Centers for Aerospace. The Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies (CAMT) at Missouri S&T, for example, is a national center of excellence for the development and transition of innovative advanced technologies for the aerospace manufacturing supply chain.

In total, 43 Missouri institutions offer aerospace and defense related degrees and certificates, 20 offer degrees or certificates in cybersecurity and 15 offer degrees in precision production. And when it comes to colleges offering degrees in engineering and engineering technology, there are 23 offering associates programs, 13 bachelors, 6 masters and 4 PhD.

So, when you sit down this weekend to enjoy the fireworks, remember the hard-working men and women of Missouri that help make our freedom possible. Happy 4th of July!

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