Missouri’s Strengths & Weaknesses in Attracting Companies

FY 2016 – FY 2023

Missouri Partnership is a public-private economic development organization focused on attracting new jobs and investment to the state and promoting Missouri’s business strengths. Missouri Partnership is a subsidiary of the Hawthorn Foundation. The organization partners with an array of private and public state, regional and local partners to attract new business investment to the state. Missouri Partnership primarily focuses on attracting companies that do not yet have a presence in the state, while the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) is responsible for retention and expansion projects involving existing Missouri companies. Since 2008, Missouri Partnership has worked with partners statewide to attract companies that have created 32,900+ new jobs, $1.7 billion+ in new annual payroll, and $6.4 billion+ in new capital investment. Some recent successful projects that led to major investment in Missouri include Accenture Federal Services LLC; Amazon; Casey’s General Stores; Chewy, Inc.; Square; USDA; Veterans United; American Foods Group (AFG); Swift; Meta; and James Hardie Building Products Inc. 

The following report includes a summary, review and analysis of projects Missouri Partnership opened and worked on between FY 2016 and FY 2023. We undertook this report to better understand the source and characteristics of our projects and the reasons Missouri won or was eliminated as a location for a potential project. Our ultimate goal is to use this data to guide us to become more competitive for future projects. However, it is also important to understand which decision factors we might influence and improve versus those that we cannot control. 

We can only review and analyze information from projects in which Missouri competed. It is critical to note consultants, companies, and industry experts consistently report that a vast amount of preliminary site selection review and analysis is often conducted via a “desktop screening” prior to any outreach or involvement with communities or economic developers. Accordingly, this often leads to consultants and companies eliminating Missouri as an option for a site selection project without notifying Missouri Partnership. Therefore, we do not know how often Missouri is eliminated from contention for a project. Furthermore, our review and analysis is limited by the completeness of our own data.

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