St. Louis Public Radio News
6:06 am
Tue January 6, 2009

Nixon chooses St. Louisan to head department of economic development

University City, MO – Missouri Governor-elect Jay Nixon has chosen a St. Louis lawyer to head the state's department of economic development.

Linda Martinez is a partner at the high-powered Bryan Cave law firm where she worked with clients such as BJC-Healthcare and the St. Louis Blues Hockey team.

Nixon says her success working on both public and private development projects more than qualifies her for the job.

"She is as qualified as anyone in the Midwest," says Nixon. "Her counsel has been sought by hundreds, if not thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses across the middle part of the United States over the last 26 years and I'm very proud to have her as part of our team."

As economic development director, one of Martinez's immediate tasks will be to roll out Nixon's new Show Me Jobs plan.

The plan creates incentives for worker training and retraining and provides low-interest loans for small businesses.

As director of economic development, Martinez says she will move quickly to roll out the governor's new job creation program.

"Creating jobs will be the priority of the economic development department and we will work quickly to get the Show Me Jobs program up and running," says Martinez.

"I plan to lead an economic development department that will move at the speed of business."

Martinez has over 20 years of experience working in municipal finance through bonds and tax credits.

The announcement comes as Congress prepares to debate a national economic stimulus that could direct billions of dollars to the Midwest for infrastructure projects.