Economy & Innovation

News about the economy, business, and innovation happening in the St. Louis region.

BJC HealthCare

In his 35 years as president of the St. Louis chapter of the Coalition for Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Lew Moye has seen a lot of initiatives to increase diversity in construction.

There have been agreements to include minorities in specific projects, such as building the Edward Jones Dome and expanding Interstate 64.

And there have been protests demanding greater minority representation, such as the 1999 shutdown of I-70, where Reverend Al Sharpton led minority contractors in a call for more state highway jobs.

(Flickr/Thomas Karl Gunnarsson)

When large numbers of young people are unemployed, it is not only a blow to the individuals, it is also a missed economic opportunity for the region. That was the overarching message of a panel discussion held Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and STL Youth Jobs.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that in 2012, 15 percent of people ages 16 to 24 in the U.S. were not employed, not in school or not getting job training. For each of those “detached” youth, the economy misses out on $14,000 annually.

The new Ikea store is under construction on top of a parking structure. It will also include outdoor parking.
(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio) / IKEA

The Ikea store in St. Louis is on track to open next fall.

Construction workers began putting up the steel frame for the 380,000 square foot store this week. The blue paneling will likely go up in December.

"That’s when the iconic blue and yellow will begin to show," said Joseph Roth, Ikea’s director of U.S. public affairs.

MoDOT

Transportation officials are hoping a new pilot program will help cut down on the number of wrong-way accidents on Interstate-44 in St. Louis.

According to a press release from the Missouri Department of Transportation, there have been 25 crashes on I-44 caused by drivers headed in the wrong direction on the interstate in the last eight years.

St. Louis Public Radio

The organization that focuses on promoting the St. Louis region's bio-science industries is reaching beyond the country's borders to accomplish its mission.

BioSTL launched the St. Louis-Israel Innovation Connection Friday with the aim of attracting Israeli bioscience starts to branch out into St. Louis.

Israel is second only to Silicon Valley when it comes to creating startups.

With many of those companies looking to expand into the U.S., St. Louis can be their destination, said BioSTL CEO and president Donn Rubin.

An aerial view of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at 3200 South 2nd Street.
(courtesy NGA) / National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NGA

It’s a top national security facility in St. Louis that’s flown under the radar for years.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is hidden in plain sight on more than 20 acres that lie between the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and the Mississippi River. There are roughly 2,500 NGA employees there, working on highly secretive projects. The maps, charts and strategic intelligence they provide are used by the president, national policy makers and military leaders.

(Flickr, Bernt Rostad)

Detroit and St. Louis can learn from one another.

That was the idea behind a visit to St. Louis by a group of Detroit community development professionals this week.

The Detroit Revitalization Fellows met with representatives from Preservation Research St. Louis, Washington University Medical Center Redevelopment Corporation, Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, Northside Regeneration and Cortex.

Revolution LLC

A high-profile entrepreneur is calling on the community to do more to support St. Louis-area startups.

"We just need to tell that story. That’s not to say that Silicon Valley won’t continue to be great and New York City isn’t great and Boston isn’t great, but St. Louis is great too," said A-O-L Co-Founder Steve Case during a stop on Friday at Washington University.

"There should be some degree of skepticism when people are talking about new ideas, but give entrepreneurs the benefit of the doubt."

A report being considered by the St. Louis parking commission suggests increasing parking rates in the city. That would help fund upgraded meters, like this one that takes credit cards.
Paul Sableman, Flickr

St. Louis' coin-only parking meters may get a technology upgrade, but it might cost you more to use them.

On Thursday, the city's parking commission reviewed initial recommendations to raise parking rates by next year. The suggestions come from a preliminary report commissioned by the city that evaluates its parking system. 

The commission is considering raising hourly meter rates from $1 to $1.50 in busy downtown areas, and from $0.75 to $1 in lower demand areas. Some violation fees also would increase.

Ferguson
Emanuele Berry

A handful community leaders publicly introduced the “Joint Community Relations Group” at Greater St. Mark Family Church on Wednesday. The people involved have been meeting privately during the past several weeks to discuss “strategies and tactics” to deal with the issues surrounding Ferguson.

The group consists of more than 50 politicians, police officials, clergy and activists.

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