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McCaskill kicking off statewide jobs tour in St. Louis area, Nixon also in town

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 8, 2011 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., plans to be on the road this week to stop at local businesses around the state as part of her focus -- and that of fellow Democrats -- on jobs.

Tuesday's events will include: Trinity Products, a pipe and billboard-parts firm in St. Charles; Bodine Aluminum, a foundry in Troy; and ABB Group in St. Louis. The latter is an engineering firm that advises customers on how best to "use electrical power effectively and to increase industrial productivity in a sustainable way," according to its website.

The senator's other stops are to be in Perryville, Jackson, Sikeston and Raytown. The visits come as Democrats on a national and state level -- including President Barack Obama and Gov. Jay Nixon -- are promoting efforts to create and sustain jobs during the sluggish economy. Democrats also are seeking to cast Republicans as focused more on debt reduction than job creation. 

McCaskill is running for re-election next year and currently faces at least two Republican rivals -- U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman -- who are claiming that their low-tax, less-government views are more likely to create jobs.

According to McCaskill's staff, during her stops, "representatives from local companies will have the opportunity to share ideas and concerns with McCaskill on how to continue expanding business and job opportunities across the state and how to stop jobs from being shipped overseas."

The firms exemplify Missouri's manufacturing base, which provides more than 400,000 jobs and injects more than $30 billion into the state's economy.

"When it comes to creating jobs, we don't need a Washington solution in Missouri ... we need a Missouri solution in Washington," McCaskill said. "I'm going to be hearing from our companies, and bringing ideas directly from the factory floor to the Senate to keep expanding jobs and business opportunities."

The events also will allow McCaskill to highlight her jobs-related activities in Senate. She points to a recent hearing she chaired for the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight.

Meanwhile, a fellow Democrat -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon -- will be back in the St. Louis area for his own pro-jobs event. The governor is to be at the Danforth Center "to announce that an international plant-science company will create 80 new jobs at its new facility in the Center's Bio-Research and Development Growth Park" in suburban St. Louis County.

Nixon is to be joined by area officials, and executives of the plant science center, as well as the heads of the new company, SyMyCo. 

Nixon -- who also will be on the November 2012 ballot -- was just in town last Thursday for a similar event highlighting new jobs at another young company in the health care industry.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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