Missouri Department of Economic Development | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Department of Economic Development

Missouri's H-2A Housing Inspections Missed Deficiencies For Years

Sep 5, 2019

Missouri’s process of inspecting migrant farmworkers’ housing is riddled with holes and easily abused, according to interviews and documents obtained by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and the Columbia Missourian.

Swiss Meat and Sausage has been butchering animals and selling meats in a small, unincorporated east-central Missouri town for 50 years. Co-owner Janice Thomas wants to expand, and to do that, she’ll need more business from out-of-town customers.

“If there is one place that has some room, it’s with our online ordering,” she said.

The community of Swiss has minimal internet access: It’s not high speed, and it’s unreliable.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson holds a press conference on Jan. 17, 2019, with members of his cabinet.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is scaling down the agencies and employees the Department of Economic Development oversees in an effort to better target its mission.

Gov. Mike Parson poses with organizers of the Best in Midwest and Talent for Tomorrow Summit on June 27 2018, where infrastructure and workforce development were top of the agenda.
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson outlined two priorities to drive the state’s economy during an appearance in St. Louis on Wednesday: workforce development and infrastructure.

The governor spoke at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center following an all-day summit convened to focus on the two issues. Parson urged the gathering of business and education officials from around the state to work together to prepare tomorrow’s workforce and to vote in November.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 16, 2011 - Gov. Jay Nixon says he plans to move swiftly to find a replacement for Missouri Economic Development Director David Kerr, who will be leaving his post as of Dec. 31.

Kerr has headed the department since November 2009. According to Kerr's statement, he wants to spend more time with his family "after well over 35 years in the public and private sectors."

Krewson: St. Louis putting together proposal to bring Amazon here

Sep 7, 2017
Amazon shipping center in Edwardsville
File photo | Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says the region is planning to make a “competitive bid” to bring Amazon’s second headquarters here.

The company said Thursday that it will spend more than $5 billion to build another headquarters in North America to house as many as 50,000 employees. It plans to stay in its sprawling Seattle headquarters and the new space will be "a full equal" of its current home, said founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated May 15 with comments from Gov. Greitens — Governor Eric Greitens says the Missouri Partnership will be funded.

The business recruiting arm of the state was expected to get $2.25 million in state funding, but Missouri legislators eliminated the line item completely in the budget for next fiscal year.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Mexico purchased $2.56 billion in Missouri goods in 2016.

That’s second only to Canada, Missouri’s top export partner, which spent $5.2 billion last year.

“Exports are important for a variety of reasons, and in terms of our manufacturers it’s critical,” said Ann Pardalos, the head of the state's International Trade and Investment Office.

A part of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Pardalos’ agency works to help small manufacturers and service providers look at global markets. One way they connect businesses to international markets is through trade fairs, including the Expo Manufactura held in Monterrey, Mexico, last week.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A state-run nonprofit corporation needs to improve its transparency, according to an audit released Thursday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 26, 2013 - Gov. Jay Nixon announced a changing-of-the-guard at the Department of Economic Development, the powerful agency in charge of divvying out economic development incentives.

Nixon, a Democrat, announced that Mike Downing would be serving as the “acting” director of the department. He will replace acting DED director Chris Pieper, who is rejoining Nixon’s staff as a senior policy and legal advisor.

KellyB. | Flickr

Missouri's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in nearly four years - good news for incumbent Jay Nixon with the election three weeks away.

The state Department of Economic Development announced this morning that the rate is 6.9 percent - down three-tenths of a point from August, and nearly three points below its recession-era peak in August of 2009.

The state says companies added 2,500 jobs in September, bringing the total number of new jobs this year to 24,700.

Nixon applauded the numbers in a statement:

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A state audit released today says that the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) could have done a better job of screening applicants for tax credits for the failed Mamtek project in Moberly.

Two years ago the small northeast Missouri town issued $39 million in bonds to get the company to build an artificial sweetener plant.  Mamtek later missed a bond payment and construction halted, and Moberly’s bond rating was downgraded as a result.  State Auditor Tom Schweich (R) said the due diligence procedures used by the DED were woefully inadequate.

Hall resigns as Mo. Dept. of Economic Development as confirmation deadline expires

Feb 2, 2012
(via Gov. Nixon's office / video screen capture)

Updated 1:49 p.m. with additional information from the Associated Press on other failed appointments.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced this morning that Jason Hall, Nixon's nominee to be the new director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, has resigned.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 2, 2012 - Gov. Jay Nixon's embattled choice to lead the Department of Economic Development is stepping aside amid the Missouri Senate's decision not to vote on his nomination.

Mo. senators scuttle nominee for economic director

Feb 1, 2012
(via Gov. Nixon's office / video screen capture)

Senate Republicans have scuttled Gov. Jay Nixon's nominee to direct the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

The Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee refused to vote Wednesday on confirming Jason Hall to head the department. Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer says he has no intention of bringing Hall up for a committee vote before the deadline to confirm him expires.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 1, 2012 - With the clock ticking, the Missouri Senate does not seem ready to act on Gov. Jay Nixon's choice to head up the state's Department of Economic Development.

The Democratic governor tapped attorney Jason Hall a few weeks ago to be his third economic development director, replacing David Kerr.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 31, 2011 - As he heads into his re-election bid, Gov. Jay Nixon has tapped a known quantity -- Jason Hall, executive director of the Missouri Technology Corporation -- to serve as the new director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Hall will handle economic development issues during the coming legislative session, the last before the November 2012 election.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri  Gov. Jay Nixon has picked the head of the state-funded Missouri Technology Corp. to be the state's third economic development director in less than four year.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two days of hearings are underway at the Missouri Capitol to explore why an artificial sweetener facility in Moberly never opened and why the small town’s bond rating took a hit.

The House Interim Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability is focusing on conflicting documents over the trustworthiness of the company Mamtek. Corey Mehaffy heads the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation. He testified that the state Department of Economic Development never shared emails with the city revealing that a DED official could not verify whether Mamtek had a functioning plant in China.

Kerr stepping down as Mo. Economic Development Dir.

Nov 15, 2011
(Mo. Dept. of Economic Development)

The director of Missouri's Department of Economic Development is stepping down at the end of the year.

In a news release Tuesday from Gov. Jay Nixon, department director David Kerr cited a desire to spend more time with his family after working for 35 years in the public and private sectors. Nixon said he would move quickly to select a new director.

Kerr took office in November 2009.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 18, 2011 - Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to head to China within days as part of a delegation seeking to encourage more trade, and the creation of a cargo hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

But the group will have to explain why the General Assembly killed an economic development package that, among other things, included tax incentives that were to demonstrate state support for the hub.

Mo. jobless rate falls slightly to 8.7 percent

Oct 14, 2011
(via Flickr/KellyB.)

A new report says Missouri's jobless rate edged lower last month despite a net loss of jobs.

The state Department of Economic Development said Friday that seasonally adjusted unemployment fell by one-tenth of a point in September to 8.7 percent.

The agency also says Missouri had a net loss of 4,000 nonfarm jobs in September. The biggest losses were in retail trade, financial activities, professional and business services and government.

Jobs were added in other sectors, including health care and social assistance, which grew by 3,300 jobs.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 12, 2011 - Next week could be the last chance for Missouri lawmakers to pass an economic development bill in the special session of the Missouri General Assembly.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

The unemployment rate in Missouri ticked down slightly last month, according to new data from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Missouri's rate last month was 8.8 percent, down from 8.9 percent in May 2011, and a sharp decrease from June 2010, when 9.2 percent of the state's citizen's were out of work.

The national rate for June stood at 9.2 percent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 11, 2011 - Gov. Jay Nixon began his week by trumpeting the latest positive movement in unemployment for Missouri, but his focus quickly shifted to a longer-range plan to boost the state's business and job prospects.

Missouri's jobless rate dropped to 9.1 percent in March, down from 9.4 percent in February, as the state added 24,300 jobs, including more than 13,000 in the St. Louis area and more than 6,000 in Kansas City.

Commentary: States shouldn't pick favorites

Oct 7, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 7, 2010 - Not surprisingly, every person who testified before the Missouri Tax Credit Commission during its regional meetings has spoken in favor of tax credit programs -- primarily because those people, who work in industries subsidized by state tax credits, directly benefit from the programs.

Tax credit programs defeat the purposes that supporters usually cite in their favor: encouraging employment and helping Missouri compete. In short, tax credits are a form of wealth redistribution -- we all bear the cost, but only special interests and favored industries benefit.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2009 - Three St. Louis area business leaders are part of a seven-person panel set up by Gov. Jay Nixon to help him select a new economic development director.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 3, 2009 - Standing in the midst of the city of St. Louis' largest bloc of undeveloped land, Gov. Jay Nixon joined St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay in announcing a massive -- and long-sought -- cleanup and development plan.

The site is 42 acres near the Mississippi River in deep South St. Louis that for at least a century was the home of a coke-production facility, most recently the Carondelet Coke Corp., which closed in 1988.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2009 - St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann says he wasn't offended when a top aide to Gov. Jay Nixon warned him of possible fallout if a county legislator succeeded in blocking the governor's choice for economic development director.

But Ehlmann added that he hoped Nixon and his staff learned something from the confrontation, which ended Tuesday when the state Senate approved local lawyer Linda Martinez for the post by a voice vote.