Missouri Economic Development: Showing The Way
The Show Me State is ideally positioned to attract businesses. G. Subash Alias, CEO, Missouri Partnership, shares his outlook for the partnership and the state.
By the BF Staff
From the March/April 2022 Issue
G. Subash Alias, CEO, Missouri Partnership
Business Facilities: What can you tell us about Missouri Partnership and what is happening right now in terms of economic development?
G. Subash Alias: Missouri Partnership is an economic development organization that specializes in helping businesses select the most strategic location in Missouri to serve as a new business investment, expansion, or relocation destination. Since 2008, Missouri Partnership has played a vital role in the creation of 29,000+ new jobs, $1.5 billion+ in new annual payroll, and $4 billion+ in new capital investment by working with partners statewide to attract companies to the state.
In Missouri, we are currently seeing significant activity from companies across all sectors. But many of our recent projects have been in distribution and logistics, manufacturing, and the food industry.
BF: Why should companies consider Missouri at this point?
SA: The opportunities are endless in Missouri—from the state’s low business costs to its location in the center of North America, Missouri is extremely appealing to businesses around the world.
Workforce is top of mind for every company right now, and Missouri is first in the nation for on-the-job training and second in the U.S. for most completed apprenticeships. Businesses can operate in Missouri at a much lower cost than in other states. Additionally, Missouri has the third lowest corporate income tax index in the U.S., and real estate is available and affordable.
Missouri is often the first U.S. location for international companies expanding into the U.S. market. In fact, Missouri had the third fastest foreign direct investment employment growth in the U.S. and is home to 700+ international companies from 41 different countries.
BF: Can you share some recent success stories?
SA: Missouri is celebrating exciting new investments from global companies in every corner of the state. In Missouri Northeast, Verde Resources—a commercial producer and wholesaler of regenerative compost—just announced a $5.6 million investment to establish a facility capable of processing 100 tons of organic bio-waste per day which will significantly reduce greenhouse gases produced in the dairy and livestock industries. The company uses cutting-edge technology which will bolster the state’s position as a leader in agriculture, a $94 billion industry in the state.
Deli Star just cut the ribbon on a new food facility in St. Louis, investing nearly $100 million in the region. In Kansas City, online pet retailer Chewy recently opened its $143 million distribution center.
BF: What are the new programs/initiatives geared toward economic development?
SA: Missouri is prioritizing investment in broadband improvements at unprecedented levels to ensure companies and talent are connected. With remote work increasing, the state is committed to this initiative.
Workforce development remains a priority for the state. Hands-on training is crucial, and with the state ranking first in the U.S. for on-the-job training, it’s evident that Missouri’s efforts to develop and train a skilled workforce are paying off.
BF: What are some challenges that lie ahead?
SA: Employers face the challenge of attracting and retaining skilled workers. The U.S. Department of Labor reports a record-breaking 47 million people voluntarily left their jobs amid the Great Resignation in 2021. Every state in the U.S. has to be creative in filling talent pipelines for companies, and Missouri is using a combination of customized training, world-class colleges, creative recruitment systems, and apprenticeships.