Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Missouri

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon built much of his State of the State address Wednesday around economic success stories and lists of company expansions, with manufacturing (and Ford Motor Co.) leading the way.

Nordic Windpower USA, is relocating from California to Kansas City. It plans to invest $16 million and create 200 jobs, making wind turbines that produce clean, renewable energy.

Express Scripts is investing $73 million to expand in St. Louis. That will preserve more than 1,000 jobs, and create 150 more.

Pioneer Hi-Bred has broken ground on a $55 million soybean research plant in New Madrid County, creating 50 new jobs and helping thousands of Missouri farmers grow better beans.

Going forward, we will fight every day to help established Missouri businesses grow, and help new ones take root. We’re going to make things in Missouri, and keep the “P” for products in GDP.

Products like:

  • Boots at Redwing in Potosi;
  • Batteries at Energizer in Maryville;
  • Windows at Quaker Windows in Freeburg;
  • Aluminum at Noranda in Marston;
  • Engine parts at Bodine in Troy;
  • Bullets and brakes, aircraft and appliances.

And Missouri will keep on building things, and that includes automobiles.

Here the governor, a Democrat, was able to turn to a huge success story, that one he can tell in parternship wtih Ford Motor Co. Gov. Nixon reminded the audience of Missouri’s tradition strengths as an automative state, an industry supports nearly 26,000 jobs in the state. But given the downturn of the auto sector, there was real concern last year that Ford’s Claycomo plant might close.

So last summer, I called the General Assembly into special session to strengthen Missouri’s automotive industry. We fought for every man and woman whose job was on the line. And I’m proud to announce that working together, we won that fight.

Yesterday, I inked a deal with the Ford Motor Company that guarantees thousands of jobs, $400 million of new capital investment, and a bright future for the Ford plant in Claycomo.

With us tonight to celebrate this partnership is Ford’s director of strategic planning, Steve Lewis. Steve, please stand up and say hello.

It sure feels nice to be at the wheel when the U.S. auto industry turns a corner.

Isn’t that the truth? Our congratulations go to the governor, lawmakers, the people of Missouri and, of course, Ford Motor Co.

The company issued a news release earlier in the week, “Ford Commits to Invest $400 Million, Retain Jobs in Kansas City to Support New Vehicle Production“:

  • Ford commits to build a new vehicle at its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri after current model Ford Escape production moves to the company’s Louisville Assembly Plant and retooling of the Kansas City facility is completed
  • Ford will invest $400 million in its Kansas City facility to upgrade the plant and accommodate production of the new vehicle, while retaining full-time employment of 3,750
  • Based on the company’s commitment to this investment level and job retention, the state of Missouri approved tax incentives that played a role in Ford’s decision
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