Established Success

Missouri's Proud Advanced Manufacturing History

Missouri has deep roots in the advanced manufacturing sector and a pro-business environment that make it a bright spot in the future of the industry. Every link in Missouri’s vast supply chain makes the state a better place to do business.

A large, skilled workforce means you can expect higher productivity, as well as a higher quality product. A top-ranked transportation network gets products to market quickly. A central location keeps shipping costs low. And low business and labor costs do even more to make the State of Missouri the perfect environment for your manufacturing business.

Nearly 10% of Missouri’s workforce is currently employed in manufacturing.

Manufacturing Chart

Manufacturing in Missouri

The two largest Advanced Manufacturing sectors are Aerospace and Transportation Equipment.  The aerospace product and parts manufacturing sector includes companies manufacturing aircrafts, aircraft engines, other aircraft parts, guided missile and space vehicles, space vehicle propulsion units and other guided missile and space vehicle parts. 

Aerospace products and parts represent 7% of all Missouri Advanced Manufacturing exports and 13.5% of the sector’s employment.  The largest customer of the aerospace industry has traditionally been the Federal Government.

The Transportation Equipment group includes ship and boat construction, railroad rolling stock, and other vehicles.  Other vehicles included in this sector motorcycle, bicycle, and parts manufacturing as well as military armored vehicle and tank manufacturing. 

Other major manufacturing industries that top Missouri’s list of exports include:

  • Engines, Turbines, and Power Transmission Equipment
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Rubber Products
  • Architectural and Structural Metals
  • HVAC and Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
  • Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing
  • Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Mfg
  • Plastics Product Manufacturing

Top Manufacturing Sectors

Recent Industry Expansions

Missouri's robust manufacturing culture is why so many companies have found success here and made the decision to grow their operation.  Recent examples include:

  • American Performance Technologies: (Kansas City) The manufacturer of motor scooters and other small-engine products under the Motovox brand announced a $26 million expansion and plans to hire 250 at their Kansas City facility. 
  • Exergonix: (Kansas City) The battery storage system manufacturer announced it had selected Lee's Summit for its headquarters and manufacturing operations, expected to create a minimum of 150 new jobs.
  • Paul Mueller: (Springfield) The company, a manufacturer of stainless steel tanks, processing systems and equipment for the food, dairy, beverage, chemical, biofuels, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and pure water industries, recently announced that it would add up to 289 jobs to its Springfield operations to meet a backlog of demand for its products.

Advanced Manufacturers in Missouri

In 2014, ten Missouri manufacturers were included in the Fortune 1000 including Emerson Electric, Monsanto, Leggett & Platt, Energizer Holdings, Inc., DST Systems, Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, Belden, Olin Corporation, Arch Coal, Inc. and Brown Show Company, Inc.

The top five manufacturing employers in Missouri are Boeing, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Ford Motor Company, Monsanto, and Alliant Techsystems.

Advanced manufacturers in Missouri include:

Eastern Region

Boeing Defense, Space & Security Unit: (HQ St. Louis) Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security unit includes military aircraft as well as missiles, airborne lasers, and Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles (UCAVs). The unit is also NASA's prime contractor for the International Space Station and makes information and communications satellite systems.

Emerson Electric Co.: (HQ St. Louis) Emerson makes a host of electrical, electromechanical, and electronic products, many of which are used to control gases, liquids, and electricity. The company gathers its 60-plus business units and divisions under eight Emerson Brands. It has more than 250 manufacturing locations, with about 165 locations outside of the US.

Energizer: (HQ St. Louis) Energizer Holdings manufactures and markets dry cell batteries, flashlights and personal care and hygiene products. The company makes lithium, alkaline and carbon zinc batteries, miniature batteries, specialty photo lithium batteries, rechargeable batteries and flashlights and other lighting products through its Energizer, Inc. subsidiary.

General Motors: (St. Louis) General Motors’ Wentzville plant produces the Chevy Express & GMC Savana vans. The plant opened in 1983, and it has been the Harbour Report North America "Most Productive Full Size Van Plant" every year since 2003. In September of 2011, General Motors announced a $380 million investment into its Wentzville plant, adding 1,850 jobs and a new pickup line for the Chevy Colorado.

GKN Aerospace North America: (St. Louis) GKN Aerospace North America is a first-tier supplier of structures, components, assemblies and engineering services to aircraft and aero engine manufacturers.

Lear Operations: (Wentzville) Lear is a leading global supplier of automotive seating systems and electrical power management systems.

LMI Aerospace: (HQ St. Louis) LMI Aerospace makes key airplane structures such as door and cockpit window frames, wing leading-edge skins, fuselage skins, and interior components. 

MEMC Electronic Materials: (HQ St. Louis) MEMC designs, manufactures, and sells silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry worldwide. The company’s products are used as the starting material in the manufacture of various semiconductor devices, including microprocessor, memory, logic, and power devices, as well as solar cells.

SRG Global: (Farmington and Portageville) SRG Global manufactures plastic and metal components for the global automotive industry. The company operates 2 manufacturing facilities in Missouri supplying grilles, bodyside moldings, nameplates, and other trim products to automotive manufacturers.

TG Missouri Corp.: (HQ Perryville) TG Missouri Corp.’s products include steering wheels, airbags, side molding, interior and exterior plastic trim components for automobiles. The company is affiliated with Toyoda Gosei. In 2012, TG Missouri announced a $39 million expansion, with plans to add 200 jobs to their auto supply plant in Perryville over the next five years. The company is adding the production line as part of a new contract to supply chrome components to Toyota's plant in Princeton, Ind. The components will be used for grills and rear details for the Toyota Highlander.

Zoltek: (HQ St. Louis) Zoltek engages in the development, manufacture, and marketing of carbon fibers for various applications, including automotive.

Central Region

EaglePicher Technologies: (Joplin) EaglePicher Technologies manufactures a diverse array of specialty energy storage technologies, including alternative energy storage systems for utility grid enhancement, as well as batteries for missiles, submunitions, mines, sonobuoys, fuzes, and aerospace power backups. EaglePicher is the only manufacturer of nickel hydrogen batteries, used to power satellites, in the United States.

Hayes Lemmerz International, Inc.: (Sedalia) Hayes Lemmerz International is the world's #1 manufacturer of fabricated steel and cast aluminum wheels for passenger cars and light rail trucks, as well as steel wheels for commercial trucks and trailers. Their Sedalia plant employs over 500 Missourians.

Leggett & Platt, Inc.: (HQ Carthage) Leggett & Platt, which pioneered sleep technology when it introduced its bedspring more than 125 years ago, is an S&P 500 diversified manufacturer. Serving a broad suite of customers, Leggett & Platt conceives, designs, and produces an array of products that can be found in most homes, offices, and vehicles.

Maxion Wheels: (Sedalia) Maxion Wheels is the world's #1 manufacturer of fabricated steel and cast aluminum wheels for passenger cars and light trucks, and steel wheels for commercial trucks and trailers. Their Sedalia plant employs over 500 Missourians.

Westar Aerospace & Defense: (St. Louis and Ft. Leonard Wood) Westar Aerospace and Defense Group, a subsidiary of QinetiQ North America, is a leading systems engineering contractor delivering engineering, software solutions, logistics information management and IT technical support services to the U.S. Department of Defense, allied governments and select commercial customers.

Mid-Am Building Supply: Mid-Am Building Supply is a wholesale distributor of building materials to lumber dealers. Mid-Am offers products including but not limited to interior and exterior doors, windows, siding, roofing, insulation, fasteners, cabinets, moldings, locks and many other items. The company delivers these products to its customers on modern, curtain-side tractor-trailer trucks throughout the week.

Spartan Light Metal Products: Spartan Light Metal Products is a family owned aluminum and magnesium die cast manufacturing company with expertise in machining & assembly as well as design & analysis. As a global leader in light metal technology, Spartan provides engineered solutions and products to major automotive manufacturers such as Toyota, Ford, GM, Honda, and Volkswagen as well as to other commercial companies including Hydro-Gear.

Western Region

Dow/Kokam: (Lee’s Summit) Dow/Kokam's new global battery research and development center aims to bring next-generation lithium-ion battery solutions to the market faster, increase battery performance and reduce their overall cost.

EnerSys: (Kansas City, Maryland Heights, Lee's Summit) Enersys manufactures and distributes power, reserve power, aerospace/defense, and specialty batteries.

Ford: (Kansas City) Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant, one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the world, produces the Mazda Tribute and Ford F-150. The plant began production in 1957. In 2011, Ford announced a $1.1 billion investment in the facility, adding a second manufacturing line for the F-150 pickup truck in 2012 and bringing in a new product, the Transit commercial van, in 2013. The investment will create 1,600 new jobs.

Harley-Davidson: (Kansas City) The 358,000-square-foot Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operations in Kansas City, Mo. was built in 1998. Kansas City employees produce the Sportster, Dyna and VRSC families of motorcycles from fabrication and finishing through final assembly.

Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies LLC: (Kansas City) Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies’ Kansas City Plant is at the heart of the NNSA nuclear security organization. In 2009, the plant was honored with the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award based in part on the fact that the combined product quality and reliability performance level has been at 99.9 percent for traditional customers during the past three years.

Kawasaki: (Maryville) In 1989, the Maryville Kawasaki Plant was opened for production of general purpose engines. The Maryville facility has grown to over 700,000 square feet on 113.7 acres of land employing over 600 people.

Paul Mueller: (HQ Springfield) The company, a manufacturer of stainless steel tanks, processing systems and equipment for the food, dairy, beverage, chemical, biofuels, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and pure water industries, recently announced that it would add up to 289 jobs to its Springfield operations to meet a backlog of demand for its products.

Peterson Manufacturing Company: (HQ Kansas City) Peterson Manufacturing is primarily a maker of automotive and trailer lighting products.  The company also makes automotive mirrors. Lighting customers include Harley-Davidson, Caterpillar, and O'Reilly Automotive.

Smith Electric Vehicles: (HQ Kansas City) Smith Electric Vehicles began production of their Newton electric truck at their new assembly facility in Kansas City in October 2009. The Kansas City plant is currently SEV’s only North American plant.

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