Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth

In 2010, Gov. Jay Nixon launched the Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth. The Initiative engaged representatives from business, labor, higher education, and economic development across the state to chart a path for transforming Missouri’s economy into a long-term, sustainable, 21st century growth economy. The report identified industries that were poised for growth with the most promising chance for next generation job creation. The department targets its resources and tools to help businesses in these sectors grow. 

Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth Report

Executive Summary

FACT SHEET: Transforming Missouri's Economy for the 21st Century

Missouri’s 8 Most Targeted Industries

Read Target Cluster and Marketing Analysis

Automotive Suppliers – Missouri’s automotive industry has two major automotive manufacturing plants in General Motors and Ford. With these two powerhouse companies, both expanding several times since 2011, naturally auto suppliers are moving to the Show-Me State. In fact, more than 15 automotive manufacturers and suppliers have announced expansions in Missouri since 2010. Missouri is also a top 10 state for automotive vehicle production and has 17 freight railroads totaling more than 4,000 miles.

Advanced Manufacturing –The Advanced Manufacturing industry is home to a wide variety of successful companies in Missouri. With 133 Enhanced Enterprise Zones and its impressive top 10 pro-business state ranking five years in a row, Missouri has proven its success in this industry. Missouri also has 13 specialized knowledge centers related to automotive, aerospace and other advanced manufacturing industries.

Biosciences – Missouri is home to 28 bioscience centers and 12 bioscience incubators. Additionally, the University of Missouri is one of only a few schools in the U.S. with specialties in medicine, agriculture, and veterinary medicine on one campus, and the School of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis is continually ranked among the top in the country. Also, did you know that Kansas City area companies account for more than half of total worldwide animal health, diagnostics, and pet food sales? Or that the St. Louis region is home to the largest concentration of plant scientists?

Information Technology –Missouri has over 2,000 miles of high-speed fiber optics, as well as a lower industrial electricity rate than the national average. Kansas City, Mo., was also the first community in the U.S. to receive Google Fiber. Additionally, Missouri’s industrial electricity costs averaged 6.14 cents/kWh in 2013, which is lower than the national average.

Energy Solutions – With the 3rd best energy solutions employment in the Midwest and the 4th best nationwide for optimal solar energy deployment, Missouri is one of the best states to start, manage or grow a business in the energy solutions industry. Educational programs at the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Technology (MARET) Center at Crowder College in Neosho include certification and transfer degrees encompassing green construction, solar thermal energy, solar electricity, wind, and biofuels. Missouri also has specialized wind and solar energy training programs across the state, including Electrical Connection, the largest Midwest resource for training electricians and communication technicians. Additionally, State Technical College of Missouri offers a nuclear technology degree option, which produces a skilled workforce in areas such as: advanced manufacturing, medical facilities, research reactors, nuclear power industry, hazardous waste removal companies, and government agencies.

Transportation & Logistics – Missouri is home to some of the lowest gas and diesel tax rates in the nation. The state is also within a two-day drive of most of the country, and borders eight states, tied with Tennessee for the most of any U.S. state. Additionally, Missouri is home to two major waterways, the Missouri and Mississippi River, and 14 public ports, along with three Foreign Trade Zones, which are located in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield.

Financial & Professional Services –Why should you do business in Missouri? In 2014, Missouri was rated the No. 1 state for banking, along with the BEST in new corporate facilities and expansions in the west north central region. Missouri is the only state with two Federal Reserve banks, located in Kansas City and St. Louis. We are also home to the regional headquarters of several large banks, including Bank of America, Regions Bank, and U.S. Bancorp, as well as the headquarters for Commerce Bank, Central Bank, and UMB Bank. Additionally, Missouri has the 7th best property tax index in the U.S., and is home to a number of nationally-recognized higher education business programs.

Health Sciences & Services –Missouri is home to top-ranked hospitals, St. Louis Children’s & Children’s Mercy, and also has 94,000 licensed RN’s and LPN’s. The state also has six medical schools, including Washington University in St. Louis, ranked as the 6th best by U.S. News and World Report. The state has three major healthcare corporations headquartered in Missouri, Cerner Corporation, Express Scripts, and Lumeris. Missouri is home to four of the top 10 nursing schools in the country, which include the University of Missouri-Columbia (No.1), Southeast Missouri State University (No.4), Truman State University (No.6), and Missouri Southern State University (No.7). Lastly, A.T. Still University in Kirksville is home to the nation’s first school of osteopathic medicine.

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