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 indentified 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.

Missouri’s 8 most targeted industries include:

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.


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?

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