JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri’s automotive industry continues to grow and create jobs with the expansion of JASPER Engines & Transmissions in Howell County, Gov. Nixon announced today. Automotive supplier JASPER will embark on a $2.5 million expansion to increase the size of its facility and workforce with the expected creation of 24 new jobs in the area.
According to an updated report by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), at least 64 auto supply companies, like JASPER, have added or announced plans to add 4,812 new jobs and make over $745 million in direct capital investments in Missouri since 2010. In addition, employment at Ford and GM’s Missouri plants has more than doubled over the same period.
“The resurgence of Missouri auto manufacturing can be seen all across our state – in big cities and small towns alike,” Gov. Nixon said. “Today’s announcement of new jobs and new investments in Howell County is another testament to the bipartisan effort that brought Missouri’s auto industry back from the brink. With fiscal discipline and smart investments, Missouri will continue to lead rebirth of the American auto industry from the heartland.”
Gov. Nixon has made revitalizing Missouri’s auto industry a top priority. On his very first full day in office, the Governor established an Automotive Jobs Task Force. He also traveled to Detroit to meet personally with automotive industry executives and UAW leaders. And in the summer of 2010, Gov. Nixon called the General Assembly into a special session to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, fiscally responsible legislation to help attract next-generation automotive vehicle production to the state.
As a result of these efforts, vehicle production in the state has seen major growth. Ford and General Motors have invested a combined $1.6 billion and more than doubled the size of their workforces to produce all-new next-generation vehicles at their facilities in Claycomo and Wentzville.
Expansions by automakers have also led to increased demand for automotive parts, strengthening Missouri’s automotive supplier network and providing a significant boost to the state’s economy.
According to MERIC, the 16,247 new and retained jobs at automotive plants and parts suppliers in Missouri, along with $2.36 billion in capital investments, are expected to support an additional 25,767 jobs in the state. These jobs and investment spending will also cumulatively support $11.0 billion in personal income and $18.1 billion in Gross Domestic Product.
The Center for Automotive Research also shows Missouri has the 7th most automotive establishments in the nation and has continually been a top 10 state for vehicle production.
Based in Indiana, JASPER has been remanufacturing quality automotive drivetrain products, including engines and transmissions, since 1942. The company opened its facility in Willow Springs in 2004 where it specializes in the remanufacture of gasoline engines and light duty transmissions for the automotive industry. JASPER will construct two additions onto the facility.
“Our Willow Springs expansion will help JASPER build on the success we have experienced for our ESOP Associate Owners by allowing JASPER to increase production capacity,” said Zach Bawel, President of JASPER Engines & Transmissions. “The Willow Springs facility is a key part of our annual growth plans for JASPER and we look forward to its completion. State and local officials along with our dedicated Associate Owners helped make this expansion a reality.”
The additional 30,000 sq. ft. of space will allow the company to remove warehousing operations from the existing facility and provide room for a new gasoline engine manufacturing cell, additional parts salvage operations, and the ability to reconfigure existing gas and transmission manufacturing lines to increase production volumes. JASPER also has sales branches in St. Louis and Kansas City.
To assist JASPER with its expansion in Willow Springs, the Missouri Department of Economic Development has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation and investment criteria.
Experience Missouri’s automotive industry comeback by viewing an online interactive timeline at governor.mo.gov/auto.