Want Missouri’s top business news delivered to your inbox every weekday? Subscribe here.
As you get down to business today, get up to speed on a pair of employers opening new facilities in the Kansas City area, new legislation targeting a business model for video games, and a shakeup for Tech Stars Kansas City.
Core & Main to acquire fire protection firm
The $3.2 billion maker of water and fire protection products in St. Louis expects to add 300 employees on the East Coast through the acquisition of Long Island Pipe Supply. (St. Louis Business Journal)
Hostess to move Illinois distribution center to KC area
The Kansas City-based maker of Twinkies plans to open a facility at Logistics Park Kansas City in Edgerton, Kansas. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Bottled water company sets sights on new Kansas City facility
Niagara Bottling of California plans to build a roughly 427,000-square-foot manufacturing center in south Kansas City, potentially creating 100 new jobs in the area. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Mission Gateway construction to resume
Workers are expected to break ground next week on a 90,000-square foot entertainment center for Dallas-based Cinergy Entertainment. (Kansas City Star)
UMKC awards student startups $75,000 in prizes
The $20,000 top prizes went to Air Traffic Awareness, an aircraft collision prevention product, and DeepLens, a computer vision product. (Startland News)
St. Louis mulls economic development after merger effort folds
The “Better Together” campaign to unify St. Louis and St. Louis County has shuttered, but some economic development officials want to pursue more regional coordination. (St. Louis Public Radio)
Interstate 29 reopens in northwest Missouri
Sections of the interstate north of St. Joseph that closed after flooding in March reopened on Wednesday. (Missourinet)
Today’s graphic looks at an issue of critical importance for working parents: child care. About 54 percent of Missourians live in a “child care desert,” according to a report from the Center for American Progress. Child care deserts are defined as areas that have at least three times as many children under age 5 as they do slots with licensed child care providers.
Say that again
“Mentoring should be transformational, like a metamorphosis.”
Henry Wash, president of Kansas City nonprofit High Aspirations, credits much of his success to Henry Bloch, the late co-founder of H&R Block and his personal mentor. The two met in 2001, when Wash received a scholarship in Bloch’s name, Wash told KCUR. At Bloch’s urging, Wash founded High Aspirations, which now offers a mentorship program for African American boys between 8 and 18 years of age.
That is the portion of Boone County residential property owners who saw increased assessment of their property values this year, the Columbia Missourian reports. Much of the increase is due to recent reassessments that were aimed at balancing out property values in relation to fair market values.
Video game companies are using “pay-to-win” and “loot box” systems to addict children to their games and spend their parents money. The industry needs to be upfront about their role in America’s growing addiction economy & stop practices that exploit kids https://t.co/05AaGbojY8
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 8, 2019
Republican U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced a bill on Wednesday that would ban “pay-to-win” video games and apps from targeting children. In particular, the bill calls the practice “abusive” and takes aim at the once-viral mobile game Candy Crush, which offers limited free gameplay and asks users to pay to unlock additional features. Such business models have become commonplace in popular video games like Fortnite, a free-to-play online multiplayer game that sells in-game items for real-world cash.
Hello, my name is
The Techstars Kansas City managing director will take on a new leadership role with the startup accelerator’s affiliate in Indianapolis, Startland News reports. Although Mitchell will remain in Kansas City, her move to the Heritage Group Accelerator will indefinitely pause Techstars’ Kansas City program. It will not, however, interfere with Kansas City’s Techstars Startup Weekend in September.