Missouri DED: Cerner leads way as KC companies drive recent job creation

Missouri’s economic development has kicked into high gear over the last 12 months, and Kansas City was the biggest beneficiary.

From July 2013 through June 2014, 63 companies announced expansion projects expected to create nearly 24,000 new jobs and involve more than $5 billion in capital investment in Missouri, according to the Department of Economic Development.

Approximately one-third of those projects, accounting for 87 percent of the job creation and 90 percent of the capital investment, are planned for Kansas City.

The Department of Economic Development’s list of company expansions in Missouri during the last 12 months is visualized below. Click on a circle or hover over a circle to see details. Toggle between jobs and investment using the “Visible Layers” button in the top right corner. The DED said the list excludes companies that preferred to not have their expansion publicly announced.

North Kansas City-based Cerner led the way in jobs and capital with its announcement of a record-breaking $4.45 billion expansion along Interstate 435 in south Kansas City. The health care information technology company is seeking $110 million of tax increment financing in addition to a $1.63 billion package approved by the city in December.

Burns and McDonnell’s $130 million office addition next to its world headquarters in Kansas City will accommodate 2,100 new employees it plans to hire over the next decade. The move will bring the engineering firm’s total Kansas City workforce to 4,700.

Even without Cerner’s unprecedented numbers, the Kansas City area still accounted for 61 percent of the state’s new jobs and 43 percent of its capital investment.

A new aircraft maintenance facility for Everett, Wash.-based Aviation Technical Services and the headquarters for marketing firm Targeted Metrics will combine to bring more than 1,000 more jobs to the Kansas City area during the next five years.

Manufacturing companies also played a significant role in Kansas City’s development, especially in the automotive sector.

LMV Automotive Systems in March announced an additional $48.7 million investment into its existing Liberty operations, which supply parts to Ford Motor Co.’s assembly plant in Claycomo. Spanish firm Grupo Antolin’s new facility that produces headliners for the Ford Transit van employs more than 120 workers.

But factories weren’t limited to major cities. GAF Materials Corp. also announced plans to invest $149 million to build a roof shingle factory expected to employ 125 in Moberly.

Boeing led job creators in St. Louis over the same period with plans to open an information technology center that will hire at least 400 employees. Canada-based Pharma Medica Research’s first U.S. facility in St. Charles is expected to bring $30.8 million and 320 new jobs to the area.

The St. Louis area drew nearly 1,500 jobs and $144 million in investment overall.

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