Missouri Minute: KC causes USDA dissent; Boeing plans St. Charles expansion

Good morning, MBA readers,

We begin today with a tale of agriculture jobs in two cities. In Kansas City, concern is growing as some 250 federal agriculture researchers have refused transfers to the area from their current offices in Washington. In the St. Louis area, Bayer plans to expand its foothold with 500 new jobs and a hefty capital investment. In other news, Boeing has announced an expansion of its own in the St. Louis area and the latest episode of the Pitchin’ podcast is now live. Scroll down for much more of the day’s business news.

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From our newsroom

Bayer announces capital investment, plans to hire 500 in Creve Coeur
Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday that Bayer’s North American crop sciences division will move 500 jobs with an average annual salary of $110,000 to Creve Coeur.

In Pitchin’ Episode 4, the big pitch finally arrives
In the latest episode of the Pitchin’ podcast, three entrepreneurs make last-minute modifications, perfect slide decks, brush up on judges and take the stage with a shot at $30,000 on the line.

From mentorship to salary, summit tackles issues for women in leadership
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s inaugural Women’s Leadership summit brought together businesswomen from across the state to address ways to help women advance in the workforce.

Stay alert

At least half of USDA researchers turn down KC transfer
As of Monday, 250 employees at the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture had declined to transfer to the agencies’ new headquarters in the Kansas City area. Meanwhile, 145 of the 500 workers initially slated for the move had accepted their transfer. (Kansas City Star)

Boeing plans $70 million expansion of St. Charles plant
Boeing plans to add a new building to its missile and munitions plant in St. Charles but does not plan on hiring new workers as part of the expansion. The company expects to get about $18 million in property tax abatement from the city. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Aratana shareholders approve $245 million sale
Shareholders of Aratana Therapeutics, a pet therapeutics firm based in Leawood, Kansas, voted Tuesday to approve a stock-for-stock sale of the company to Iowa’s Elanco Animal Health. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Bullard cast lone vote to cut Fed rates in June
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard was the sole dissenting vote when the Fed decided to keep the discount rate at 3% last month. Fed directors will meet again in two weeks and are expected to cut rates. (Reuters)

St. Louis County to reboot Jamestown Mall redevelopment
The St. Louis County Port Authority will void a previous agreement with Kansas City’s NorthPoint Development and issue a new call for proposals to redevelop the defunct 1.2-million-square-foot Jamestown Mall site. A federal search warrant for ex-county executive Steve Stenger’s phone revealed he discussed a bribe in relation to the deal. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC tech firm moving from Missouri to Kansas
DataFile Technologies, a health information firm, will move its headquarters and 90 workers to a new 35,000-square-foot office in Shawnee, Kansas. (Kansas City Business Journal)

$50 million apartment project proposed in St. Louis
The Clayton-based Koman Group has proposed a seven-story apartment complex with 200 units in the Central West End neighborhood. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

KC-area insurance broker acquires employee benefits division
Insurance broker Virtus has acquired the Kansas City employee benefits practice of Alabama-based insurer Cobbs Allen. Terms of the deal and number of employees moving to Virtus were not disclosed. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Louis-area accounting firm names three new partners
The Clayton-based accounting firm of Mueller Prost has named three senior managers as new partners: Caty Beilsmith, Stacy Campbell and Joel Hundelt. (St. Louis Business Journal)

ICE sets up shop in new Springfield office
A 12,000-square-foot building in Springfield will house U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and space for deportation proceedings. (Springfield News-Leader)

Word to the wise

Creative class
This term, coined by University of Toronto professor Richard Florida in his book “The Rise of the Creative Class,” refers to a rapidly growing number of workers in arts, business education, health care, law, science and technology fields. Between 2005 and 2017, the creative class in the U.S. grew 27.7%, or twice as fast as the overall U.S. workforce. In that time, St. Louis’ creative class experienced among the fastest growth rates in the nation.

Say that again

“We invested in you, now it’s your turn to invest in us.”

That’s United Auto Workers President Gary Jones at a joint event with General Motors executives on Tuesday. The UAW and GM are in talks to negotiate a new four-year contract, which is likely to turn contentious due to rising health care costs, job security issues and the use of temporary workers, Reuters reports. GM has drawn fire from the union since it announced the closure of five North American plants late last year. The company operates an assembly plant in Wentzville, where it began hiring 300 part-time temporary workers last month.

Go figure

That’s how much Greene County will pay to buy the historic Tefft building from the Springfield School Board, the Springfield News-Leader reports. In late May, the board declared the former school site as “surplus” property that is no longer needed by the district, thus clearing the way for a new owner. Tefft will become a permanent base for the Greene County Family Justice Center, which provides free services to victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse.

Hello, my name is

Brian Vieaux
St. Louis-based FinLocker has hired Vieaux, a former executive at Flagstar Bank in Michigan, as its new president, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The fintech startup provides a “personal financial assistant” that collects consumer financial data for banks and other financial institutions. The platform also analyzes the data and recommends financial transactions.

It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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