Missouri Minute: Aramark lays off 600 in KC;  FedEx Ground to double headcount at new KC facility

Hello, MBA readers,

As coronavirus-related job losses continue in some sectors, businesses in other industries are looking to hire to meet surging demand. Aramark, the food service vendor, has signaled plans to lay off or cut hours for more than 600 employees at Kauffman Stadium and the Kansas City Convention Center as events at big venues like those have all but disappeared. However, with CVS Health anticipating brisk business in the coming months due to COVID-19 and flu season, the pharmacy chain plans to hire 15,000 workers across the country and has several hundred jobs posted in Missouri. On a smaller scale, Chicago-based Optimas Solutions is opening a new facility in St. Louis County to distribute supplies like face masks and sanitizers. The location will start with just a couple of employees, but the company said it could grow to a headcount of 50 within two years.

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Food service provider to lay off more than 600 in Kansas City 
Aramark will lay off or reduce hours for bartenders, cooks, cashiers and other food-service workers at Kauffman Stadium and the Kansas City Convention Center. The cuts are a result of lost business due to the pandemic. (KCUR)

FedEx Ground to double employee count at new KC facility
The delivery company recently opened a package processing facility in the Northland Park intermodal facility with 300 employees, and now it will add nearly 300 more. Those jobs are part of more than 1,300 hires the company plans to make across the Kansas City area for the holiday season. (Kansas City Business Journal)

AMC to sell 15 million shares of stock 
The move comes as the global theater chain struggles amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kansas City-area company plans to use proceeds for purposes like paying down debt and capital expenses, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Louis County attracts new PPE distribution facility
Optimas Solutions will open a 30,000-square-foot location in Overland offering cleaning, maintenance and personal protective equipment products. The facility will start with two employees, but the company said it could grow to around 50 employees within two years. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)

Rawlings Sporting Goods to acquire Easton Diamond Sports
The Town and Country-based baseball and sports equipment manufacturer announced it will purchase its California-based competitor for an undisclosed amount. The companies said the deal will allow them to produce a wider range of products. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Netsmart Technologies buys health tech firm 
The Overland Park, Kansas-based health care IT company has acquired Tellus, a health technology firm that specializes in electronic visit verification. Netsmart said it plans to retain Tellus’ Florida headquarters and most of its 60 employees. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Springfield City Council delays bond vote for affordable housing project
The council voted to table a resolution for a $22 million bond issuance that would help finance renovation of about 300 multifamily housing units for low- and moderate-income residents. (Springfield Business Journal)

St. Louis startup Textel raises $4 million, targets growth 
St. Louis-based venture capital firm Cultivation Capita led the Series A funding round. Textel makes texting software for businesses. (St. Louis Business Journal)

UMB Capital expects healthy return on investment in plant-based food company
UMB Capital, an investment-focused subsidiary of UMB Bank, expects to make $42 million from an initial investment of $7 million in Tattooed Chef, a producer of plant-based foods that was recently acquired by a special purpose acquisition company. (Kansas City Business Journal)

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After more than half a year of widespread coronavirus precautions and restrictions in the U.S., many restaurants are struggling to stay above water. The National Restaurant Association recently estimated that nearly 100,000 restaurants will close their doors in 2020 and industry losses for the year will reach almost $240 billion.

Say that again

“Unfortunately, we have erased every bit of progress we’ve made this summer and fall.”

That’s Dr. Alex Garza, head of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, during a Monday update. Hospitals in the St. Louis region are close to being overwhelmed as increasing numbers of patients are admitted with the coronavirus, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Facilities operated by the region’s four biggest health care systems have been housing an average of about 340 confirmed COVID-19 patients daily, and about 50 people with the coronavirus are admitted each day, according to the task force. That marks an unwelcome change from the downward trend in hospitalizations in late summer, and it’s adding strain to the health care system as flu season sets in.

Go figure


CVS Health is looking to fill 15,000 jobs across the country to meet an anticipated increase in demand with COVID-19 and flu cases expected to rise during the fall and winter. More than 10,000 of those positions are for pharmacy technicians. The company also said it is recruiting “several thousand” customer service employees to work from home, and it identified Kansas City as one of the markets where it’s hiring those employees. CVS did not offer job counts for specific markets, but its website currently shows about 340 jobs within 20 miles of Kansas City and more than 230 within the same distance of St. Louis. The pharmacy chain has more than 200 locations across Missouri.

Hello my name is

Viracor Eurofins

This Lee’s Summit company has received emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its at-home COVID-19 diagnostic test. The test, which can be ordered for $89 online, is supposed to return results within 48 hours of the company receiving a sample, The Kansas City Star reports. A user collects a sample by rubbing a swab inside of both nostrils, but Viracor Eurofins representatives say their test is less invasive than other COVID-19 screening procedures that involve nasal swabs.

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


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