Missouri Minute: Missouri House Speaker launches Hyperloop task force; upbeat CEOs cause disappointment in investors

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On Tuesday, Nobel Laureate George P. Smith, a University of Missouri professor emeritus, announced he’ll give his Nobel prize money to the university to fund needs-based scholarships. Odds are you aren’t a Nobel Laureate, but if you were, what would you do with the prize money?

As you let that thought simmer, read about earnings call sentiments, the “archaic” construction industry and revised St. Louis jobs numbers.

From our newsroom

Square co-founder’s latest target? Media’s ‘broken’ business model
Jim McKelvey, a St. Louis native and serial entrepreneur, hopes to fix what he calls a “broken” economic model for online publishing through his latest venture, Invisibly.

Southwest serves KC, St. Louis with Boeing 737 Max 8
One of the country’s largest airlines operates the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in and out of Missouri’s two main airports. The aircraft has been involved in two deadly crashes in the last five months.

Stay alert

Hyperloop could make Missouri ‘global epicenter’ for research, development
House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, launched a high-level task force to calculate the feasibility of a high-speed link between St. Louis and Kansas City. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Impact, transparency and supportive environment critical to NextGen workforce
Young workers strive to make a meaningful impact and expect employers to leave room for a life outside of the office, entrepreneurs said at a Startland News panel discussion. (Startland News)

Upbeat CEOs cause disappointment in investors, WashU professors find
Two Washington University professors co-authored a paper that measured manager sentiment based on conference calls and annual reports. Upbeat words can be a “strong negative predictor” of future returns. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri lawmaker asks state to study effectiveness of welfare
Rep. Herman Morse, R-Dexter, wants to determine if low-income Missourians rely on welfare as a “family tradition.” Missouri’s poverty average is above the national average. (Columbia Missourian)

Lenexa-based WellSky health care technology to be used by Florida health system
The electronic health records technology will support hospice, palliative care and home health in at least 25 facilities. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Kansas City construction hampered by winter weather
Nonresidential construction starts hit $106 million in January, a drop from $195 million last year. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Say that again

“The challenges in our industry is that construction methods are so archaic. We really see (clean construction) as a trend and we’re really bullish going into this year. We think this is going to be an incredible year.”
André Davis is a business development executive at Built Interior Construction in Kansas City that specializes in precision-cutting construction methods. He says that cleaner, more durable design is the way of the future for his company and the construction industry as a whole, Startland News reports.

Go figure

That’s how many jobs were added in the St. Louis metro area last year, significantly less than an early estimate of 18,700, according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report on revised BLS statistics. However, initial estimates for January 2019 suggest St. Louis gained 8,700 jobs, which would be the most in a single month for the metro area’s job market since 1990.

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Sen. Josh Hawley spoke about Google and other tech giants’ use of user data in a recent discussion about an online privacy bill he is sponsoring in the U.S. Senate. The first-year Republican Senator from Missouri has been vocal about big tech since taking office.

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