There’s lots of good news this week for job growth in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Economic Development recently released numbers for the state’s unemployment rate in October and it was all positive. Missouri’s unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in October, which is the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate the state has seen since July 2000. In comparison, the state unemployment rate was at 4.6 percent the same time last year, and the current national rate for the month of October is at 4.1 percent. Missouri’s seasonally adjusted rate has now been below the comparable national rate for 31 consecutive months. In total for the year, Missouri has seen nonfarm payroll employment increase by 30,700 jobs. The 51st District is also directly benefiting from job growth, the topic of the first section of news.
Governor Greitens and Nucor Announce Plans to Build Steel Rebar Micro-Mill in Sedalia
Tuesday, Sedalia played host to a special announcement that will boost economic development within and around the 51st District. At the event, Governor Eric Greitens and Nucor, the largest producer of steel in the United States, announced that the company will be investing at least $250 million to build a steel bar micro-mill in Sedalia. When completed, the new Nucor facility will create more than 250 high-paying jobs.
“This rebar micro-mill project is consistent with our long-term strategy for profitable growth and builds on our position as the low-cost producer,” said John Ferriola, Chairman, CEO & President of Nucor. “Strategically positioning this micro-mill in Sedalia will give us a sustained cost advantage over other domestic steel producers supplying rebar from outside the region.”
Nucor is 169th on the 2017 Fortune 500 list, reporting $16.2 billion in revenues in their last fiscal year. The company’s energy- efficient electric arc furnaces turn more than 17 million tons of scrap into new steel every year – making Nucor the largest recycler in all of North America.
“We are proud to welcome Nucor to our family in Sedalia,” Rusty Kahrs, president of Economic Development Sedalia Pettis County’s Board of Directors said. “This new facility will be transformative for our community, region and state, with millions of dollars in capital investment and the hundreds of jobs it will support both directly and indirectly in the area. With a rich culture that values hard work and putting employees first, Nucor’s new facility will be a great fit for our community.”
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, in August 2017 Nucor acquired St. Louis Cold Drawn Inc., a manufacturer that serves the U.S. and Mexican automotive and industrial markets. Nucor also has a facility in Maryville, Missouri, and the Sedalia site will be Nucor’s 14th bar mill in the United States.
“This was a highly competitive process to secure Nucor’s investment,” Steve Johnson, CEO of Missouri Partnership said. “We were competing with seven different states and our statewide team was able to show why Missouri is the place for them to invest and grow their company. It was a privilege to be part of the statewide team whose work will positively impact so many.” The statewide team included the governor’s office, the Missouri Departments of Economic Development, Natural Resources, Revenue, and Transportation, Sedalia-Pettis County Economic Development, City of Sedalia, Pettis County, KCP&L, Liberty Utilities, Union Pacific, and Missouri Partnership.
The project took advantage of the provisions within HB1 passed during the First Special Session of the General Assembly held the end of May. The bill allows electric rate negotiations for new manufacturers entering our state, a way to control costs and add jobs while protecting current customers.
Governor Greitens visited Sedalia on Tuesday to help announce the opening of a Nucor Steel plant in Pettis County. The facility will add 250 jobs at an average annual was of $65,000. The plant will also employ abut 450 temporary construction workers.
This week is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a holiday with a longstanding tradition in our lives as well as American history. However, despite the fact that the holiday goes back to the beginning of colonial times, it took almost two and a half centuries to become a national holiday.
The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in September, 1620. Obviously, at such a late point in the year they struggled to survive throughout the next year because of a lack of food. Fortunately for the new settlers, the Abnaki Indians of the area helped them understand how to grow and harvest food in the New World. Although the Pilgrims continued to struggle, those who survived decided to celebrate the fall harvest of 1621 and invited their neighbors. Harvest festivals go back to ancient times and were common throughout Europe in the Pilgrims’ time. It is hard for us to imagine today, but famine was on the doorstep of most people until very recent times.
Various thanksgiving-type celebrations were held throughout the colonies and in the early states. The Continental Congress called for a day of thanksgiving for the patriot victory at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. Subsequently, George Washington called for a day of thanksgiving in 1789 for the ratification of the Constitution. In 1817, New York proclaimed an annual Thanksgiving Day, and other states followed suit. In 1863, and in an effort to boost the morale of the Union troops, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving day. After the Civil War, Congress made this a yearly celebration in November. Franklin Roosevelt moved the date up one week to appease retailers as Christmas shopping traditionally goes into high gear the Friday after Thanksgiving (Black Friday).
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.