The bipartisan Missouri Works strategy provides specific tools to create new jobs in the automotive supplier industry, Gov. Jay Nixon said today during a visit to Spartan Light Metal Products Inc. in Mexico, Mo.
In his State of the State Address last week, Gov. Nixon detailed Missouri Works, a specific strategy to create jobs and career opportunities in the new economy. A key pillar of Missouri Works is growing more auto supplier jobs across Missouri.
This week, a bipartisan coalition of Senators and Representatives introduced legislation to implement the auto supplier proposal contained in Missouri Works. Sponsors of the Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 691, include Minority Floor Leader Sen. Victor Callahan (D-Independence) and Sen. Kevin Engler (R-Farmington), chair of the Senate Financial and Governmental Organizations Committee.
The lead sponsor of the House version of the bill, House Bill 1455, is Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger, (R-Lake Saint Louis), chair of the House Local Government Committee. Other sponsors include House Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville); Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones (R-Eureka); Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-Gladstone), the chair of the House International Trade and Job Creation Committee; House Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City); House Assistant Minority Floor Leader Tishaura Jones (D-St. Louis); House Minority Whip Mike Colona (D-St. Louis); Rep. Stephen Webber (D-Columbia), ranking member on the House Economic Development Committee; and Rep. Bert Atkins (D-Florissant), chair of the House Labor Caucus.
"The rebirth of the American auto industry is underway here in Missouri, and we have an unprecedented opportunity to grow and expand the auto supplier network throughout our state," Gov. Nixon said. "As Ford and GM invest a combined $1.5 billion to create 3,200 new jobs in Missouri, we must build on this investment to expand our network of existing suppliers and bring new suppliers to the state. Our bipartisan Missouri Works strategy includes specific tools to grow new auto supplier jobs in Missouri, and I look forward to working with folks on both sides of the aisle to get this bill to my desk as quickly as possible."
This bipartisan legislation will provide economic tools to help existing automotive suppliers expand and to bring new suppliers to our state. Under the legislation, suppliers will be eligible for economic incentives if they meet specific requirements for job-creation and capital investment. Employers must pay wages equal to or above the county average and provide health insurance benefits to employees.
Automotive suppliers considering expansion in or relocation to Missouri can obtain information about state incentives, training programs, the state's business climate and more at a special portal: http://ded.mo.gov/auto.
"Missouri's automotive industry touches every corner of our state, from our biggest cities to the rural and outskirt areas I represent. Auto suppliers provide jobs for tens of thousands of Missouri workers, and at this critical time, we have the opportunity to create good-paying jobs for even more," Sen. Engler said. "This legislation will give us new tools to bring more supplier jobs to smaller communities all across our state, and I'll work closely with colleagues from both parties to get this important bill across the finish line."
"The investment by major auto manufacturers like Ford gives us a tremendous opportunity to create jobs at suppliers in Kansas City and across our state," Sen. Callahan said. "I look forward to working with Gov. Nixon and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity for middle-class Missouri families."
"Two years ago, legislators on both sides of the aisle came together to pass the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, which has sparked dramatic growth in our state's auto industry," Speaker Tilley said. "This year, as Ford and GM make historic investments in Missouri, we are committed to coming together once again to help our auto supplier network grow. We look forward to working closely with Gov. Nixon and legislators from both parties on this critical priority."
"Creating jobs and putting Missourians back to work is our top priority," said Rep. Talboy, the House Democratic Leader. "This bipartisan legislation will give us important new tools to help existing auto suppliers expand and to bring new suppliers to our state during a time of critical growth in our automotive industry. We commend Gov. Nixon for his leadership on this vital legislation, and we will work with him and with our Republican colleagues every step of the way."
Spartan Light Metals is an industry leader in designing, engineering and manufacturing aluminum and magnesium custom die castings. The company supplies Ford and a number of other automobile manufacturers. Spartan was established in Sparta, Ill., in 1961. The company opened its facility in Mexico, Mo., in 1995 and currently employs 280 workers. The company has additional locations in St. Louis and Hannibal.