Hawthorn hosted their Annual Meeting on Friday, December 2 with three very special guests – Governor Nixon, Governor-Elect Greitens and incoming Economic Development Chair Senator Jay Wasson. We were pleased to host members of the business community from across the state – Neosho, Joplin, Kansas City, St. Joseph, Columbia, Cape Girardeau St. Louis and more.
We were honored to have Governor-Elect Eric Greitens join our meeting via live feed from Washington DC, where he was meeting with the National Governors’ Association. Economic Development is a priority for the Governor-Elect. We were pleased that he shared some his time with us to express his interest in working closely with Hawthorn to support new initiatives.
We had an opportunity to hear Governor Nixon recap the work that Hawthorn has supported throughout his administration. Through our financial support of the Governor’s trade mission work, the state has secured $750M in trade agreements with Columbia and Peru; $1.2B in trade agreements with Korea; and $3.2B in trade agreements with Canada.
In addition, the trade missions have supported Missouri companies looking to expand into international markets. On the last trade mission alone, Holtec Gas Systems, a manufacturer of nitrogen gas equipment; Premier Proteins, a supplier of Missouri-grown Kobe beef; Burns and McDonnell, a global leader in engineering services; and Bio-Microbics, a waste water equipment manufacturer all found a welcoming market in Dubai.
Our work as the parent organization to the Missouri Partnership has fostered its own successes. Since 2009, the Partnership has recruited 15,000 new jobs, $750M in new annual payroll and $1.3B in new capital investment.
And that doesn’t begin to explore our workforce development efforts and advocacy for our defense and military footprint in the state.
Finally, Senator Jay Wasson, incoming Chair of the Economic Development Committee, shared his priorities this legislative session. Workforce development is front and center. Workforce is the top criteria for companies looking to relocate or expand to Missouri—and we need some help in growing that workforce if the economy is going to continue to grow.
We look forward to working with Sen. Wasson on our Innovation Campus Model, a program for first-generation and non-traditional students with an industry focused curriculum beginning in high school and carrying them through a two-year and then four-year degree.
This collaboration includes skill-focused internships that ultimately lead to closing the workforce gap and developing more prosperous graduates.
We look forward to highlighting our work in more detail over the coming months. Whether it’s business attraction issues, workforce development support or solidifying and growing our military footprint in the state, Hawthorn is ready to partner with the administration to grow the economy.