The 1,000 member Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) has presented its 2016 State Leadership Award to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D).
MEMA Senior Vice President Ann Wilson applauds Nixon’s help in creating jobs for the automotive industry.
“So in recognition of his promotion, leadership and record of support of our industry, I am pleased to present Governor Jay Nixon with the MEMA State Leadership Award. Thank you, Governor,” Wilson told Nixon during a Friday presentation at Dana Incorporated’s Columbia facility.
Nixon’s first act as Governor in 2009 was to create an automotive jobs task force, to make recommendations on creating new investments on behalf of the industry.
Nixon told the audience on Friday that 2009 was a tough time for the automotive industry and the economy. In 2010, Nixon called a special session of the Legislature to support Missouri’s automobile manufacturing and supplier industry. Despite a filibuster during that special session from then-State Sen. Chuck Purgason (R-Caulfield), the Legislature passed a bipartisan Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, which Nixon says positioned the state to compete for next-generation auto jobs.
Nixon says auto manufacturers and suppliers have invested more than $2 billion dollars in Missouri during his eight years as Governor, with 24,000 motor vehicle-related jobs and more than 16,000 direct automotive plant and supplier jobs.
“Quite frankly, I stand here to accept this award not as one man or one person, but to accept it on behalf of those 24,000 people and those 64 companies that have shown the confidence to invest and to expand here in our state,” Nixon told the Columbia audience.
Nixon notes 64 automotive plant and parts suppliers in Missouri have expanded in recent years, including a $39 million expansion that’s underway at Dana in Columbia. Dana officials say the expansion will create 135 new jobs.
The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association says the automotive industry is a $4 billion industry in Missouri. MEMA members have 65 facilities in Missouri, including Dana, Johnson Controls, Lear, Magna and Spartan Light Metal.
MEMA says previous MEMA State Leadership Award recipients include Governor Steve Beshear (D-Kentucky) in 2015 and Governor Rick Snyder (R-Michigan) in 2014.