December 19, 2014

Ground is broken on Boeing expansion in St. Louis

Boeing 777-9x

Boeing 777-9x

Boeing executives were joined today by Governor Jay Nixon, members of Missouri’s Congressional delegation and state and local elected officials to break ground on the company’s expansion in St. Louis to make parts for its 777X commercial aircraft.

Boeing announced in October it would expand its current composite facility and create up to 700 jobs in St. Louis to make parts for the plane. The facility is scheduled to be completed in 2016, with work on the parts for the plane to begin in 2017.

The project marks the first time Boeing has brought commercial aircraft production to St. Louis. Boeing’s St. Louis facilities have manufactured military aircraft.

Construction of the 367-thousand square-foot expanded facility will also provide up to 250 full-time construction jobs.

Cerner Corp. $4.45 billion development underway in Kansas City

cerner rendering

Rendering of Trails Campus project, courtesy Cerner Corp.)

Officials in Kansas City, state leaders and Cerner Corporation say a project started today will create up to 16,000 jobs in the next decade as part of a $4.45 billion development. Governor Jay Nixon’s office calls it the largest economic development project in state history.

Cerner, a global health information technology provider, is constructing a 4.7 million-square-foot campus at the former site of the Bannister Mall in Kansas City.

The site is planned to be developed in 16 phases and consist of 16 buildings, and is slated to generate 4,500 construction jobs in the area.

Cerner President Zane Burke told Missourinet, “That’s our expected growth over that ten years time period, is to grow to 16,000 jobs,” said Burke.  “The additional benefit to the community is the building of the project itself, which will create additional jobs to Kansas City as the project is built over that ten year period.”

“These are high-paying, high qualified jobs,” Burke continued.  “Health care workers, software engineers, consultants, very well-paying jobs that will benefit people here in Kansas City and the broad community.”

The facility will include two data centers, on service center, a training/conference center and associate amenities, including an on-site daycare and health clinic. The campus will include 370,000 square feet of retail space restaurants, stores and a hotel.

Governor Jay Nixon, said in his remarks at the event, “By redeveloping hundreds of acres of a blighted area and creating up to 16,000 jobs, Cerner’s Trails Campus will have a profound and positive impact on this region and our state for decades to come.”


Ford rolls out design of F-150 soon to be built in Claycomo, Missouri

Ford officials are launching in Michigan today a newly redesigned truck that will soon be made at Kansas City.

The 2015 Ford F-150 will be built at the Claycomo, Missouri Ford plant.  (photo courtesy; Ford Motor Company, Photo by: Sam VarnHagen)

The 2015 Ford F-150 will be built at the Claycomo, Missouri Ford plant. (photo courtesy; Ford Motor Company, Photo by: Sam VarnHagen)

Ford’s says its latest entry in the popular F-150 truck line uses a “military grade” aluminum body and is the toughest, most efficient truck with the highest towing capacity in that line.

The event in Dearborn marks the first one to roll off an assembly line there, but Vice President of North American Manufacturing Bruce Hettle says production in Kansas City won’t be far behind.

‘We’re launching the truck in Dearborn but as we move into the end of 2014 and into the first quarter of next year we’ll launch the same product at our Kansas City site,” says Hettle.

A new body shop is being built in Kansas City that is just like the one launching today in Dearborn.

Hettle says the new truck requires an all new body shop and stamping technology, which is being readied in Kansas City now.

“The prior, steel vehicle, the body would be welded together. With the aluminum construction we use screws now and a structural adhesive and rivets, so it’s a very different fastening strategy,” says Hettle. “It provides a lot more structural rigidity and tough truck strength, but then we get the benefits of a lighter body which gives us more fuel efficiency.”

Hettle says a rollout of the new truck in Kansas City will happen sometime early next year. It will be for sale in December.

Learn more about the new truck and configure one on Ford’s website.

Architect of Mamtek scam in Moberly sentenced to prison

The man who scammed Moberly, the state, and investors out of millions of dollars over a promised artificial sweetener plant has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Bruce Cole's booking photo from his arrest on 09/18/2012.

Bruce Cole’s booking photo from his arrest on 09/18/2012.

Former CEO of Mamtek Bruce Cole pleaded guilty in September to one count of theft and two counts of securities fraud. Seven years was the maximum Cole could be sentenced to under the plea deal. He had been facing 55 years in prison.

Cole had promised to bring some 600 jobs to Moberly to produce sucralose in a process he claimed was patented and had been used in the company’s plant in China as well as $8 million in private capital. In fact, Mamtek had no patents, the factory it had an interest in, in China, had not produced sucralose on a commercial scale, and the plant that was partially built in Moberly did not meet safety or environmental standards. Construction on that site ended in August 2011.

After Governor Jay Nixon and former Governor Bob Holden joined Cole in announcing the Mamtek plant in 2010, Moberly officials agreed to issue $39-million in bonds through the city’s Industrial Development Authority and the state promised $17.6 million in tax credits and incentives.

Investment banking firm Morgan Keegan underwrote the bonds. It is now faced with a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the investors who bought those bonds.

Some of the money that was supposed to have gone Ramwell Industrial, which turned out to be a fake engineering firm, went to make a payment on the $6-million home Cole shared with his wife in Beverly Hills, California.

Bacteria causes recall of several brands of baby wipes

A company that makes baby wipes sold under multiple brand names and in multiple stores has issued a recall because some packages may contain bacteria.

Cuties brand wipes is one of those in the recall by Nutek.

Cuties brand wipes is one of those in the recall by Nutek.

The wipes recalled were manufactured under the brand names Cuties,, Femtex, Fred’s Kidgets, Member’s Mark, Simply Right, Sunny Smiles, Tender Touch and Well Beginnings.  They were online and at several store chains that have locations in Missouri.

The company, Nutek Disposables, Inc. of Pennsylvania, says it received complaints about odor and discoloration. Testing showed the presence of bacteria in some of those packages.

After an initial recall October 3, Nutek tested some of those products and decided to extend the recall to all of its baby wipe products.

The bacteria found is Burkholderia cepacia. Nutek says it poses little risk to healthy people, but those with weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease, or some other health problems are urged to call a doctor if they have used any of these products.

The company has received reports of rash, irritation, infections, fever and other issues but says it has not been confirmed those cases are related to the use of the affected products.

The cause of the problem is still under investigation and shipping of baby wipes has ceased from the facility where those lots were made.

For a list of the lot numbers in the recall and the original release from Nutek, click here.  The company says consumers who bought these products can return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Those with questions can call the company at (855) 646-4351 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.