November 23, 2014

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 adds van jobs (AUDIO)

The Ford Company is jumping production of its new van at the Claycomo plant to meet demand for its new van.

Transit van has been on dealer’s lots for about three months and it’s selling well enough that Ford plans to add as many as 12-hundred more workers for a second production line at Claycomo.

Plant Manager Dan Jowiski says the company has more than met the quality jobs quotas set by the state to qualify for the tax incentives state law allows.

But the assembly line jobs are only part of the story.  Jowiski says the second assembly line will produce ripples. “For every job we add at an assembly plant,” he says, “it roughly affects our supply base and their communities with an uplift factor of nine.”

He says Ford will have 2400 workers building the various versions of the transit van by the end of the year.  Another 3600 will be building the F-150 pickup trucks.

AUDIO: Jowiski interview 7:21

GMC adding 750 jobs to Wentzville plant

General Motors will add a third shift to its plant in Wentzville to make pickups and vans, adding 750 new jobs beginning early next year.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the new shift will bring employment at Wentzville to 3,350 workers. Plant manager Nancy Laubenthal says anticipated demand for two midsized pickups that will be made at Wentzville, the GMC Colorado and the GMC Canyon, played into the decision to increase production there.

This will be the first time the Wentzville plant has had three shifts.

New survey of food needs in Missouri (AUDIO)

A new study of heavy demands on Missouri’s food pantries adds to a less-than encouraging picture of hunger in Missouri.

Feeding America, a national organization of 200 food banks, says it’s likely every Missourian knows someone who relies of food pantry partners to feed themselves and their families.  The survey says almost 1.2-million Missourians patronize the hundreds of food closets, food kitchens, and similar sources. And Missouri Food Bank Association spokesman Monica Palmer   says the need is growing.

“Sixty percent of our partner food programs have reported an increase in the volume of  clients…So we get more clients, we need more food, we need more funds…You hear things about the recession being over and the economy improving but for our most vulnerable citizens, that’s not the picture that we have.” she says.

She says the study also shatters some stereotypes about those who get food help.  It says 97 percent of those who benefit are not homeless or living in temporary housing.  Seventy percent are white. Twenty percent are black.  Three percent are Hispanic.  Almost half of the households report at least one person had a job last year.

A USDA study last year said only Arkansas had more people facing daily food uncertainty.

AUDIO: P:almer interview 10:43

President Obama bashes Congress, calls for end to cynicism (AUDIO)

President Obama has lambasted Congress as being out of touch with the average American family, and calls today’s House authorization for a lawsuit against him “a political stunt.”

The President’s half-hour speech in front of a friendly audience of about 1,500 in Kansas City defended his economic policies and the forty actions he says he has had to take through executive order because Congress has refused to act on economic policies that he says would create an economy “that works for everybody.”

Obama says the economy has turned around so well that people are seeking to invest in the United States, not China, “and our lead is growing.”   But he complained that the Republican-led House of Representatives has blocked every idea that helps working families.

“The folks in Washington, sometimes they’re focused on everything but your concerns,” he told the audience.  He said special interests in Washington prefer the status quo that favors their interests .  “They’re counting on you getting cynical so you don’t vote and don’t get involved ….And the more you do that, then the more power the special interests have and the more entrenched the status quo becomes,” he said.

“You can’t afford to be cynical,” he said at the end, “Cynicism didn’t put a man on the moon.  Cynicism didn’t win women the right to vote. Cynicism did not get a Civil Rights Act signed.  Cynicism has never won a war. Cynicism has never cured a disease.  Cynicism has never started a business. Cynicism has never fed a child…You don’t have time to be cynical.”

AUDIO: Obama sp;eech 34:53