Just a couple of weeks after Governor Bob Holden’s failed attempt to close some corporate tax loopholes, a big company could be getting millions to keep open one of its Missouri operations. The state is offering Ford Motor Company $9-Million in tax credits and job training assistance to keep open its Hazelwood plant near St. Louis. The deal is pending a ratification of a labor agreement between Ford and the United Auto Workers union. If approved, the plant would stay open through 2007, instead of closing by the end of next year. State Economic Development Director Joe Driskill insists this is not corporate welfare. And, Driskill says it’s a good deal considering the alternative was a shutdown of the plant and losing 2,700 jobs. Driskill believes this deal will give the state and Ford time to find a way to keep the plant open for the long term.