(This story is written by Missourinet St. Louis contributor Jill Enders)

St. Louis is home to the newest Microsoft Technology Center, which means about 150 new jobs for the Gateway City.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson speaks at a ribbon-cutting for the new Microsoft Technology Center in St. Louis on September 19, 2018 (Jill Enders photo)

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday morning for the 29,000 square feet state-of-the-art facility, which is located in the Cortex innovation district in the Central West End.

Governor Mike Parson (R) spoke at the ceremony.

“It’s a big important reason we had that special session (in Jefferson City) was for STEM, on the computer science, the engineering, the math, all the things that we got to do for the future of Missouri,” Parson says. “And as I sit here today and listen to people talk, I understand how important that is that we get it right.”

Missouri lawmakers approved the STEM legislation last week.

State Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, and State Rep. Travis Fitzwater, R-Holts Summit, sponsored the bill, which establishes a statewide STEM career awareness program.

It allows the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to create a “STEM career awareness program” to increase STEM career awareness among students in grades six through eight.

Microsoft, which is based in Washington State, in investing about $50 million into the new facility.

Governor Parson tells reporters he believes the new center will keep and attract more people to the Show-Me State.

“We don’t want Missourians to be leaving our state,” says Parson. “But if we have those good jobs that pay good money and they’re tech jobs and what the demands are going to be, people have more of an opportunity to stay here in Missouri and I believe they’ll take advantage of that and stay here and we’ll become a better state for it.”

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson (D) and several Microsoft executives joined Governor Parson for the ceremony.

Mayor Krewson describes Parson as a governor “who understands that we have to work together.”

This is the 15th Microsoft Technology Center in the nation.

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