The economic development director in west-central Missouri’s Sedalia says a $400 million steel rebar manufacturing plant under construction there is one of the largest projects Missouri has landed in the past decade.

Executives from Charlotte-based Nucor made the plant announcement at the Missouri State Fairgrounds on November 21, 2017 (file photo courtesy of State Sen. Denny Hoskins)

Sedalia-Pettis County Economic Development Executive Director Jessica Craig says the decision by North Carolina-based Nucor is a game changer for Sedalia, which has about 70 manufacturers.

“A project (like) this is transformative for our community, for the contractors that are working there,” Craig says. “There’s about 500 people that are working on site today.”

Craig says the 500 construction workers include men and women from various trades.

“From electricians to welders to fabricators to equipment installers and those individuals that are doing dirt work and site prep,” says Craig.

The plant is expected to open in November.

Craig tells Missourinet that Nucor has hired about 150 employees so far, to fill three shifts. She says Nucor is still hiring, and the steelworker jobs will pay an average salary of $65,000.

She encourages applicants to visit Nucor’s website.

Craig also says Nucor will be the anchor tenant of Sedalia’s new rail industrial park.

“It (steel plant) has inspired a lot of development, additional development in the community. There are retail and commercial locations also under construction in that corridor,” Craig says.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, announced in February that the U.S. Department of Transportation had awarded Sedalia a $10 million grant to extend its existing railroad tracks to the new Sedalia rail industrial park.

Senator Blunt says the facility is on track to become the largest, exclusive rail-served industrial park in the Midwest.

Craig says landing the project has been a team effort, praising Governor Mike Parson’s office, the state Department of Economic Development (DED), state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Union Pacific, Kansas City Power and Light and Liberty Utilities.

While Sedalia’s population is about 24,000, Craig says they draw workers from a ten-county labor base with a population of 256,000.

Sedalia Mayor John Kehde spoke to Missourinet Sedalia affiliate KDRO (AM 1490) last week, praising the project and saying it’s good for the community. Mayor Kehde is also pleased with the progress that’s been made.

Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with Sedalia-Pettis County Economic Development Executive Director Jessica Craig, which was recorded on June 27, 2019:

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