Gov. Parson unveils plan to attract GM investment
With limited time remaining before the end of the 2019 Missouri Legislative Session, Gov. Mike Parson and supportive lawmakers are pushing a plan to attract a potential General Motors investment to Wentzville.
Gov. Parson’s four-part plan includes provisions that would help businesses of all sizes while also making Missouri more competitive for the General Motors investment. The components of the plan include:
- Passing Missouri Fast Track to address gaps in our workforce by providing financial aid for adult learners pursuing education and training for high demand industries.
- Establishing Missouri One Start to streamline, simplify and improve the state’s workforce training programs.
- Creating a deal closing fund to give Missouri a key negotiating tool to finalize business investment opportunities.
- Launching new automotive economic development tools to help retain automotive jobs by granting $5 million in tax credits annually to automotive manufacturers that invest $500 million or more in plant upgrades and agree to retain current workers.
“From the very beginning, our administration has been focused on two key issues, workforce development and infrastructure,” Gov. Parson said. “Whether it’s working with major businesses like General Motors or small family businesses all across the state, business leaders throughout the state have shared the same challenges – Missouri does not have the tools that we need to compete, and to win. To make Missouri the “Best in the Midwest,” we must take action on workforce development and infrastructure.”
Several lawmakers are championing the proposal in the Missouri General Assembly. Senate President Pro-Tem Dave Schatz, a Republican from Sullivan, said he supports the plan 100 percent.
“This is the kind of economic development opportunity that Missouri can’t afford to ignore,” Sen. Schatz said.
Sen. Justin Brown, a Republican from Rolla, said the plan is good policy for the entire state.
“Businesses large and small are in need of skilled workers, and we know that our economic development tools are not competitive,” said Sen. Brown. “The governor is working to give every corner of this state, rural and urban, the tools we need to help businesses grow and create jobs statewide.”
Rep. Nick. Schroer called the proposal a “watershed moment for Missouri.”
“What we do as a legislature in the hours and days to come will have far-reaching impacts for the future of all Missourians,” he said.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is advocating in support of the package.
The automotive industry is a critical sector of our state’s economy, accounting for $4.3 billion of Missouri’s GDP. The state currently manufactures 776,000 vehicles each year and more than 1 million Missourians employed in the automotive industry.