Advanced manufacturing industry brings jobs to Missouri

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Commission voted Tuesday night, on a bond project that could create more than one hundred new jobs in the mid-Missouri advanced manufacturing industry.

The bond would go to Dana Light Axle Products, a Columbia branch of a national firm that manufactures car axles. Dana would get $39 million equipment upgrade, which it said could provide as many as 135 jobs. The bonds would abate property taxes placed on equipment used by Dana for the next seven years. 

Gov. Jay Nixon's office released a report Monday by the Brookings Institution, which said Missouri is a nationwide leader in growth for the advanced manufacturing industry. The report said Missouri currently leads the Midwest in manufacturing growth, with more than 26,000 advanced manufacturing jobs created statewide since 2010. 

Amy Susan, Director of Communications for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, said she thinks the recent growth is rooted in Missouri's history.

"Manufacturing has always been part of Missouri, it's one of our top industries and always has been. Going back to the industrial revolution. we made brown shoes, we made actually the first vehicles," Susan said. 

Dana, Pertech, 3M and Kraft are all mid-Missouri businesses that fit under the umbrella of advanced manufacturing. They provide an array of services that go to improving both the product and the process of manufacturing using technology.

Local business owner and REDI secretary, Dave Griggs said he thinks there are many factors contributing to the success of this industry in Columbia.

"Interstate 70, US Highway 63, two major east-west roads in the heart of the country, about 60 percent of the population is within 600 miles of Columbia Missouri," Griggs said.