MAGNET Contract Renewed, 2015 Economic Development Report

magnetDuring the Dec. 7 City Council meeting, the Council approved a resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract for services with the Cape Girardeau Area Industrial Recruitment Association, also known as MAGNET.
The Cape Girardeau Area MAGNET has partnered with the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce to lead our economic development efforts. It is a team of professionals actively marketing the area and assisting businesses with their expansion and relocation efforts in and around Cape Girardeau.
In March 2012, the City Council approved a three-year contract with Cape Girardeau Area Magnet. This contract expires Dec. 31, 2015. The resolution approval in Dec. 7 extends MAGNET’s contract with the City through Dec. 31, 2019.
MAGNET sustains itself through these  membership arrangements with local city governments and the Cape Girardeau County government.  The MAGNET Board of Directors monitors the organization, budget and impact of the MAGNET team, but it is also important that the supporting member governments (including their constituents) monitor their investments and celebrate their impacts as well.
MAGNET 2015 Economic Development Report
Delivered to the Cape Girardeau City Council December 2015

DOWNLOAD report: MAGNET 2015 Report
Economic Development Successes
Announced more than 10 new projects representing 199 jobs and $49 million in new investments:

  • Buchheit’s acquires 54,000 square foot new building on Nash Road (distribution center) – 25 new jobs
  • Ole Hickory Pits breaks ground on Nash Road for new facility (manufacturing) – 8 new jobs
  • Select Plastics opens new line at Scott City facility (manufacturing) – 10 new jobs
  • Pepsi MidAmerica begins hiring for facilities under construction at Greater Cape Girardeau Business Park (distribution center) – 70+ new jobs
  • Verdesian (formerly QC Corp) purchased 400,000 square foot facility on Nash Road for expansion (manufacturing) – 25 new jobs
  • Mondi Jackson adds additional line at facility (manufacturing) – 25 new jobs
  • Purchase Clinic announces new sales and customer service office in downtown Cape Girardeau (professional) – 12 new jobs
  • Dunkin’ Donuts announces Cape Girardeau expansion (retail) – 15-20 new jobs
  • Vinuity announces new office in Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University (information technology) – 4 new jobs
  • Drury Plaza Hotel & Conference Center announced (hospitality/tourism)
  • Hosted targeted job fair for Pepsi, Mondi, and Verdesian (125+ jobs) with more than 250 people attending
  • Partnered with Missouri Career Center on October Job Fair, with more than 50 employers and 350 people attending

Project Activity Overview

  • 22 active projects all in various stages of development, representing another 830 new jobs and $88 million in investments
  • 8 projects are no longer active and not going to develop
  • 2 projects lost to other communities (1 has yet to develop in winning community)

Data Benchmarks

  • Cape Girardeau County October unemployment rate – 3.9% (Jan. 2015 was 5.5%)
  • 2011 annual average total (Cape Girardeau County) – 37,930. Annual average to date for 2015 – 38,785 (5 years).
  • Cape Girardeau metro area ranked as one of the top 15 least expensive metros, and Missouri ranked the 11th lowest cost in the United States
  • Six regional clusters having a Location Quotient (LQ) above 1 and increasing over time: agribusiness and food processing, defense & security, forest & wood products, primary metal manufacturing, and transportation equipment manufacturing.

Business Retention Efforts

  • Mr. Shad Burner joins Chamber team as Business Development Specialist—Dec 2014
  • Within 2015 over 81 business retention visits completed representing over 11,000 employees
  • Industries visited include information technology, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and hospitality
  • Retention visits have resulted in the identification of 6 economic development prospects and/or expansion projects
  • Key findings include: 65 items completed from follow-ups from visits, 49% of companies stated they plan to grow within the near future, 10% of companies said they could not expand in their current facility, 27% of companies said their biggest challenge is workforce.

Infrastructure Advocacy

  • Successfully negotiated continuing the route study for the Shawnee Parkway from IL Route 3 to Interstate 57, discussions have resulted in new bi-state economic development opportunities
  • Collaborated with the City of Cape Girardeau in advancing utility infrastructure to the Cape Girardeau Business Park and secured it to be a AT&T Fiber Park
  • Completed engineering study for new wastewater options for Nash Road Industrial Park with the support of Greater Cape and IDA
  • Worked with SEMPO on regional transportation priorities for SEMPO and MoDOT’s STIP

Workforce Development Highlights

  • Work Ready Coalition attains Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) status, Governor announces in Jan 2015
  • Coalition applies and attains $148,000 Delta Regional Authority grant to work on workforce initiatives
  • Members of Coalition visit northern KC to tour co-op model for high school students receiving business driven education and training (Northland CAPS) – researching viability for Cape region
  • Burner asked to serve on regional team with the SEMO Workforce Investment Board on new WIOA industry and workforce strategy development

Advancing Entrepreneurship Development

  • Premier supporter of Codefi, Missouri’s newest technology and coworking space which is currently incubating fourteen start-up companies
  • Sponsored Southeast’s REAL Entrepreneurship Conference, won one of their partner awards
  • Launched One Million Cups program hosting entrepreneurs once a month at Codefi
  • Key partners in supporting and promoting 1st50K, region’s business start-up competition, round two underway, applications in from 15 states and 13 countries
  • Recently awarded $325,000 grant from Missouri Technology Corporation to advance the 1st50K competition