MARSTON, Mo. — Magnitude 7 Metals announced plans today to create more than 450 jobs and to reopen an aluminum smelter in Marston, Missouri.
“After the closure of the aluminum smelter in Marston, hundreds of people worked with us to send a clear message: They don’t want welfare. They want to work. They want to bring back American jobs,” said Governor Eric Greitens. “We all fought hard to pass a bill to help us compete for these jobs and advanced manufacturing jobs around the state. Today, jobs are coming back and good people will be going back to work. This announcement is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. I’m proud to welcome Magnitude 7 Metals to Marston, so they can bring quality jobs back to this region.”
In 2016, when the former owners of the smelter at the St. Jude Industrial Park filed for bankruptcy, hundreds of jobs disappeared in a major economic hit to the region. M7M acquired the facility with the plan to bring two out of three production lines for processing aluminum back in service, phasing-in operations over two years beginning in 2018.
“We’re excited about the potential that the Marston facility holds, and we look forward to becoming a valuable member of the community,” Magnitude 7 Metals chief executive officer Bob Prusak said.
A critical component to the company’s decision to reopen the smelter in Marston was their ability to negotiate energy costs that would allow the company to compete in the global aluminum market. The company was able to reach an agreement with Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., which is owned by and provides wholesale power to six regional and 51 local electric cooperative systems in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma.
“With hard work and creativity, Associated and M7M have reached an agreement that is good for the bootheel, creates new jobs, and is good for M7M and Associated’s members,” said David J. Tudor, Associated’s chief executive officer and general manager. “This agreement will enable M7M to start operation and begin adding jobs in southeast Missouri immediately. Associated’s members will benefit through the more efficient use of available generating capacity, which helps offset the cost of service to all members.”
In addition to Associated Electric Cooperative, the economic development team that worked with M7M included the County of New Madrid, the Department of Economic Development, Representative Don Rone, Congressman Jason Smith, the Governor’s Office and the office of the President.
The company is expected to use the state’s new Skilled Workforce Missouri program, launched last fall, which provides customized workforce solutions. These can range from personalized recruitment services to company-specific training.
“Rural America is open for business. From Washington to Missouri, what we are announcing today is the result of years of hard work and a major change in the way employers and farmers are treated,” said Congressman Smith. “We’ve passed major tax cuts, repealed regulations at historic rates and lowered energy prices, all to ultimately help the American worker. Now, with the President’s commitment to new, fairer trade deals, we are bringing back the domestic aluminum and steel industries and with it, jobs.”
Reopening the aluminum smelter is welcome news to the region which has a county unemployment rate of 5.4%.
“The high paying jobs that will be created by reopening this facility will bring hope and stability to families across who for too long have been out of work,” Missouri Representative Don Rone said. “The effects of this news will ripple not only throughout our region, but across generations.”