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Missouri One Start program grants nearly $8M for hundreds of projects across state


Nearly $8 million has been awarded to more than 200 various projects across the state as part of the Missouri One Start program, the governor announced Wednesday. 

The program, a priority for Republican Gov. Mike Parson throughout his tenure thus far, is a customizable workforce development training incentive under the Department of Economic Development (DED). 

Parson announced more than $7.8 million for training under the One Start program has been awarded to 226 projects. 

“No matter where you go, from Hayti to Maryville or Neosho to Hannibal, businesses need workers with the skills to get the job done,” Parson said in a statement. “Helping employers train new and existing workers helps them stay competitive, and that means growth for the business and for our state’s economy.” 

The One Start effort is a consolidation of various Missouri Works programs and was allocated nearly $10 million in the 2020 fiscal year budget passed by the General Assembly this spring. 

It was included in the massive workforce development package passed through the legislature during the 2019 session, despite a lengthy filibuster mounted by conservative senators. The package, championed by Republican Sen. Lincoln Hough, also included incentives designed to lure a General Motors plant expansion and the Fast Track grant program. 

A bevy of companies in Columbia, Springfield, St. Charles, and St. Louis are among those awarded, according to Wednesday’s announcement. In Jefferson City, four companies — ABB, Inc.; DeLong’s, Inc.; Modine Manufacturing; and Scholastic Book Clubs, Inc. — were among the recipients. 

Other recipients included Kraft Heinz Foods Company in Kirksville, Tyson Foods in St. Joseph, Brewers Ice Company in Eminence, General Mills Operations in Hannibal, and IBM Corporation in Hazelwood. 

Ford Motor Company in Claycomo is also a recipient. Ford has proposed a $400 million investment in the Kansas City-area plant while in negotiations with the United Auto Workers. 

“Finding workers is the number one challenge facing businesses and economic developers today,” DED Director Rob Dixon said. “Efforts like Missouri One Start are going to unlock Missouri’s economic potential and set us apart from other states vying to attract new businesses or looking to lure our employers away from Missouri.” 

A full list of companies receiving money can be found on the Department of Economic Development’s website.