The Board of Directors for Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County (EDSPC) met for the first time in 2024 Wednesday at noon at the EDSPC's new board room, located in the Lamy's Building, 108 West Pacific.

The board was treated to a very tasty lunch prepared downstairs by Bistro #5.

One item of business during the 20-minute meeting was to elect a slate of officers, which was a simple matter, as there was no discussion or opposition to those willing to serve in the following positions:

President Rusty Kahrs, Vice President Roger Austin, Treasurer Kyle Weymuth, Secretary Jessica Craig and Past President John Swearingen all agreed to serve for another term.

Austin and Weymuth were absent (due to work obligations) from Wednesday's meeting, which was actually postponed from January due to so many board members being sick at that time.

City of Sedalia
City of Sedalia

EDSPC Executive Director Jessica Craig highlighted some of the successes of 2023 for the board:

*Allen Industries with a $7 million capital expenditure, 100,00 square feet, 48 new jobs and 48 retained jobs

*KC Bobcat with a $3 million capital expenditure, 10,000 square feet and 12 new jobs

*T & P Agriculture (Precision Manufacturing) with a $500,000 capital expenditure, five retained jobs and 10 new jobs

*Prysmian group broke ground for a $45.5 million expansion, with 60 new jobs, 215 retained jobs, and 115,000 square feet of expansion

*Simcote Inc., broke ground for a $17 million facility with 35 new jobs

*Impact Signs broke ground for an $8 million, 60,000-square-foot headquarters in Thompson Meadows Industrial Park (TMIP), with 40 retained jobs and eight new jobs.

*Maxion Wheels implemented three new product lines with 60 new jobs

“We had a wonderful 2023,” Craig said, adding that at the Prysmian beam signing ground-breaking, Gov. Mike Parson as well as Prysmian leadership from around the world attended the event.

“You know, it's really exciting to have a new company come to the community, but the majority of our focus is taking care of the existing businesses here in Sedalia and Pettis County. It's great to add new jobs, but if you're (also) losing jobs, it's a net wash,” Craig commented. “So we focus a tremendous amount on business retention and expansion. So yeah, our pipeline is full of existing business expansion projects, which we are really thankful for.”

Craig went on to add that “companies are not only choosing to stay here, but invest here, because if they're investment here, they're hoping to be here for a while.”

A great example of that, Craig noted, is Impact Signs Awnings and Wraps, Inc., which is currently building just south of West 50 and Main in the TMIP.

The EDSPC office is currently in transition, not only with a new location, but is also seeking a replacement for economic development specialist Sydnae Cavness, who left in December.

Applications are now being accepted, and the plan is to eventually interview three to five candidates in person before the board makes a decision.

Board President Kahrs noted during the meeting that whoever is hired, will need to have plenty of confidence, humility and trust.

“We are more than excited to on-board our new economic development specialist, so stay tuned, that is an open job posting right now and we are looking to find the right person who can be a great fit, not only for economic development, but for all the stakeholders we have, the businesses we serve and also a good partner to the City of Sedalia, to Pettis County and our entire region,” Craig said, adding that “change presents opportunity.”

A proposed budget of $323,700 was approved by the board.

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“It's pretty consistent with previous years. It allows us to invest in additional marketing and prospecting, so that we are marketing the Real Estate that we have for businesses to invest in and to grow,” Craig said, explaining that “business expansion or a new business location cannot happen without the Real Estate, whether it's a building or a site to expand into. So that does include us marketing to those prospective businesses, and site location consultants who deal in the process.”

EDSPC maintains a database of available sites and buildings for any prospect that may inquire at any time, Craig noted.

“This community needs to be a good fit for the business, but the business also needs to be a good fit for the community,” Craig stressed.

The next EDSPC board meeting is scheduled for April 24 at noon.

In the top photo: Progress is being made at Thompson Hills Industrial Park, where the new Impact Signs, Awnings and Wraps Inc., headquarters is under construction, seen here on Thursday.

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