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December's Headlines


Forbes Magazine says: St. Louis Doesn't Suck. Click here to read today's most talked about article and give us your feedback on Twitter. #NewSTLbrand

There is nothing I like better than walking through a business that is growing and adding jobs. Recently, I had the privilege of talking with employees at Control Devices, one of our area’s top-notch manufacturers. Control Devices is moving into a new facility in Fenton and hiring 40 new workers to staff the assembly lines. I was thrilled to hear about these new jobs, especially in Fenton which has been hit hard with the closure of two auto assembly lines.

Even better, this week local unemployment dropped to 8.6 percent. Within those numbers is a story about the resilience of our local workforce and how manufacturing jobs are fueling economic recovery.

Since this time last year, St. Louis companies have hired more than 8,000 new workers and 5,100 of those new jobs are in manufacturing. That is a great way to say I believe we are headed in the right direction.

Happy Holidays and best wishes in 2012!

Charlie A. Dooley

St. Louis County Executive

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Among the growing manufacturers in St. Louis County is a company increasing its capacity to engineer and produce flow control solutions. Control Devices LLC manufactures a number of precision valves for customers worldwide, including power washers sold at home improvement stores and fire suppression valves used by firefighters.

The company’s growth and recent acquisitions have it bursting at the seams at its three local facilities and planning a move to a 98,000-square-foot facility in Fenton. The move allows the company to implement lean manufacturing processes, expand production capabilities and provide more space for design engineers and lab testing equipment.

The company has begun hiring machinists and workers to staff the production lines and machining centers. Currently, Control Devices has 180 positions and is adding 40 new positions.

"This is extremely good news because it means more of our citizens are back at work," said St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. "These are good-paying manufacturing jobs that provide the backbone of the middle class in our metro area. We could not be more thrilled that leaders at Control Devices will grow and expand in St. Louis County."

Click here to watch the KMOV story.

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Sunset Transportation CEO Jim Williams discusses the benefits a program like the expanded Foreign-Trade Zone can have on local small businesses like his.

On Monday, St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis announced a new program that will provide local manufacturing and distribution companies with greater opportunity to compete globally.

"We must provide our businesses every opportunity to succeed locally and globally," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. "The expanded Foreign-Trade Zone program gives our business community a competitive edge and positions the region as a business-friendly place to locate and expand."

The program, which is an enhanced version of the Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ), expands the zone from 800 acres around Lambert-St. Louis International Airport to include all of St. Louis City and County. It allows companies quicker and easier access to the benefits of a Foreign-Trade Zone and reduces the time it takes to secure or expand FTZ status to as little as one month.

"Global trade is one of the best ways the city and the county collaborate," said County Executive Charlie A. Dooley. "Economic development tools like the new Alternative Site Framework directly impact the companies growing our economy and adding new jobs to the region."

A Foreign-Trade Zone is an area where entering cargo is not subject to regular customs duties. Under the new guidelines, a company located in the City or County, but outside the existing zone, can be eligible for streamlined FTZ designation.

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Small Businesses have been in the local limelight as of late, receiving the accolades they so deserve. From Small Business Saturday and specialized financing to business incubators and the entrepreneurs who make them home, this has been a great delve into the lives of those pioneers who strengthen our economy and epitomize the American Dream.

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World Wide Technology President & CEO David Steward.

World Wide Technology (WWT) is one of St. Louis’ great success stories. Founded in 1990, WWT has grown from a small startup to a world-class organization and now operates 30 warehousing, distribution and integration facilities throughout the world. It is one of the region’s largest privately owned companies and among the biggest minority-owned business enterprises in the United States.

The systems integration firm is bolstering its workforce and expanding its Maryland Heights headquarters. In addition to a planned 100 new, high-paying jobs, the company has added over 300 jobs in 2011 and sees opportunity for further workforce expansion in the months and years to come.

World Wide Technology provides technology and supply chain solutions to the commercial, government and telecom sectors.

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