Sen. Dave Schatz’s Legislative Column for June 6, 2019

Weekly Column for June 6, 2019

One of our biggest accomplishments during the 2019 legislative session was passing a comprehensive economic development package that I believe sends a clear message to members of the business community that Missouri is open for business. By passing Senate Bill 68, I believe Missouri now has the tools it needs to attract new businesses, while also having the ability to incentivize current job creators to stay in the Show-Me State. Not only does this legislation reform the Missouri One Start program and establish the Fast-Track Workforce Incentive Grant program, both measures that I’ve written about in the past, but it also puts Missouri in a position to compete for the potential expansion of the General Motors plant in Wentzville.

The Wentzville plant opened in 1983 and employs more than 3,500 workers. It has an annual payroll of $236 million and adds nearly $2 billion annually to the state’s GDP. The plant also indirectly supports 12,241 jobs throughout our state’s economy and generates more than $1 billion annually in personal income. Senate Bill 68 provides Missouri with the tools it needs to present GM with a competitive proposal, by addressing the company’s following priorities:

  • Provide training on new equipment and tooling through the Missouri One Start program;
  • Build a long-term workforce pipeline by encouraging adults to gain new skills and advanced training degrees through the Fast-Track Workforce Incentive Grant program; and
  • Establish a deal closing fund that will assist in attracting possible auto-suppliers to the Show-Me State.

By offering these incentives and training programs, we are establishing Missouri as an attractive option for GM to invest more than $1 billion in our state. This would include plant expansion, retooling of core product lines and upgrades in technology that would ensure production remains in Wentzville well into the future.

It is estimated that the return on investment for this incentive package is $9.39 for every $1 invested by the state. As a businessman myself, this is an impressive return on investment. Senate Bill 68 also requires a minimum capital investment of $500 million from GM. This kind of private investment protects Missouri’s manufacturing plants and hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll for years to come.

With our state and nation’s booming economy and our record low unemployment rate, it is more important than ever that we continue to invest in our workforce to ensure workers are trained for the high-tech jobs of the 21st century. The Missouri Senate worked hard this session to ensure that the world’s best products are made right here in Missouri and that our state’s infrastructure is able to handle the flow of goods that come with it.

It is an honor to serve you in the Missouri Senate. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at if you have any questions.