The board of directors for Economic Development Sedalia Pettis County (EDSPC) heard updates from Executive Director Jessica Craig on Wednesday during their quarterly meeting at US Bank, 3615 W. Broadway.

Financials are good for the group, with $273,000 in liquid assets and two CDs hovering above $50,000 each.

There is currently $22,000 available in private funds for events such as the upcoming Manufacturing Milestone, scheduled for Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Sedalia Country Club. Eleven companies will be honored this year as opposed to 23 last year, according to Craig.

She added that she was looking to have someone produce a video (including drone footage) for the event, but the price tag was too hefty.

EDSPC is currently advertising in Site Selection magazine in print and online. The magazine is read by thousands of professionals in the manufacturing field looking for sites to locate their companies, Craig noted.

Site visits by prospects are up this year to around eight, Craig said. “We've had an extremely active year,” she said, adding that she's not seeing any decrease in activity due to the upcoming presidential election.

Craig, who celebrated three years with EDSPC this week, noted that the board should expect to see four company announcements from existing businesses in the near future.

The Rail Park at the Nucor Steel Sedalia site is coming along nicely, Craig noted. A ground-breaking ceremony will happen later, but a date is not yet set. Nucor has 160 employees on the payroll, 50 of whom are transplants from other facilities. Around 500 construction workers have been building the complex, which is clearly visible from Highway 65. There is talk of a traffic light being installed where the Nucor entrance intersects with the highway.

Another topic of discussion was Whiteman Air Force Base. Craig noted that about 50 military personnel transition into civilian life every month and she wants to keep them here in the local community. Craig said they are well trained and qualified with a great work ethic, many of them with a mechanical aptitude and tremendous potential. “It's a whole new experience for them,” she said of their job search that takes place outside of a military base.

The EDSPC board will meet again Jan. 15 at noon.

Randy Kirby