Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A. Chooses Boonville, MO, for New Manufacturing Plant
22 Nov 2021
After considering buildings in several states across the U.S., Kawasaki recently chose the city of Boonville in Central Missouri for its new manufacturing plant.
Kawasaki's Boonville location is scheduled to start production in May 2022. A total of 270 people will be employed at the Boonville location when finished. The company’s hiring process has begun and will be completed in strategically planned phases as Kawasaki builds the production plant.
"According to Kawasaki, there was a preference to be in close proximity to the facility in Maryville, MO, but yet in a location that would allow them to recruit from a new labor shed," said Gigi Quinlan McAreavy, Director of Economic Development for Boonville and Cooper County.
The increased demand for Kawasaki's engines has contributed to the substantial growth of their Maryville plant. The Maryville facility has grown from 150 employees in 1989 to over 1,100 employees in 2021. These employees are housed in a facility that is over 900,000 square feet. Boonville provided the site solution and the available workforce for Kawasaki's continued growth.
"Demonstrating that we have the workforce to support Kawasaki's growth was a game-changer. Companies can tap into the talent Boonville has locally while also pulling from surrounding counties, like the more populated Columbia and Boone County areas – a mere 20-minutes away," said Quinlan McAreavy.
Central Missouri's labor shed is attractive to Kawasaki and other manufacturing companies looking to move or expand. For example, CMMG, a small arms manufacturer located in Boonville, has grown from 25 to 115 employees in the last few years. CMMG is also expanding its facilities, adding a 32,000-square-foot addition to its existing 43,200 square-foot location. CMMG plans to hire an additional 25 workers once construction is complete.
"Our economic development team and the City of Boonville collaborated with CMMG, helping them to grow in Boonville. We are proud of their success," said Quinlan McAreavy. "We continue to support our existing and loyal manufacturers located in Boonville/Cooper County, and the community has been enthusiastic about their continued success."
Boonville has a proven track record of success with known manufacturers such as Caterpillar and local companies like CMMG and Huebert Fiberboard. Kawasaki will now join them in Boonville and will benefit from the same assets that have contributed to the success of the current manufacturing businesses in the city: I-70 access, a skilled technical workforce, a river port in a foreign trade zone, rail access, low cost of living, several new home developments in progress, strong schools and a very supportive community.
As for future growth, Co-Mo Connect, a local electric cooperative, is investing in the region and assisting local landowners in preparing strategic sites ready for industrial development.
"As a cooperative, we understand that regional growth benefits all our members. Therefore, we have invested in Cooper County's electric and broadband infrastructure to support residents and businesses in all industries. We have also directed our efforts towards certifying a 100-acre site for development. This certified site will make it easier for companies to choose Central Missouri for their next location," said Jennifer Presberry, Economic Development Specialist for Co-Mo Connect.
For companies like Kawasaki, time is critical when making site selection decisions. Certified sites are taken through a rigorous process with the State of Missouri's Department of Economic Development to mitigate risk, which in turn helps businesses bring production online sooner. The Boonville site has an additional advantage with I-70 exposure.
New companies moving to Boonville/Cooper County can count on the region's and state's workforce assistance as well. The region holds the Boonslick Education and Employment Expo annually, generally in the month of October.
"At the most recent Boonslick Expo, we had over 275 attendees and over 50 exhibitors. Kawasaki participated in this year's Expo and reported that the response and number of person-to-person contacts were tremendous and above expectations.
"Having Kawasaki present at this year's Expo was beneficial for other employers as well. Our local grocery store, for example, said they have enough applications to last for two to three years," said Quinlan McAreavy.
The State of Missouri provides workforce support as well. The Missouri One Start program offers a hands-on approach to assist workforce development. In partnership with the local economic development team and a Corporation's HR team, Missouri One Start pulls state departments together while working under one collaborative effort to help with their workforce development and recruitment.
In addition, the Boonslick Technical Education Center educates students from the surrounding high schools and counties by offering technical training. State Fair Community College also has a satellite campus located at the Kemper Campus in Boonville to further those skills and educational needs. In addition, the University of Missouri is 20 minutes away in neighboring Boone County.
Hosting the Expo and making connections with high school technical training programs and those offered by State Fair Community College, along with the collaborative effort from the State of Missouri, are just some of the supports provided for businesses growing in Central Missouri.
"We collaborate to make things work for businesses. This means bringing partners to the table who can assist with workforce recruitment and training," said Quinlan McAreavy. "Kawasaki investing in Boonville is a significant win for our region. Their decision to choose Boonville demonstrates that Central Missouri offers hands-on support, access, and workers. Attracting additional businesses to our certified site is a natural next step," she added.
Anyone interested in touring the Boonville site can do so virtually by clicking here. For more information on available sites in Central Missouri, contact Jennifer Presberry at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-284-5656.