Gov. Nixon visits Burgers' Smokehouse

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks about Missouri Works, his comprehensive job creation strategy at Burgers' Smokehouse on Friday, Jan. 20. Behind the governor are several Burgers' officials and Missouri First Lady Georganne Nixon.

Gov. Jay Nixon speaks about Missouri Works, his comprehensive job creation strategy at Burgers' Smokehouse on Friday, Jan. 20. Behind the governor are several Burgers' officials and Missouri First Lady Georganne Nixon. Photo by David Wilson.

Speaking to the employees of Burgers’ Smokehouse, California, on Friday, Jan. 20, with area press present, Gov. Jay Nixon, outlined Missouri Works strategy which was in his State of the State speech Tuesday, Jan. 17.

He listed the major points of the program, expounding on each one. The points were: grow more auto supplier jobs in Missouri, sell more Missouri-made goods overseas, prepare more workers for high-tech careers, train and hire more veterans, jumpstart innovation in science and technology, target high-growth industries and create jobs in rural communities.

"My number one priority for 2012 is to create jobs and keep moving our economy forward,” said Nixon."Missouri Works provides several specific steps we can take right now to bring new employers to Missour, help existing businesses grow and create more jobs and career opportunities for folks across the state.

"We can’t afford to wait one single day when it comes to creating jobs and growing our economy, and I’m working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to put this bold strategy into action as quickly as possible."

The governor explained that Missouri Works will build on the foundation established by the Missouri Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth.

That initiative was launched in May 2010, and engaged 600 business, education and labor leaders from across Missouri to develop a comprehensive strategy to transform the state’s economy.

Although all of the points are important for Missouri as a whole, the history of the development of Burgers’ Smokehouse is an example of how it can be achieved. Beginning in 1952 with curing, aging and smoking meats in the "Ham House," the family-owned company today produces 750,000 hams, along with bacon, sausage and a dozen other specialty meats at its location. The home to the original "Ham House" is now a facility greater than 350,000 square-feet employing a work-force of 250.

"Burgers’ Smokehouse is an outstanding example of the type of success entrepreneurs and businesses can achieve in rural Missouri," Gov. Nixon said.

"Rural job creators like Burgers’ Smokehouse are part of the reason Missouri’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in three years, and groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are pointing to Missouri as a top state for business growth and expansion. Additionally, Missouri’s exports increased by $1.2 billion in the first three quarters of 2011."

Prior to speaking to Burgers' employees, Nixon held a private meeting with area First Responders, concerning their response and activities regarding the Joplin emergency, after which he toured the Burgers' facility.

For more pictures of the event, check out the Jan. 25, California Democrat.

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