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Parson, Dixon say whole state benefits from Bayer jobs announcement

Parson, Dixon say whole state benefits from Bayer jobs announcement

July 17th, 2019 by Bob Watson in Local News
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addresses reporters Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in his state Capitol office.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addresses reporters Tuesday, July...

Photo by Emily Cole /News Tribune.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said Tuesday the announcement that Bayer was moving 500 jobs to Chesterfield and Creve Couer was "a significant boost to our future."

But Gov. Mike Parson, and Economic Development Director Rob Dixon, both said Tuesday's announcement was important to the whole state.

"One thing I learned a long time ago, when I (first) came to Jefferson City," Parson said, "is how important it is for all Missouri to do well.

"It's really not about taking any one portion of the state and hoping it does better than someone else. It's really about how we do things together."

The governor added that Tuesday's announcement "benefits some kid in rural Missouri (with) the opportunity to go to work for Bayer. Regardless of whether it's in St. Louis County or in Jefferson City or in a rural town in the Bootheel, it's important to work to create good jobs for the future."

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Dixon said: "The state was competing (with other states) for these jobs — but not just for this opportunity that we're celebrating today.

"We're competing for the long-term, economic opportunity for our state, (for) the entire state of Missouri."

Dixon told the News Tribune successful negotiations like the Bayer announcement are done individually — but may affect ongoing negotiations with other companies.

"I think, if you're another company, and you're looking at a company like Bayer doing an investment like this," Dixon said, "it ought to say something to you that Missouri is recognized as a place to do business.

"Certainly, they're watching it."

Tuesday's Bayer announcement followed Parson's recent European trade mission, where he and other Missouri leaders met with Warner Baumann, Bayer's CEO.

It was the first announcement of a good result from that trip, but Parson said it likely isn't the last.

"I hope there will be more announcements," the governor told reporters in his Capitol office. "It was a very successful trip.

"In the next 60-90 days, I think there's going to be a lot of positive things that we're going to be able to talk about in Missouri. We're competing with every state in the United States, (and) I just want to compete to win."