Everything old is new again in the south central part of the state. The town square of West Plains is being refurbished with great finesse to attract entreprenuerial ventures. Tony Aid, the heir of the Aid Family hardware business, is finding new uses for over a dozen landmark buildings. Among his revitalization projects, he has transformed his own family's one-time hardware store on the square into mixed-use retail space and offce and residential lofts. One building at a time, Tony is rebuilding his hometown.
Also in West Plains, Bell 206 helicopters are being customized to support a world-class med-evac operation. As sole provider of air ambulance services to rural markets in 12 states, Air Evac Lifeteam serves more than 600 hospitals and 700 EMS agencies. The company maintains the world's largest fleet of medically-equipped helicopters and also tracks and communicates with pilots and medical professionals through its West Plains nerve center.
Manufacturing maintains a significant presence in the region. One of the largest Emerson Electric plants in the world is located in Ava. The facility produces five million scroll elements for Copeland compressors a year, exporting 40% to Asian markets. Since moving to the region a decade ago, Emerson has expanded four times to 700 employees.
The common denominator in all these success stories is the work ethic of the people in the region. It was this that brought St. Louis-based Emerson here in the first place. It continues to account for high productivity and low turn over.
Ozark Heritage Region, Inc.
Myles Smith, Secretary
P.O. Box 649, 6327 US 63
West Plains, MO 65775