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Location Profile: Missouri's Springfield Region

Oct/Nov 08
New Business Ventures High and Low
Deep in the ground or high in a former grain elevator, the Springfield region has great things happening in unlikely places. In downtown Springfield, Missouri State University has turned what had been an eyesore into a seven-story collaborative environment where established tech companies develop new ways to make microchips, add protective coatings to temporary shelters, or any number of other innovative projects.
What makes the Jordon Valley Innovation Center unique is the fact that companies like Crosslink, Brewer Science or Nantero maintain control of their intellectual property. "We're incubating technology," says Allen Kunkel, JVIC's Chief Operating Officer.

Branson is best known for the music and entertainment that brings eight million visitors per year. Few of them probably know that two miles from Branson's bright lights is one of the most secure storage facilities in the country. "The Mountain" has up to two million square feet of storage space carved out of a former limestone mine. Banks, school systems and other data-driven firms maintain secure off-site records and computer operations protected by the solid limestone columns. The Springfield Underground is another former limestone mine now used as a data center and low-cost storage and manufacturing space. Protected from the elements, these facilities offer low overhead and utility costs to companies like Kraft Foods which ages railcar loads of cheese in the temperature controlled environment.

With 3,000 employees worldwide, Jack Henry & Associates, a leading bank software company could be anywhere, but chooses to stay in Monett because of the people and values this southwest Missouri location brings to their business.

The region surrounding Springfield retains an unemployment rate in the five percent range, and a growth rate of 2.6% or more annually. With the variety of industrial site and building options available and the region's can-do spirit, it's likely that kind of growth will continue into the foreseeable future.

Ozarks Regional Economic Partnership
Jeff Seifried, Manager of Regional Development
202 S. John Q. Hammons Parkway
Springfield, MO 65806

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