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In This Issue

Where Christmas Past Comes to Life.  

The annual month-long festival celebrates the best of the holiday season. 


Greg VanWyk talks with Travis Wilson about Kilwins St. Charles on Historic Main Street.  Visit Kilwins for hand-crafted fudge and candy and 46 flavors of ice cream!  Kilwins is located at 300 S. Main Street in Historic St. Charles.   


Jessie Wright and Sherilyn Blair talk with Travis Wilson about their shop in Frenchtown.  Crafty is a boutique where many local artists market assorted goods from jewelry, glass, ceramics, and locally crafted beer. Crafty is located at 1423 N. 2nd Street in Historic Frenchtown.  

In the last 12 months, Missouri has gained 50,900 jobs.

Missouri employment grew by 9,300 jobs in October, reaching a new record high for the state with over 2.8 Million jobs.   source: MoDED

There are nearly 2000 new housing units planned to be built in the City of St. Charles. 

Congratulations! All three school districts serving St. Charles City have recently achieved superior grades on their annual report card (APR). The City of St. Charles School District also won the "Healthiest Employer Award" in their category.

Quick Links
Mayor Faith  2013
Pardon me for repeating myself, but Wow!  This year has just flown by!
This is probably something we all say at this time of the year.  It seems like we wake up on New Year's Day and before we know it...we have arrived at New Year's Eve.
One of the reasons why 2016 has gone by so fast is because of everything that is taking place in the   City of St. Charles. 

Think about what we have accomplished this year:
And that's not even half of what took place!
We have much to celebrate for this year.  From housing and job growth, to new investment and economic prosperity; St. Charles is the model for the best in growth and stability. 
So, if you will allow me, I would like to repeat myself on another statement...
"If it's happening, it's happening in St. Charles!"
Merry Christmas and happiest of holiday wishes to all from the staff and elected officials from the City of St. Charles.

Thank you,
 Sally Sig photoshop 
Mayor Sally Faith
City Undertakes Special Employment Recruitment Program
Special Recruitment Day

The City of St. Charles, along with a group of local industries, EDC of St. Charles County, and the St. Charles County Workforce Development Office,will be hosting a special career fair for prospective employees residing in east-central Illinois.  The event will take place during the first quarter of 2017 in Effingham.
This is a cutting edge program the Economic Development Department believes could provide outstanding dividends.
"There is no doubt this is a different, and potentially risky venture," stated David Leezer, Director of Economic Development.  "However, due to the fact that we are near full employment, we must take a new perspective in recruiting a workforce for our local employers."
Leezer stated the Effingham region was chosen because of its close proximity to St. Louis and St. Charles.
"That part of Illinois is about 60 to 90 minutes away, so commuting to our region should not be a problem.  Hopefully, the new employees will recognize the beauty of St. Charles and decide to become a resident here."
Leezer added political and economic conditions in the state also play a factor in the campaign.
"Southern Illinois University - Carbondale issued a report stating nearly 50% of Generation X and Millennials want to leave.  A prominent reason was the significant dysfunction in Illinois.   By contrast, Missouri's reputation for stable government operations - both at the state and local levels - is an attractive feature for these individuals," Leezer added.
While more details will be forthcoming, Leezer stated that a number of St. Charles industries have expressed interest in participating in the recruitment fair.

Lindenwood University, SSM Health Expand Exclusive Agreement

Two of St. Charles most impactful employers recently announced a new working agreement to expand the two entities partnership.
Lindenwood University and SSM Health will expand an exclusive agreement that not only provides medical care to the largest Division II athletics program in the country, but also allows students access to educational programs within the Catholic, non-profit health system.
In an agreement signed Nov. 1 by Lindenwood President Michael D. Shonrock, PhD, and Candace Jennings, Regional President of hospital operations for SSM Health - St. Louis, SSM Health will become the exclusive health care service provider for the University's Athletic Training Department.
SSM Health will have a presence for home games in football, gymnastics, women's ice hockey, and other events while also providing assistance with sports medicine protocols, training seminars, medical screenings and sports physicals.
In addition to that agreement, Lindenwood and SSM Health amended an academic affiliation agreement that allows university students in health occupation programs to train at facilities of SSM Health.
"Lindenwood University is a fixture in our region and we are proud to partner with them," said Jennings. "Not only does this allow us to provide exceptional health care services to their students and athletes, but also provide their students the opportunity to gain valuable experience to start them in health care careers."
SSM Health will also offer clinic services for the entire student body at Lindenwood's Student Health Center in the Evans Commons, along with other basic services such as office visits, lab testing and certain exams.
"SSM Health is known for its exceptional health care services and we're excited to formalize a great relationship between two leaders in St. Louis," Dr. Shonrock said. "This agreement allows us to make high-quality health care available to our students and athletes." 

Masterclock Honored with Gold Innovators Award
Masterclock, a manufacturer of precise timing systems headquartered in St. Charles , has been honored with a Gold Award from Military and Aerospace Electronics Magazine for their development and implementation of the timing and countdown system at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA's rocket launch headquarters.  The annual Military & Aerospace Electronics Innovators Awards program looks to celebrate the most innovative applications of aerospace and defense electronics technology, products, and systems.
"This recognition confirms the great work our team has done by pushing our boundaries and applying our talents in a controlled fashion," explained Masterclock President and CEO John Clark when receiving the award.  "We provided a fresh perspective to an existing problem and arrived at a new and improved method of meeting the initial goals of the system."
The company earned the award alongside former NASA timing engineer Carl Otto who worked with the Masterclock team to help define, validate, and deploy the system on-site.  The real-time feedback from Mr. Otto during the development process allowed the company to ensure compliance and conformity to existing operations while enabling the innovation and modernization to move forward.  This collaboration between government and industry helped both sides accommodate undefined requirements for the new deployment and ensure the new system aligned with the future needs of the space center.
Alan Bergstein , publisher of Military & Aerospace Electronics , stated, "This prestigious program allows Military & Aerospace Electronics to celebrate and recognize the most innovative products and services in the military electronics industry. Our 2016 Honorees are an outstanding example of companies who are making an impact." 

River City Start-Up Hub on the Rise

Mike Downing, Director of Missouri Department of Economic Development

This year was monumental for Missouri.

The state reached record employment levels with more Missourians employed than ever before. There was also a rise in one of the State's key economic drivers, tourism, with Missouri recording a record 41 million visitors who spent a record $13 billion.

Entrepreneurship also stole the show this year. In fact, the Show-Me State is now considered one of the hottest startup spots in the country, ranking 9th for Best Startup Activity by the Kauffman Foundation, up 24 spots from 2009.

St. Charles' mantra, "If it's happening, it's happening in St. Charles!" could never be more true.

According to David Leezer, Director of Economic Development for the City of St. Charles, future generations will look at 2016 as an essential step in the City's growth.

"The foundation built in the last couple of years is important," he said. "What you're seeing is growth of both major employers and small businesses. You're seeing the future being constructed today."

"A lot of the credit for the fertile entrepreneurial environment goes to the recen tly created business incubator, OPO Startups . In fact, the startup scene is growing so fast, organizations aimed at helping startups are quickly expanding to accommodate new businesses," said Leezer.

The  OPO, which stands for Old Post Office, is a co-working center for digital startups located in downtown St. Charles. According to Leezer, not many realize just how impactful the OPO could be on the future of the riverside town.

"The project will eventually be seen as the most transformational project in St. Charles," he said. "You won't see its full impact for another 15 or 20 years, but what you'll see will be our version of Emerson or Cerner. You'll see a small company from St. Charles become a global player."

"The vision to create an ideal startup environment generated in the mind of local entrepreneur Randy Schilling. He saw the potential St. Charles had to become a premier IT hub, said Leezer.   "He started to buy and renovate old buildings in St. Charles.  He also created the OPO Startups for technological entrepreneurs, and has had so much success. It's filled and he's already bought another building for expansion."

Donna Mantle of the Missouri Department of Economic Development noted the renovated building is a perfect launch point for any company.

"The OPO is fantastic," she said."It's a great place with lots of history. When you think of the Old Post Office housing a bunch of new young companies, it's a neat balance."

The  OPO Startups gives resources of all sorts, including financial, training, or even just a desk to work at, to budding entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking to jump-start their business.

One company to go through the OPO is Liviara, a maker of high end lingerie, and its manufacturing subsidiary, St. Louis Sewn. Kara Gatto, CEO of the companies, took an idea and turned it into a reality through the OPO.

According to Leezer, small businesses like Liviara often have a more far reaching impact than simply pumping money into the local economy, said Leezer.

"Not only is she helping people learn a new trade, but she's showing everyone you can make a quality product right here in the U.S.," he said. "She's also investing in people, training people, and giving them a quality of life they can be proud of."

"Products sewn in the company headquarters on Fifth Street in St. Charles are considered high end luxury garments, and will be sold worldwide," said Mantle.
"I had never heard of most of the stores they sell in," she said, laughing. "They're high-end retailers."

Liviara is one of the many new businesses to benefit from a special startup environment. Mantle said rather than the cut-throat ecosystems seen in other cities nationwide, St. Charles startups have a special synergy.  I think they definitely want to help each other.  It's not a competition between them, they are willing to help. With all their weekly events and constantly making contacts in the community, you never really know where each connection is going to come into play."

Tech startups and luxury manufacturers aren't the only developments dotting the landscape in St. Charles. Per Leezer, diverse investments in several sectors are a good economic indicator.

"Over the past year we've had 2,000 homes built, planned or permitted," he added. "The development is so foundational because it's not just in one area. You're seeing growth with warehouse distribution and manufacturing, and technology and we're on the verge of announcing big projects on the north side. We are expecting growth for years to come."

Leezer said residents of St. Charles have every reason to be optimistic about the future.

"Mayor  Sally Faith has coined a phrase that she uses everywhere she goes," he said, 'If it's happening, it's happening in St. Charles!'."

To learn more about OPO Startups or St. Charles Economic Development, visit https://www.opostartups.com/. For more information about state resources geared towards growing Missouri's startup community, visit https://ded.mo.gov/

City, McKelvey Homes Cut Ribbon for Duchesne Drive Extension

Mayor Sally Faith, and Jim Brennen, President of McKelvey Homes, were recently joined by local dignitaries to officially open the extension of North Duchesne Drive.
The extension, at the entrance of the new Villages of Provence , connects Duchesne Drive to the Mel Wetter Parkway.   The Villages of Provence is a new community of homes built by four of St. Charles' leading home builders. 
Located in one of the most serene settings in St. Charles, the community is just moments away from popular attractions, like Historic St. Charles, Blanchette Park, and Lindenwood University . The Villages of Provence features homes from McKelvey Homes,  Payne Family Homes,  Fisher & Frichtel and Consort Homes
Representatives from the St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce organized the official ribbon cutting to officially celebrate the extension of the road. 
Featured Property - 1 Point West Boulevard
1 Point West Boulevard

Need a small office space with high visibility?  Check out 1 Point West Boulevard represented by McKelvey Properties.
Perfectly situated along the outer road of Interstate 70, this outstanding office building offers 3,060 square feet for lease. The building is nearly 12,000 sq. ft. in total and houses two other strong tenants. 
  • Great visibility for Interstate 70 travelers
  • Convenient access to the Cave Springs /Truman Boulevard and Zumbehl exits
  • Just minutes from Highway 370
  • Amenities like restaurants and hotels within close proximity
  • Competitive lease rate
To find out how you can become a part of the growing St. Charles economic scene, contact Patricia McKelvey of McKelvey Properties at 636-669-9111 and experience the strongest growth in the region.


Your Economic Development Team  
David Leezer,   Travis Wilson and Susie King