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In This Issue


St. Charles City had over $240 M in residential and commercial construction happening in 2016. 


Jackie Huebbe visits with T ravis Wilson at   SugarBot Sweet Shop located at the corner of Jackson and Fifth Streets.  SugarBot is the home of "The Very Best Cookies" and makes everything 100% from scratch and by hand.  

St. Charles City has over 2,750 housing units planned, under construction or recently completed. 

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Mayor Faith  2013
There are numerous ways to communicate an idea or opinion; however, I believe there is no better way than to meet face-to-face.  My point was proven during our St. Charles "Road Show" program.
On three separate nights, we held an open house and encouraged residents to view pending infrastructure programs in the City.  Representatives from our Engineering and Public Works Departments, along with St. Charles County officials, met face-to-face with citizens to outline plans for projects like the Interstate 70 corridor expansion, First Capital Drive reconstruction, Truman Boulevard improvements and much, much more.
Many attendees came in concerned and/or upset because of what they heard.  In my eyes, the vast majority left the meetings with a better understanding (and appreciation) of what was taking place and how it would be managed.  While not everyone was happy with the information, they were better informed and ultimately less stressed out.
Why were many of their concerns addressed?  Because the City was willing to personally discuss the projects.  
This is the benefit of an open and transparent government.  We understand that infrastructure improvements do inconvenience people and we take that into consideration.  However, it has been proven time and time again the inconvenience resulted in better roads and improved service and, there is less citizen outrage when we communicate these projects early and often.
St. Charles is a community with a proud history, but more importantly, we also offer an exciting future.  As leaders, we are doing our best to insure our residents, businesses and visitors benefit from these exciting times.  
If you are looking for a town that is vibrant, growing and investing in its future - and willing to talk about that future - then look no further than St. Charles, Missouri. 
As I tell every, "If it's happening, it's happening in St. Charles!"  

Thank you,
 Sally Sig photoshop 
Mayor Sally Faith

St. Charles Hosting Innovative Career Fair on March 28th in Effingham, Illinois
Click to see video

Citing the need to increase the area's labor pool, the Economic Development Department will be hosting a Career and Lifestyle Fair  in east-central Illinois.
"We are doing something innovative in an attempt to increase the size of our population and workforce in St. Charles," stated David Leezer, Director of Economic Development.  "The reaction from our employers and partners has been tremendous."
The Career & Lifestyle Fair will take place  from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham, Illinois , and will include a number of St. Charles businesses looking for employees.
"Our local industries need both skilled and unskilled people.  We have opportunities available in information technology, production, customer service, welding, finance, hospitality, logistics and much, much more," stated Leezer.
Leezer also noted a study by SIU-Carbondale which stated a majority of the Millennial and Gen X population want to leave Illinois due to high taxes and the extreme dysfunction within the state's governmental structure.
"St. Charles and Missouri offer lower taxes, far superior public services and a more stable environment and educational opportunities for families."
"Plans are also underway to host more career fairs in other parts of the state,"  Leezer added.

Nominate Your Business for 2017 Employer of the Year Award
2016 Employer of the Year Award Winners

Once again, the City of St. Charles is seeking nominations for the annual Employer of the Year Award.  

The program, conducted in partnership with the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce, recognizes both local individuals and businesses for their contribution to the City and the Region.

Awards will be given in the following categories:
  • Manufacturing
  • Retailer
  • Service
  • The Jack Heck Award - given to a company that exhibits long-time City employee Jack Heck's devotion to community, faith and family
  • Sustainability - recognizes a company which has taken measures to improve energy efficiency
Awards will be presented on Thursday, May 4, 2017, by Mayor Sally Faith.  The Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce will also be honoring the  Small Business Person of the Year , highlighting the personal and business contributions of a small business person.

To nominate a business for Employer of the Year, please click here to download the nomination form and submit it to Susie King  via email, fax, or regular mail.  Nominations are due by Friday, March 17.

Missouri's Automotive Industry Is Firing On All Cylinders

Mike Downing, Director of Missouri Department of Economic Development

Earning blue ribbons is our business in the Show-Me State. And now, we are making that statement hold true in the auto world.
The Ford plant in Claycomo produces America's best-selling van the Ford Transit ( GoodCarBadCar), and the top-selling Ford F-150 ( Motor Trend). The General Motors plant in Wentzville manufactures the Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, as well as the top-ranked Chevy Colorado (2016 Motor Trend Truck of the Year) and GMC Canyon (2015 Best of the Best Truck Finalist, Auto Week).
Last year's production numbers show that Missouri-made vehicles are in demand and more popular than ever. Production numbers, sales figures and exports all point to the same conclusion: the world is buying and driving an increasing number of vehicles made in the Show-Me State.
In 2016, total production at these Missouri plants jumped 15 percent. Additionally, output increased by 98,835 vehicles from 2015 to 2016, with a total of nearly 750,000 cars produced in the Show-Me State.
According to Auto Alliance, Missouri's auto industry accounted for $7.31 billion in sales in the year 2016. And our Missouri-made vehicles are now on driveways around the world. According to the latest export figures, transportation equipment was the top commodity, and sales increased 33 percent from 2015 to 2016, from $1.4 to $1.7 billion.   
Revving up
Historic investments by Ford and GM created a domino effect on Missouri's auto industry, with automotive plant and after-market product suppliers also launching expansions across the state. In fact, in recent years dozens of suppliers have invested nearly $2.3 billion in new or upgraded facilities.
Just last year, Dana Light Axle Products  announced plans to expand its manufacturing plant in Columbia, where it currently produces parts for major auto manufacturers including Ford, GM and Nissan. The company's $39 million expansion is expected to create 135 new jobs over the next few years.
Made in Missouri muscle
Even the most well-oiled machine cannot work unless it's put together properly. More and more auto companies are realizing when it comes to tapping into the best auto workforce, there's no place like Missouri.
More than a quarter-of-a-million highly skilled and trained Missourians are employed in the manufacturing industry, and are ready to help auto companies take their vehicles to the next level.
Missouri's competitive business environment and central location, combined with the skills of our top-notch workforce, continue to position the state as a premier destination for automotive manufacturing. The rebirth of the auto industry is happening right here.
If you're ready to take us for a spin, visit the Missouri Auto Portal to learn more about tailored resources for everything auto. 

OPO Startups Members Making National Headlines
OPO Startups on Historic Main Street

OPO Startups is proud to announce that several of its members are making national headlines, an indication that the City of  St. Charles is an ideal place for new companies and entrepreneurs.
Liviara, a high-end lingerie designer, was one of OPO Startups' first members. Though the company recently moved into a building of its own near the Streets of St. Charles complex, founder Kara Gatto continues to be an active part of the OPO community. Over the past week, Liviara made national news when BeyoncĂ© (yes, the BeyoncĂ©) announced her pregnancy while wearing a Liviara product in the accompanying Instagram post.   "It's a massive game changer," said Gatto. "Just the recognition and getting the brand name out there is massive for us."
BoardPaq, founded by Randy Schilling (who is also the founder of OPO Startups), will be featured in Inc. 1000, making the provider of paperless meeting technology the second company Schilling has started on Main Street to make the prestigious Inc. list. BoardPaq will also be the second OPO member to make the list, after Worth Clark Realty cracked the top 100-and was the fastest-growing company in Missouri in 2016.
Dustin McKissen, OPO member and founder of communications and public relations firm McKissen + Company, was just named a featured columnist for CNBC. Dustin is also a two-time winner of the LinkedIn "Top Voice" designation.  His writing on CNBC, LinkedIn, Yahoo! Finance, and Inc. has been read by more than 5 million people.
"It's remarkable to see all of the great things coming out of OPO," said Schilling. "We've been around for less than two years and have already seen some really successful startups come out of this community. Some of these startups have made national headlines, but so many others are doing great things, too. The success of our members speaks to the potential of St. Charles--and of Main Street--to be a hub of entrepreneurship in the entire region. I'm excited to see where the next two years take us!"
St. Charles Hosts "Road Show" on Area Projects

The City of Saint Charles held a series of three "St. Charles Road Show" Open House sessions allowing citizens the opportunity to personally speak to City staff  regarding upcoming construction projects and concepts planned for 2017 and future years.  
Discussion and feedback on projects included, but were not limited to:  
Mayor Sally Faith was excited about the turnout the Road Show generated.
"It is important citizens see and understand how
Road Show hosted at City Hall
we intend to invest our dollars to handle the tremendous growth we are experiencing.  These Road Shows offered an opportunity to hear about pending changes and be heard regarding their potential impact," Faith said.
Over 300 attendees participated in the events and comments were received both verbally and in written form.
Faith added, "Overall, these meetings were a success because they informed the public and alleviated a lot of confusion regarding how we are proceeding with our infrastructure program."

Ameristar, City Team Up Again to Host Area Legislators

The City of St. Charles  and
Ameristar St. Charles   recently hosted state legislators from throughout the County to gain insight on the upcoming session and its potential impacts.  This is the third consecutive year the breakfast was held.
"This was, by far, the best attended event since its inception," stated Mayor Sally Faith.  "Our legislators are very good at keeping the lines of communication open with the City and our businesses."
Ward Shaw, Vice President and General Manager of Ameristar St. Charles, concurred with the Mayor's assessment.
"For us, it's more about listening to the legislators to better understand the legislative efforts taking place in Missouri.  In the end, this allows us 
to better prepare for the future."

Mayor Faith also noted the breakfast demonstrates the cooperative spirit between the City and Ameristar.
"Ameristar is a proven asset for the City and the Region.  Coming together like this demonstrates that we recognize its importance not only as a premier entertainment and lodging destination, but also as a major employer for the St. Louis region," Faith added.

Economic Development Commission Tours CORTEX
A 200-acre neighborhood being redeveloped into a regional epicenter for innovation & entrepreneurism

The Economic Development Commission for the City of Saint Charles  recently toured the CORTEX Innovation Community and met with staff to find out more about the innovative development.
"The purpose of our visit was to understand the impact of the project and see if St. Charles could create its own version of CORTEX," stated Economic Development Director David Leezer.  "Instead of duplicating it, we are trying to determine if a modified version of CORTEX could work here."
Commission members learned about the project's early stages, how it has progressed over the years and plans for future development. They also gained a better understanding about special cooperative programs which enhances the experience of CORTEX.

Feature Property - 20 Corporate Hills Drive

Needing that high end data center with all the amenities without paying the outrageous rents?  Then contact Shockley Commercial & Industrial and take a look at 20 Corporate Hills Drive in St. Charles.
Conveniently located along the Highway 370 Corridor, this 41,000 square foot center offers 267 parking spaces and easy access to Lambert Airport.  Employees will benefit from special amenities like walking/biking trails and nearby restaurants.
Available this fall, 20 Corporate Hills Drive is "move in" ready for any "plug and play" operation. Tenants will benefit from:  
  • On-Site 480 Volt Generator
  • UPS System that Stays with the Property
  • IT Room with
    • Data Wire
    • Service Racks
    • Raised Flooring
    • Fiber Optics
    • 5E Capability High Speed
  • Business Continuity Room Prepped to Manage any Disaster
  • Command Center for Safety 
Tenants also have the choice of keeping the existing furniture with white boards and room dividers.
This is a can't miss opportunity for anyone looking to expand their data operations into the St. Louis area's most vibrant location.  To gain a tour of the building and find out more, contact Scott Shockley at 636-946-9753 of Shockley Commercial & Industrial.


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