The Missouri State Fairgrounds was buzzing in mid-November for Gov. Eric Greitens and a major company expansion announcement.
Hundreds of area residents packed into the Lowell Mohler Assembly Hall on Tuesday as local officials revealed a new location for Nucor, the largest producer of steel in the U.S.
With $250 million in capital investment, Nucor will open a steel rebar micro-mill in Pettis County, bringing 250 full-time jobs to the Sedalia area. Nucor will build Nucor Steel Sedalia LLC on the northeast side of Sedalia just outside city limits.
Greitens took the stage Tuesday to celebrate the company’s expansion and job creation in Missouri.
“I’m proud to be here with all of you to stand together with the leaders and the people who made this happen,” Greitens said. “Everybody was working together to get this done. Then, of course, the fantastic leaders of Nucor who recognized the strength and the potential of this community.”
Officials from the State of Missouri, Pettis County, the City of Sedalia and Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County stood alongside Greitens during the announcement. Representatives from the Kansas City Power and Light Co., Liberty Utilities and Union Pacific attended as well to celebrate their partnership with the new mill.
The steel rebar location will create 250 full-time jobs with an average salary of about $65,000, according to a Nucor news release. The project is also expected to create 450 temporary construction jobs.
The mill will be built on the former family farm of Albert and Patricia Reine. Nucor Executive Vice President David Sumoski said construction will break ground in the first quarter of 2018, and the mill should be operational in 2019.
“We knew this was the town,” Sumoski told the Democrat. “We could tell the workforce would be really, really good.”
Mayor Stephen Galliher spoke before the crowd and emphasized the shared family atmosphere of Nucor and the Sedalia community. Nucor President and CEO John Ferriola echoed this sentiment in his remarks.
“To me, you drive down Main Street in Sedalia, and it’s like what America was all about,” Ferriola said. “It really exemplifies to me what Nucor’s all about, (a) family company, and we’re looking always for communities that believe strongly in family, small businesses, the opportunity to create opportunities and jobs.”
In discussions with Nucor, Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County executive director Jessica Craig said she instantly recognized the similarities among the company’s culture and the local community. Nucor will invest in each of its employees through benefits and other unique attributes, she said.
Craig was first approached in April about Nucor’s interest in the Sedalia area while the company was considering multiple cities across seven states. Sedalia’s workforce, infrastructure, central geographic location and collaboration with utility companies helped push Pettis County to the top.
“It’s been a process of elimination for the company,” Craig said. “For Sedalia to be that community at the end of the day that was the strongest and that fit their culture the best is very exciting.”
Nucor, with its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, has acquired multiple locations in Missouri. It owns a facility in Maryville, and in August it purchased the St. Louis Cold Drawn Inc., which serves the U.S. and Mexican automotive and industrial markets. The Sedalia location will be Nucor’s 14th bar mill in the U.S.
Tuesday morning, the Missouri Finance Board reviewed the incentive package to assist the establishment of a Nucor facility in Pettis County, Craig said. The board approved more than $4.64 million to fund equipment purchases for the mill, according to a statement from Lt. Gov. Mike Parson.
Craig said the new facility will be “transformative” for the West Central Missouri region and the state. Future generations could reap the benefits from this economic development expansion.
“As somebody who’s from this community, who has worked on development all over the state and beyond, it’s really special to have a company see the value in my hometown,” she said. “It’s really rewarding to see that we’re making this investment for future generations, for my children (and) their children.”