A state economic development official visited Washington Wednesday to discuss a new program that could benefit local industries if they want to expand.
A group of local industry leaders met with Jason Archer of the Missouri Department of Economic Development about the new Missouri Works program.
The Missouri Works program was created by the state Legislature to provide benefits if an industry hires more workers and makes capital investments.
There are several incentive programs offered under Missouri Works. Rural Works is the primary program that local industries could possibly qualify for. A company can apply online at www.ded.mo.gov.
Certain conditions must be met to qualify for Rural Works. Those include that the industry must pay the new employees at least 90 percent of the county average wage, and there must be a minimum capital investment of $100,000 over two years. The county’s average wage for purposes of the program this year is $35,193.
Also, at least two new jobs must be created over two years. To qualify, industries must also offer to pay at least 50 percent of the new employees’ health insurance.
If all of those conditions are met, industries can retain the state withholding taxes on the new employees. The industries can get the benefit for five years and can get a sixth year if they have been established in Missouri for 10 years or more.
Archer said the new Missouri Works program is a consolidation of four programs, including Quality Jobs, into one.
The meeting was held at Washington City Hall and was also attended by Darren Lamb, the city’s community and economic development director.
Certain industries, such as gambling, health care, retail, food and drinking establishments and public utilities, are ineligible for the Missouri Works program. However, some of those businesses’ headquarter operations could be eligible.
Archer also touched on three other programs offered under Missouri Works.
One of those programs is called Statewide Works, and it requires no capital investment, but there must be a minimum of 10 jobs created over two years, and they must pay 90 percent of the county’s average wage. If those requirements are met, companies can retain the state withholding tax on the new employees.
Archer also talked about two other programs called the Mega 120 and the Mega 140 that fall under Missouri Works. They both require a minimum of 100 jobs be created over two years.
One requires paying 120 percent of the county average wage and the other requires that 140 percent of the county average be paid. The Mega 120 program allows industries to keep an amount equal to 6 percent of the new payroll for five years and an amount equal to 7 percent of new payroll for the Mega 140. That benefit comes in the form of tax credits and allowing companies to retain state withholding taxes.
Industries that have been in Missouri at least 10 years can qualify for a sixth year under those programs as well. All of the Missouri Works programs require that industries offer to pay at least 50 percent of the new employees’ health insurance.
Archer also spoke of the Show-Me Heroes program, which involves recognition of companies that hire veterans.