The Missouri General Assembly began its special session today. On the minds of many lawmakers will be job stimulus packages designed to improve the living circumstances of Missourians. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the agenda will focus on several aspects of job creation across the spectrum of jobs.
Initiatives will be designed to spur job creation from high-paying academic jobs all the way down to minimum wage earners. The good part about the special session is that lawmakers will try to make jobs available for all kinds of Missourians. It helps that the entire session will be spent just talking about bringing more viable employers to the state.
The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act is designed to give higher education a boost in communities where they are located. It will allow for easier cooperatives between colleges, universities and high tech companies to work together to train future employees.
For instance, if a nanotechnology company needs certain degrees and educational attainment of employees, they can work with local colleges to establish degrees with the promise to hire graduates of the program. It will provide low-interest loans to relocate to Missouri while helping them develop partnerships with local communities.
This legislation is geared for high-paying jobs with college degrees. Companies that deal with robotics, solar cells, electrical engineering and nanotechnology are designed to be the beneficiaries of this initiative. Companies that deal in health care could also benefit.
One of the more controversial aspects of the special session will be the design and construction of a cargo hub at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The point of the hub is to allow Chinese goods to land at the airport at a special area to be built at Lambert. Flights from China would land directly in St. Louis.
The Post-Dispatch also reports the idea is drawing criticism. Factories and freezers would be built, but there is no guarantee China will land its planes in St. Louis. Supporters say it would create thousands of jobs from construction down to factory workers. The tax credits are worth $360 million over 15 years.
The hope of the "aerotroplis" as it is called will be to create a boon of economic activity for the state. Planes can land in St. Louis and then take off for other destinations such as South America or Europe. It would be seen as a stop off point for Chinese goods coming to America and other countries from Asia.
A cargo hub is a good idea if it works. It would supply lower-paying jobs but more of them to a large populace looking for work in the labor force. It caters to the modern economic engine of getting cheap goods from China, which is a good idea for the Midwest. The hub works both ways -- goods from the United States can be shipped elsewhere at the same hub.
Unfortunately, no studies have been conducted to see if the massive cargo hub is feasible. If it works, bringing jobs to Missouri is a great idea through China. An airline has already promised to land its planes should the hub be built. Chicago's Rockford Airport has already tried to get a cargo hub for three years without success as of yet. The proposal for St. Louis will be larger in scope.
The special session is fantastic for Missourians should it benefit all levels of income. Business owners, large corporations and everyday Missouri citizens must benefit from any package passed by the General Assembly.
William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.