Boeing patents artillery shell that could be used to fight forest fires

Boeing was awarded a patent for an “artillery shell comprising: an external surface, a cavity disposed within the external surface; a fire retarding material disposed within the cavity; and a trigger configured to release the fire-retarding material.” Basically, an artillery shell would be shot out of the gun toward a fire, and the trigger would release a fire-retarding material from the shell to put it out. The intent is to create a more adequate way to fight forest fires. Read Boeing’s application for the patent here.  

New Soft Surroundings facility to be built in Mexico

Soft Surroundings, a luxury lifestyle brand for women, announced plans to construct a new distribution center in Mexico, Missouri. The new facility will replace an existing facility in Mexico that will now become a distribution center for Boston Proper. The move will create approximately 50 new jobs to support the Boston Proper facility. “Our decision to build a new distribution center here in Mexico is a direct reflection of both the high quality and loyalty of our workforce,” said Senior Vice President of Operations, Laura Barrett. “We have been in Mexico for many years, and we could not imagine being anywhere else.” Tom Wilcher, CEO of Soft Surroundings, mentioned the central location of Mexico and how it allows them to be efficient and timely. “It is absolutely an ideal location, geographically speaking,” said Wilcher in a press release. The announcement of the new distribution center will be commemorated with a groundbreaking ceremony held on Wednesday, June 8 at 9:30 a.m.

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NAM: Monday Economic Report

Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.  Economic signals last week were mixed, but the overall picture remains the same—a midsummer economy that is struggling to gain traction after an underwhelming first half. It was two steps forward in July and one step back in August. Yet, we can clearly distinguish the signals that point to a strengthening recovery as the year proceeds, especially in manufacturing. Flash PMIs retreated a little in August, but remained above the breakeven 50 mark, indicating continued manufacturing growth. Advanced durable goods orders in July were solid. New orders grew 4.4 percent month over month, seasonally adjusted (SA). Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.5 percent, and excluding defense, new orders increased 3.8 percent. Core capital goods orders (nondefense, excluding aircraft), a proxy for the private investment climate, grew 1.6 percent month over month, SA. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods fell 0.1 percent in

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Good news for Missouri business: expect to see a decline in workers’ compensation rates in 2017

Employers should see a reduction in workers’ compensation rates for the third straight year according to preliminary figures collected by the Missouri Department of Insurance from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). The NCCI recently proposed an overall decrease of 3.7% for 2017 workers’ compensation loss costs. “Missouri businesses will be pleased to hear that workers’ compensation rates on average should decrease again in 2017,” said Missouri Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff. “With 336 active carriers and rates continuing to decline, Missouri has a competitive workers’ compensation market that benefits Missouri businesses.” Of Missouri’s 366 active carriers, 220 filed rate decreases this year with an average decrease of 2.9%. A decrease in rate means more savings for businesses in the state. To view the proposed change in loss costs by industry group, click here.

SSM Health assumes operation of health clinics within Walgreens across the region

Today, SSM Health assumed operation of 26 retail health clinics within Walgreens stores across the St. Louis region. The SSM Health Express Clinic at Walgreens is an extension of the SSM Health Medical Group, which provides convenient, high-quality care to consumers. The clinics will continue to provide the same services previously offered by Walgreens Healthcare Clinics including sports physicals, vaccinations and treatment for a range of common illnesses and injuries. They will also be integrated with SSM Health’s electronic health record and billing systems. “This is an exciting opportunity to show how providers collaborating with organizations like Walgreens can help improve health outcomes and ensure a continuum of care for patients throughout St. Louis,” said Pat Carroll, MD, chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics. Walgreens’ relationship with SSM Health dates back to 2012. The two organizations will explore opportunities to integrate other Walgreens services as part of the broader collaboration. Click here for more information on SSM Health Express Clinic at

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The Obama Administration finalizes the ‘blacklisting rule’

The Obama Administration finalized the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces executive order, or the ‘blacklisting rule’, on federal contractors, meaning firms have to “report past labor law violations to qualify for contracts with the federal government.” The rule mandates “disclosure of even minor violations that businesses or their subcontractors received in the previous three years for contracts worth more than $500,000.” “Now hardworking, responsible manufacturers could lose out on valuable job-creating work with the federal government for no good reason,” said Jay Timmons, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO. NAM and Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) both agree that the rule will blacklist prospective firms from working with the federal government. According to The Hill, industry groups may sue the Obama Administration over the rule.

Minimum wage to raise in 2017

Missouri should be seeing a 5-cent raise on minimum wage this January, bringing it from $7.65 an hour to $7.70. In 2006, Missourians voted to adjust minimum wage annually to reflect inflation. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations released the numbers used in the calculations this week, however 2017’s minimum wage will not be announced until fall. 2016’s Minimum Wage Summary Poster can be found here.

LaunchKC determines finalists for $50k grants

LaunchKC, a Kansas City-based grants program, has announced the 20 finalists that will be in the running to win a portion of the $500,000 jackpot. Finalists will pitch their firms to LaunchKC who will then select which ten entrepreneurs to support and assist with coaching, mentoring and funding to develop high growth, successful businesses in Kansas City. The ten start-ups will be selected at TechWeek and will receive a $50,000 non-dilutive grant. Here are the finalists: Aces Health (Bentonville, Ark.) – Health Tech ConsultUS (Prairie Village, Kan.) – Ag Tech Backstitch – (Detroit, Mich./Kansas City, Mo./Sprint Accelerator) – Cloud Services Big Bang – (Kansas City, Mo.) – Cloud Services BLITAB – (Austria) – Education Tech EnduraLock – (Overland Park, Kan.) – Other Eyes on Freight – (Kansas City, Mo.) – Logistics Glober – (San Francisco, Calif.) – Mobile Tech Fitness Technology – (Kansas City, Mo.) – Health Tech Forest Devices – Alpha Stroke (Pittsburgh, Pa.) – Health Tech Herd Scout – (Overland

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Ray McCarty testifies before the Study Commission on State Tax Policy

Ray McCarty testified at a meeting of the Study Commission on State Tax Policy in Springfield last Wednesday, August 17. He discussed a recent change in the application of sales and use taxes to shipping charges, and spoke against a suggestion by one of the workgroups of the Commission to limit the timely filing discount provided to employers and retailers for collecting and administering sales/use and withholding taxes. McCarty presented testimony to the Tax Administration Workgroup of the Commission, applauding the Department of Revenue (DOR) for sending notices to taxpayers regarding the change in tax policy, but contending that regulations on the subject should also have been changed through the regulatory process.  He told the Workgroup that taxpayers will usually comply if they know the rules, but the DOR’s rules are currently not in sync with their position.  He talked about the advantages of refining a policy through the regulatory process and stated Associated Industries of Missouri is convening a

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