Archive for March, 2009

Kansas City Area Has Niche in Clinical Trials

I didn’t realize it until Friday, but 10% of all clinical trials are done in the Kansas City area.  KC also ranks 5th per capita for these studies which play a crucial role in the development of new pharmaceutical products. It is also a field which is growing as large pharma companies look to outsource this type of work.  Quintiles is one of the largest and employs over 900 people in the metro but there are many others scattered throughout the region.  All of this information comes from a study recently commissioned by the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute.

March 28, 2009 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

Missouri Graded on Manufacturing, Logistics & Tax Climate

Ball State University recently released their study on which are the best states in the nation for manufacturing, logistics and tax climate.  Missouri received a “C” for manufacturing, “B” for logistics and an “A” for tax climate.

Read the complete report

March 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Layoff Tracker Monitors Job Loss at Fortune 500 Companies

A number of web sites are now posting running totals of job layoffs occurring throughout the country. has had an active tracker since November 1st and have tracked over 524,000 layoffs by the largest companies in the country.  It is interesting to see the layoffs for the last two months are not particularly geared towards any one sector.  They include technology, transportation, manufacturing, retail, oil and gas, and financials.

See the layoff tracker

March 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

Job Growth…In this Economy?

It is hard to believe, but there are certain sectors that have seen employment growth.  An article in today’s edition of USA Today highlighted the fact that 4.4 million people got new jobs in January.  The sectors showing growth are healthcare, government and energy.  With healthcare, the challenge is that the demand for nurses outpaces the ability of educational institutions to train them.  A perfect example is Centerpoint Medical Center which added 90 new employees during 2008.  Growing government jobs include fire, police, education and blue collar jobs attached to public works types of projects.

The latest employment figures were released today and Independence fell below metro and state averages for unemployment which has not historically been the case.  The existing strengths of government and healthcare employment has certainly helped locally with stemming greater job loss in our city.

March 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

Entrepreneurship Catching On

It seems like everyone is jumping on the entrepreneurship bandwagon, and for good reason.  Just recently, the Kansas City Area Development Council (which is more noted for the large projects they work with) has expanded their focus to include start up businesses.  Much of this has come about because of the focus on the animal health sector which has a history of spawning new start ups.  What do these new companies need?  The biggest issue is adequate facilties.  Because the gazelles (those which are the fastest growing) of the industry often deal with pharmaceutical products, have adequate dry lab and wet lab space is crucial.  There is a major deficit in the Kansas City metro that actually results in lost opportunities.  The University of Kansas is currently developing new space and the incubator at Independence Regional would also include about 30,000 s.f. of new space for these types of companies.  Read more about this topic in an article published in the Kansas City Business Journal.

March 21, 2009 at 7:30 am Leave a comment

Green Dog Gallery – A Real Gem in Englewood

This evening I had the opportunity to experience the Green Dog Gallery in Englewood.  Russ Lawrence and the artists hosted a reception for the arts district consultant and it is amazing to see the talent we have locally.  It is great to be able to walk through the artists work spaces to see them in action and then enjoy the finished works in the gallery.  It  is definately worth a walk through for anyone who appreciates art.  Check out their web site at

March 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

Arts District Study is Underway

Today marked the start of the feasibility study for development of an arts district in Western Independence.  Arthur Greenberg with AMS Planning and Research is in town through Wednesday doing preliminary research which will include leadership interviews and some initial building assessments for the Englewood area.  The scope of work will include recommendations on opportunities for the establishment of an arts district and some benchmark examples in other areas which have been successful.  The final report should be complete by the end of June.  Anyone who would like to provide information or comments on the arts district can reach Mr. Greenberg by e-mail at

March 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

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March 2009