Ozarks Business/Economy

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Soldiers scale walls and crawl through cold, damp grass while taking on simulated gunfire in this Basic Training course at Fort Leonard Wood. They’re among the roughly 90,000 yearly trainees at the base, located in the central Missouri Ozarks.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

There’s not another city as large as West Plains within a 100-mile radius. As a result, this south central Missouri community of over 12,000 in Howell County attracts a large amount of the region’s business and employees. Yet it’s competing on a much larger scale.

Last fall, one of West Plains’ largest employers, Robertshaw, announced that production of its gas valves and thermostats will be consolidated and transferred to a facility in Mexico, impacting roughly 400 jobs. Other recent company announcements of staff and shift reductions will expand those numbers.


Missouri Governor Jay Nixon helped break ground on a new battery manufacturing facility in Joplin.  EaglePicher Technologies' 100,000 square foot expansion is expected to create 171 new jobs for the region.

The company's new Lithium-Ion Center of Excellence will house work for new lithium-ion cell and battery product lines.  It's expected to be completed by December 2015.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

After closing for renovation six years ago, anticipation has been building for the Wonders of Wildlife complex on the Bass Pro Shops campus in Springfield. On Wednesday, members of the media were offered a sneak peek into the facility, which is scheduled to open next spring.

“What we’re looking at is a cylinder, acrylic cylinder, about 30 feet tall, about 20 feet in diameter. This room itself is basically themed on the notion of artificial reefs.”

Missouri State University, Carrington Hall
Scott Harvey / KSMU

The Missouri State University Board of Governors is expected this week to approve tuition and fee increases at its Springfield and West Plains campuses.

If approved at its Thursday meeting, undergraduate resident tuition for a Springfield student this fall will increase by $1 to $205 per credit hour. Out-of-state undergrads at the flagship campus will experience a 2 percent tuition hike, and regular internet-based tuition will increase by $10 per credit hour to $285 per credit hour.