September 20, 2012
Governor says focus on worker safety through community college training is making a real difference for employers' bottom lines
During visit to manufacturer in Neosho, Gov. Nixon reports work comp rates declined each of past three years
NEOSHO, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon today visited a southwest Missouri manufacturer with an exemplary focus on worker safety and health to detail two positive trends for the state's economy. The Governor was at the Neosho manufacturing facility of Holden Industries, which makes trailers for the military and other uses, to congratulate the company for helping bolster Missouri's positive business climate through its focus on worker safety and health. Holden Industries has its headquarters in Southwest City.
"Safe and healthy workers make a real difference for Missouri businesses, and this long-time Missouri company is setting an excellent example," Gov. Nixon said. "By helping businesses create safe and healthy work environments, we have brought down workers' comp rates each of the past three years, and we're making our business climate even more attractive for employers."
Holden Industries works closely with Crowder College in Neosho to provide safety training for employees, especially the company's welders, and training for supervisors with a specific focus on worker safety.
Gov. Nixon noted that because of the ongoing statewide focus on worker safety and health, workers' compensation insurance rates in Missouri have come down each of the past three years and continue to be lower than rates in many surrounding states. In fact, on average, workers' comp rates are lower than they were back in 1994. Since 2009, workers' injury claims have gone down every year, and are now almost 50 percent lower than they were nearly two decades ago.
During his visit today, Gov. Nixon also noted that the jobs report released today by the Missouri Department of Economic Development found that Missouri employers created 17,900 jobs in August. The report found that the manufacturing sector led this growth, with an increase of 4,900 jobs.
In total, Missouri employers have now added 25,200 jobs in 2012, after finishing 2011 with a net gain of 21,386 jobs. Missouri's unemployment rate is nearly a full point below the national average, and has remained below the national average for 36 months in a row.
"By balancing our budget and holding the line on taxes, investing in worker training, and promoting workplace safety, we are creating an environment where Missouri businesses are poised to create jobs and thrive," Gov. Nixon said. "We've still got more work to do, but we're clearly moving in the right direction. We won't stop until every Missourian who wants a job has a job."