Love of number crunching serves McKim in NCED role


Josh McKim originally wanted to be the stereotypical version of the number cruncher.

“My first thought of what I wanted to be was that I imagined myself as the guy in a basement with one working light bulb right above me, just crunching data,” McKim said. “I love data and numbers because they help me understand what’s actually going on past how the rhetoric tries to twist it.”

McKim received his bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University in 2000, but interestingly enough, he did so in history.

“I had enough credits to have a bachelor’s degree in economics, but I chose to do history instead,” McKim said. “Back then you couldn’t double because it would be a bachelor of arts in history and a bachelor of science in economics.”

McKim then went to Oklahoma State University to get his master’s degree in economics, which he received in 2004. After that, he applied for “any job with ‘economics’ in the title.” His career began at the Regional Council of Governments in Maryville, but when his wife became pregnant with their second child, he said he needed to find something with good health insurance.

From there, he spent some time in Kansas before returning to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to serve as the executive director of their economic development efforts. After five years, McKim spent some time working in the private sector doing logistics and bidding until he found something to bring him back to Maryville.

“When they announced that the Energizer plant was closing, I knew I wanted to come back and try to help the area recover,” McKim said. “I had experience with that sort of thing, as it had happened before with me, (in Stillwater).

“I knew how to work to try to help the area recover after losing a major employer like that, and when this job opened up, I applied. I figured it would be a great way to give back to my hometown.”

McKim started his current position on Jan. 1, 2014, and immediately began working to help fill the void that was left by the Energizer plant. He said the important thing to remember when trying to replace something like that is to fill the space with another major job creator.

“Unfortunately, though we filled the space, they haven’t created nearly as many jobs as Energizer had,” McKim said. “When you don’t have that home-run job creator, you have to single and double your way to making up for those jobs.

“That’s what we ended up doing, and as a result, we’ve created 450-500 more jobs than we had at our lowest point after Energizer’s closing. That’s an entire warehouse worth of jobs, and we did it by creating 10, 15, 20 jobs at a time. Other plants opened up extensions and new lines for manufacturing and some of our other employers in town added positions and people to their staff as they could afford.”

Now, McKim said, the problem has become filling those jobs. He said Nodaway County Economic Development has been hard at work trying to recruit people from other areas to come to Maryville to fill those jobs.

“We’ve started a whole marketing campaign around coming to Maryville as an individual and as a family,” McKim said. “We talk about how the area’s quality of life is great, the different things that Maryville and Nodaway County have to offer, and do our best to sell Maryville to individuals as much as we do to other businesses.

“We looked at major layoffs and closures throughout the region, and that’s where we’re targeting this advertising. We’re trying to convey the message that this is a community where they can rebuild their lives with new opportunities.”

Outside of the office, McKim is involved in the Maryville community by serving on the Maryville R-II Board of Education, the new Maryville tourism committee, Downtown Maryville, the Missouri Economic Development Council Board and the Northwest Roundtable for Economic Development.

When asked for advice, McKim had two main areas to focus on.

“The first one was when I was younger and early in my working career, and I corrected my boss in a meeting,” McKim said. “He pulled me aside later and told me to wait until after the meeting to correct him, and it taught me that it’s just as important to be considerate of others and respectful as it is to be right.

“The second is one I wish I had learned earlier, and that is to never discount any of your experience. I did a lot of things in the private sector that are easily transferrable to my current job, and it gives me a lot of perspective that some others don’t have. Just because you switch jobs, careers or industries doesn’t discount your past.”

Maryville recognized by Baldrige pilot program

By TONY BROWN Staff writer Nov 16, 2017

TEMPE, Arizona — Nodaway County Economic Development on Wednesday announced that Maryville is one of five communities to receive “Commitment to Community Excellence” certificates from Communities of Excellence 2026.

The presentations took place Oct. 27 during a luncheon at the 2017 National Baldrige Fall Conference in Tempe, Arizona.

Communities of Excellence 2026 has the stated mission of improving the quality of life in communities across the United States by assisting them in implementing the Baldrige-based Communities of Excellence framework.

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes U.S. organizations across a number of sectors, including business, health care, education and nonprofit. The initiative is administered by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Communities receiving certificates were lauded for their “commitment to the health and well-being of residents and pursuit of community performance excellence.”

Cities and counties honored in addition to Maryville included Brookfield/Marceline, Missouri; Kanawha County, West Virginia; San Diego County (South Region), California; and West Kendall, Florida.

In order to become eligible for the award, all five communities submitted a Baldrige-based “community profile,” an example of an improvement made using a “process improvement system” and a list of “key results” to be tracked during the “Communities of Excellence journey.”

The resulting community profiles were then evaluated by a team of volunteer reviewers, who also offered suggestions on how communities might better serve residents.

NCED Executive Director Josh McKim said the certificates spotlight communities, including Maryville, “who are making an effort to pilot and spearhead the Baldridge process in community development.”

He also said that adapting the Baldrige process, originally designed to foster excellence within corporations and institutions, to towns and cities poses some difficulties.

For example, most companies have a unified management structure, while cities and other local entities depend on consensus and cooperation between civic leaders, governing boards, elected officials, citizens, volunteers, service organizations and business groups.

“But there can also be some great rewards,” said McKim, who added that applying “process improvement” strategies to municipalities holds forth the promise of building connections between leadership structures that promote a “common vision and a common purpose.”

McKim said 2017 is the first year for the Communities of Excellence 2026 program, and that, after the city was nominated to take part in the process, a local committee worked for about six months studying the Baldrige system and ways to adapt it to community development.

“We cannot overstate the significance of the contribution these five communities are making to help launch this new approach to improving the lives of residents throughout our country,” said Lowell Kruse, chair of Communities of Excellence 2026.

Kruse is the former CEO of Heartland Health in St. Joseph — now Mosaic Life Care. Under his leadership, Heartland won a Baldrige National Quality Award in 2009 as well as the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service.

“We know that children are educated, jobs are created, health improves all at the community level,” Kruse said. “Helping communities improve their performance is ultimately the best way to improve America.

“We are proud of them and thank them for the willingness to help pave the way for others who will be involved in this important work in the years ahead.”

In a Communities of Excellence release, the organization stated that the recognition program has a three-fold purpose: to develop a nationally recognized standard of community performance; to establish role models of that standard; and to encourage continuous improvement through the sharing of best practices and feedback.

“The entire Baldrige community is excited by the progress being made by these communities to achieve ever-higher levels of performance and improved quality of life for their residents,” said Robert Fangmeyer, director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

New Mozingo hotel cuts ceremonial ribbon

By TOM PINNEY Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum


The process of opening a new hotel at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park is mostly complete.

Tuesday morning, surrounded by various members of the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce, city officials, and other community members, Boulders Inn and Suites general manager Sharlet Dumke cut the ceremonial ribbon to announce the completion and opening of the 40-room hotel.

The hotel has been open for a couple of weeks, according to Dumke, and has reached full capacity each weekend it’s been open.

“There’s been lots of events to keep us filled up on the weekends,” Dumke said. “This weekend, for instance, we have the track meet, and we were able to book the officials and one of the teams.

“There’s lots going on around here, like the extreme cowboy competition at Mozingo last weekend, so we’re not really hurting for business. During the week we aren’t filling up, but over the weekend we’re full.”

This is Dumke’s first foray into hotel management, but it’s not a new area for her.

“I needed a change, I was in catering since 1999 and I needed to do something new,” Dumke said. “I wanted to stay in hospitality, and I had done internships at places like Tan-Tar-A, so I felt this would be a good transition for me.

“It’s familiar enough that I didn’t need to do too much to come into the hotel business. I’m still planning events, working with brides and other event planners, but instead of planning the food, I’m planning the lodging.”

Dumke said there were still things in the hotel being worked on and finished up, and that there are three rooms she can’t rent out yet because of minor issues, but she commended the people working on the hotel for their ability to “get stuff done.”

The ribbon cutting was attended by a large amount of people, ranging from Chamber members to community legends, and included representatives from Boulders’ corporate team. Chamber executive director Lily White said it was the biggest ribbon cutting in her tenure as director.

“We had so many people here that we couldn’t go around and introduce everyone because it would’ve taken too much time,” White said. “It’s exciting to see that the community supports the hotel so much and wants to see it succeed.

“It’s also great to see the amount of business the hotel is receiving. Usually it would take awhile to start talking about expansion, but we’re already discussing expanding the hotel.”

Maryville mayor Jason McDowell added that the fact Boulders is frequently full speaks to the quality of the hotel chain and the value Maryville has as a destination.

“There’s lots of things going on in Maryville,” McDowell said. “We hope that we can attract even more people to come up here.”

Ribbon cutting set for Mozingo hotel

Maryville, Mo. — A ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Boulders Inn & Suites hotel at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park will take place at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 4.

The newly completed lodge, developed by Iowa-based Boulders and a group of local investors, is located at 2 Fall Drive at the entrance to the Watson 9 and Sechrest 18 golf courses.

Embracing 40 units with a mix of king- or queen-sized beds, single rooms and suites, the hotel offers two handicap-compliant rooms on the ground floor and has a maximum occupancy of about 146 guests.

Other features embrace a large breakfast area equipped with café tables and a sofa and easy chairs arranged in front of a large, stone-faced fireplace.

Besides a complimentary hot breakfast, the hotel will offer patrons a pantry market selling snacks and convenience items, a fitness center with aerobic machines and free weights, Simmons pillow top mattresses, in-room 43-inch flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi access and a business center.

The lodge is to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The hotel is similar to other Boulders facilities in the Iowa communities of Denison, Lake View, Atlantic, Okoboji, Polk City, Newton, Fort Madison, Clarion, Holstein and Monticello.

It is the first hotel the company, which opened its original lodge in Denison in 2008, has built in Missouri.

“Opening of the Boulders Inn & Suites at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park has marked the successful completion of a five-year economic development effort to attract private lodging to the park,” said Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel. “The hotel complements all our park has to offer in creating a unique destination.”

Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland, who serves as the city-owned park’s chief administrator, added that the Boulders brand “aligns perfectly with the vision of the Mozingo master plan and the public conference center under construction.”

The center, financed through a combination of tax dollars and park user fees, will also serve as a clubhouse for the park’s two golf courses. It is scheduled for completion late this year.

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Mozingo hotel manager preps for April opening

By TONY BROWN Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum

As the April 1 opening date nears for the new Boulders Inn & Suites Maryville hotel at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park, newly hired General Manager Sharlet Dumke is busy preparing for the lakeside lodge’s first season as electricians, painters, carpenters, and other workers put the finishing touches on interior construction, finishing, and furnishing.

Dumke is no stranger to Maryville, nor is she a hospitality industry novice. After completing a degree in food and beverage management at Northwest Missouri State University in 1999, the Iowa native immediately went to work for Aramark Corp., which served then — and still serves — as the campus’ food-service vendor.

After breaking into the business as the catering director for another Aramark client, Michigan State University in Lansing, Dumke returned to Maryville in the early 2000s, filling a similar position at Northwest.

But when Denison, Iowa-based Boulders Inn & Suites, which is developing the Maryville lodge in conjunction with a group of local investors, started looking for someone to assume responsibility for hotel operations here, Dumke decided the time had come for a change.

On the job since January, she has spent the past month and a half hiring staff and working with a growing list of clients who have been queueing up to reserve rooms for a variety of special events and gatherings.

So far, inquiries and advance bookings have come in from customers seeking lodging for weddings, school and family reunions, anniversaries, golf tournaments, football games, homecomings, and corporate retreats.

Dumke said the “resort” nature of the hotel’s business model is one of the things that attracted her to the job as opposed to managing a typical business-class hotel located on a retail strip or along the side of a highway.

“We’re a little off the main drag,” she said. “So it’s more event based — more than people just looking for a place to stay.”

As the catering director at Northwest, Dumke is used to helping organize large functions and creating an atmosphere in which people can relax and enjoy each other’s company.

“That was one of the big draws for me,” she said. “I still get to be a part of everybody’s special occasion.”

The other reason Dumke decided to go after the Boulder’s job has to do with her affection for her adopted hometown, which she has no intention of leaving.

“We’re going to stay in Maryville,” she said, “and I like the opportunity here (at the Boulders lodge) and the connections I will continue to have with both the university and the town.”

She added that since many of the golf tournaments, reunions, and other events expected to center around the hotel will have at least some connection with Northwest, a lot of her future customers will be people she has worked with before.

Another plus, Dumke said, is the chance to create synergy with a neighboring conference center and golf course clubhouse being built by the City of Maryville that is expected to open early next year.

Among other amenities, the conference center is to include a large banquet hall and a privately operated restaurant, operations that Dumke said dovetail with her food service experience.

“I’m excited about the conference center,” she said, noting that she is looking forward to working with center staff to provide guests with a multi-faceted experience that combines lodging, food, golf, and opportunities for social and business gatherings along with access to fishing, boating, horseback riding, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

Dumke said she first became aware of Mozingo’s possibilities as a recreation, vacation, and event site through her husband, Howard Dumke, who teaches third grade at Eugene Field Elementary School and works security at the lake during the summer.

Talking about Mozingo with Howard, she said, made her more aware of the park’s existing role as well as its potential.

As the hotel’s general manager, Dumke said she will often be responsible for providing the initial round of information to those seeking to find out exactly what the lake and surrounding 3,000-acre park have to offer.

“It’s the whole experience,” she said. “But people tend to book their rooms first and then start planning other activities. So I’m the starting point, and I’ll be able to help guide them to all those other places.”

As for the hotel itself, the facility will offer 40 units with king- or queen-sized beds. The room mix includes four suites as well as two handicap-compliant rooms on the ground floor. At maximum occupancy, the lodge will be able to accommodate about 146 guests.

Other features embrace a large breakfast area equipped with café tables and a sofa and easy chairs arranged in front of a large, stone-faced fireplace.

Besides a complimentary hot breakfast, the hotel will offer patrons a pantry market selling snacks and convenience items, a small fitness center with aerobic machines and free weights, Simmons pillow top mattresses, in-room 43-inch flat-screen televisions, wifi access, and a business center.

So far, Dumke has hired 10 part-time staff to fill housekeeping, front-desk, and other roles. Final staffing numbers, she said, will depend on occupancy rates. The lodge will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On other fronts, Boulders Inn & Suites Project Manager Nate Houston said efforts are moving forward to market the hotel and erect various kinds of signage, including a couple of billboards and a “monument” sign somewhere near the main park entrance at Highway 136 and Liberty Road.

Houston said the lodge will be the 13th hotel opened by Boulders Inn & Suites and the first outside of Iowa. He said a grand-opening is planned for sometime in late April.

Manufacturing course seeks to fill skills gap

By TONY BROWN Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum

It’s a tough economy, right? Jobs are hard to come by, right? U.S. manufacturing is mostly outsourced overseas, and there just aren’t any good factory jobs anymore, right?

Wrong, says Josh McKim, executive director of Nodaway County Economic Development.

In Maryville at any rate, McKim claims, factory jobs are going begging, and local plants are putting off adding new shifts and opening new lines because they can’t find enough trained workers.

The key word in that sentence being “trained.”

Factory workers these days do a lot more than perform simple, repetitive tasks as various widgets move down the assembly line. More often, they control computer programs that tell very smart machines what to do and how to do it in an environment that calls for considerable technological know-how.

And while, according to McKim, Nodaway County workers are among the best in the nation when it comes to productivity, there are currently not enough of them to staff local factories whose managers say they are poised for growth.

In order to address the shortage of trained workers, NCED, the Maryville R-II School District, Northwest Technical School, and North Central Missouri College in Trenton have been working together on a program that could eventually provide specialized training to people seeking to enter the local workforce

The conversation began when plant managers here let it be known that existing vocational programs at Northwest Technical School aren’t really preparing students for careers in manufacturing.

NTS currently offers training for both traditional high school students and adults in the areas of agriculture, automotive technology, business and technology, childcare, collision repair, culinary arts, health science and technology, and welding/machine shop.

Well and good, the factory folks say, but not really what they need.

McKim said the situation prompted a “very blunt conversation” with R-II school officials, the gist of which was that local manufacturing operations require “a skill base that just isn’t there right now in our workforce.”

In an effort to plug the gap, NCED and the members of Maryville’s industrial community turned to North Central Missouri College, which, with funding from a grant written by Kim Mildward of the Maryville-based Missouri Career Center, has developed a four-course training module that emphasizes essential manufacturing skills.

The module, which consists of college-level courses in maintenance, quality control, safety, and general production, takes about 18 months to complete, and the first class of 25 students began attending once-weekly three-hour class sessions in January.

It may seem a little odd, but all of the students enrolled in the pilot program are workers who already have jobs at local plants. McKim said the course is being rolled out this way so that the participating factories can better gauge the impact of the training on efficiency, productivity, and improved worker performance.

Donell Robidoux Anderson, senior supervisor of human resources for Kawasaki Motors in Maryville, said her company has 17 workers participating in the program, and is hoping the results in terms of improved skills will merit tailoring the training for jobseekers with little or no manufacturing experience.

“That’s why we are doing it,” she said. “We have a number of different employees in different job roles going through the program, and we’ll be assessing it to see if it helps them with their current positions. If this matches with what our needs are, then we can determine if the program can help get us out of the skills gap we have in this community.”

Anderson added she is hopeful that North Central Missouri College, which has considerable experience providing industrial training in its core service area about 100 miles east of Maryville, is the right vendor to offer a more broad-based course.

Jason Helton, NCMC’s director of corporate and business relations, said his institution is eager to take up the challenge, and that Maryville is fortunate to have leaders who recognize the importance of providing the kind of core-skills training required by today’s production workers and front-line factory supervisors.

“The feedback I’ve gotten from the instructor at this point is that he’s very excited about the class,” Helton said. “Employers need a pipeline of qualified workers, and we would love to be able to provide that.”

So far, McKim said, there has been a “tremendous response” with regard to the initial course from plant managers and workers alike. He added that the program already has a waiting list of 30 employees seeking to join the next cohort.

Current students participating in the program, he said, are doing so in order to acquire skills and knowledge that will make them eligible for promotion. But he added that if the course proves successful it will eventually be opened to jobseekers at large, including both recent high school graduates and older workers in need of a credential to help them get their foot in the door.

“Eventually we’re going to try and provide this to the general public,” McKim said. “But right now we just want to find out if this is the answer that we’re looking for.”

Though only a handful of class sessions have taken place, McKim said initial feedback from students has been positive.

“The people I have talked to have seen value in it,” he said. “It’s like any other class, people will say this part is worth it and this part isn’t, but overall there has been a positive response. We’re going to continue to monitor it and see what their thoughts are going forward.”

But offering training specifically targeted at manufacturing is only part of the solution, McKim said, since such programs don’t enlarge the employee pool in a part of the state where unemployment is typically below 5 percent.

“You talk to any of the manufacturers, and they love the people they have,” McKim said. “They think they are fantastic. If you look at production levels in northwest Missouri, we outpace the federal and state averages. We are tremendously efficient.

“That being said, the problem is not so much the people who are on the floor that can do the work now, it’s figuring out how do we bring new people in.”

So, in an area that has what McKim describes as “full employment,” the question is apparently not how to create jobs, but rather how to fill them.

Factories, he said, don’t want to hire just one person for one job. They want to hire 20 or 30 people trained and ready to operate a new line or fill a new shift.

This creates a disconnect, McKim said, between what industries need and the “shotgun” approach to vocational training provided by most high schools and technical schools, in which students are prepared for a wide variety of career opportunities.

The options, he said, come down to providing specialized training that gives the existing workforce in-demand skill sets or convincing people seeking the kinds of jobs available here to move to the Maryville area.

Right now, McKim said, neither approach is working as well as it could due to differing expectations held by local residents and the people who run factories.

The community, he believes, holds to the view that if Nodaway County creates jobs people will move here. Plant managers, on the other hand, want people to move here before they create jobs.

“It’s the chicken and the egg.” McKim said.

Which leaves the NCED chief in the position of trying to play both sides of the street — developing training programs for local jobseekers while spreading the word across the four-state area in an attempt to bring new workers to town.

One approach, McKim said, has been to reach out to communities where there have been layoffs and plant closures and sending the message “We’ve got jobs.” NCED is also stepping up its level of participation in career day events and job fairs.

“Economic development professionals in the 21st century are going to be focused on workforce development rather than recruitment of new enterprises,” McKim said. “When I first heard that, I didn’t really believe it, but now I think that’s probably true.”

Another variable in play, he said, is a changing of the guard as baby boomers move toward retirement, and millions of millennials seek to take their place in the workforce.

For many young people, production work, with its demanding shifts and rigid schedules, is simply not attractive.

“Millennials are more focused on work-life balance — things like flexible hours and working at home,” McKim said. “They’re not always about the job opportunities but rather the quality of life. Not all businesses can do that, especially manufacturing businesses.”

Still, for qualified workers, factory jobs offer good pay and a chance for advancement, and that’s the message McKim is trying to get out both to current residents and people who might consider Nodaway County as a promising place to plant their lives and raise a family.

“There is definitely a demand for workers,” he said. “For people seeking production work, there are opportunities.”

Maryville celebrates rebirth of carbon black plant

By TONY BROWN Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum

Many Maryville officials turned out Friday for opening ceremonies welcoming the city’s newest corporate citizen, Maryville Carbon Solutions.

The first manufacturing facility opened by Boulder, Colorado-based startup Bolder Industries, Maryville Carbon, is housed in the former Carbolytic Materials Company plant, which closed in 2012 after a troubled three-year run that included an oil spill, two fires, and eventual bankruptcy.

Like its predecessor, Maryville Carbon intends to transform scrap automotive tires into a trademarked version of carbon black, a coloring and reinforcing agent used to manufacture an almost endless list of rubber and plastic products from gaskets and wetsuits to conveyor belts to O-rings.

In addition to its primary product, “Bolder Black,” the factory, now operating on a shakedown or “commission” basis with a skeleton crew, plans to produce syngas — a type of fuel gas — and lubricant-grade oil through a process known as pyrolysis.

It will also recover and sell the steel used in tire belting.

The oil will be marketed as well, but plans call for construction of a small syngas plant on site that will produce enough electricity to power the entire facility. The company is also proposing transferal of any excess wattage to Northwest Missouri State University or the City of Maryville.

Pyrolysis is accomplished by subjecting ground-up tire material to temperatures of around 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit in an oxygen-starved environment, what amounts to a huge oven designed to siphon off the oil and gas and leave behind a dark-colored solid that is reduced to ultra-fine powder before being mixed with water and formed into tiny pellets for shipment to customers.

During a tour of the plant — refitted over the past two years at a cost of around $10 million — Bolder Industries founder and CEO Tony Wibbeler began by leading a group of local residents through the factory’s shredding area where a huge grinder renders tires into palm-sized chunks.

Other machinery recovers steel belting and shreds the rubber into ever-smaller pieces until it is ready for the pyrolysis oven, which makes up factory’s technological heart.

“That’s where the magic happens,” Wibbeler said.

While the process is similar to the one employed by Carbolytic Materials, Wibbeler insists that a number of refinements have made production cleaner and safer, and that the possibility of fires and spills is low.

For example, one of the CMC fires was caused by the use of powerful heaters to keep exterior pipes filled with a mixture of water and oil from freezing on a bitterly cold night.

Wibbeler said that won’t happen using a new system that places most production and storage operations inside the plant and separates oil and water earlier in the process.

In addition, he said, Maryville Carbon plans to offer monthly tours of the facility to members of Maryville’s largely volunteer fire department and has installed an advanced-technology fire-suppression system. The idea of the tours is to familiarize a changing roster of firefighters with the factory and its contents so they will be prepared should an emergency arise.

While combining heat, rubber, gas, and oil is an unavoidably messy undertaking, Wibbeler and his management team believe Bolder Black will pay off environmentally as well as financially.

Ken Dunn, Bolder Industries’ sustainability director, said Friday that “We are very proud of what we have here” in terms of producing a substance from scrap tires, which for years have created solid-waste problems on a global sale.

Dunn said 300 million tires are scrapped each year, and that an increasing number of landfills are refusing to take them. The result, he said, is that about 50 percent of all waste tires are incinerated, a practice that has come under increasing scrutiny by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

At full production, Dunn said, Maryville Carbon will initially be able to process up to 1 million scrap tires a year, enough to produce 7 million pounds of Bolder Black, 1.2 million gallons of oil, and 1,600 tons of recovered steel.

Compared to producing a similar amount of “virgin” carbon black from petroleum, Dunn said, the Maryville Carbon operation will reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 480,000 tons a year, save 161 million gallons of water, and produce 84 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power nearly 8,000 single-family homes.

From a customer’s point of view, Dunn said major manufacturers — including General Motors and Ford — are increasingly interested in carbon black recovered from tires and other kinds of scrap rubber because it improves their environmental “scorecard” with regard to various regulatory requirements.

Another upside for buyers, he said, is that while the cost of conventional carbon black is tied to the price of oil, Bolder Black is produced from “feedstock” — that is old tires — that is essentially free.

That means, Dunn said, that Bolder Industries should be able to offer customers a fixed price over the term of multi-year contracts regardless of how oil prices fluctuate.

As for the local impact, Bolder Industries Vice President Nate Murphy said he has about 20 job openings to fill almost immediately, including a plant manager position. At full production, Murphy said, the factory will likely have a payroll of between 35 and 40 workers clocking in over three shifts.

If the customer demand is there, Murphy said that for technical reasons the plant is most efficient operating 24 hours a day, since once the pyrolytic oven is hot it needs to stay hot.

During Friday’s event, local government and economic development officials praised Maryville Carbon for taking a community-centered approach in re-opening the shuttered plant.

Josh McKim, executive director of Nodaway County Economic Development, noted that the company cleared up tax debt left by the previous owners, even though it had no obligation to do so.

“There is social good in the business plan they’ve got,” McKim said. “It’s more than just a profit center. Lots of companies give lip service to that, but they have put their money where their mouth is.”

City Manager Greg McDanel, who along with McKim has been working to bring Maryville Carbon to Maryville over the last couple of years, said significant challenges had to be addressed before a deal was struck, but that the company chose to “embrace those challenges and pivot toward the future and growth.”

Also speaking prior to a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the plant was state Rep. Allen Andrews, R-Grant City, who called the recruitment process resulting in the company’s move to Maryville a “job well done.”

Andrews added that he believed Maryville Carbon will benefit from what he sees as the Maryville region’s work ethic and tight-knit sense of community.

“Not only are we good workers,” he said, “we’re good neighbors.”

Work begins on Kawasaki-funded street, ramp

By TONY BROWN Staff writer, Maryville Daily Forum  Dec 8, 2016


A government/private sector partnership formed to improve traffic flow on South Main Street in the vicinity of the Kawasaki Motors factory has led to the start of construction of a paving project along 285th Street that will include a new southbound ramp onto Highway 71.

The ramp will begin with a “T” intersection on 285th Street just south of the factory. In addition, the now-gravel road will be paved with concrete as it curves west and links to a private street leading to the Kawasaki loading docks completed by the corporation last summer.

From Kawasaki’s point of view, the idea is to give 18-wheelers and other freight vehicles a way to access the plant’s shipping and receiving area without having to drive through the factory’s main parking lot and employee entranceway.
In addition, southbound traffic leaving the plant will no longer have to exit from the parking lot onto South Main north of the stoplight intersection at the Highway 71 bypass.

Currently a Polk Township road beginning where existing pavement ends just south of the main Kawasaki entrance, 285th Street and the adjoining ramp will become the responsibility of the city once construction is complete in mid-2017.

An ordinance transferring ownership of the street to the city, along with responsibility for snow removal and maintenance, is scheduled to go before the City Council at its next meeting on Monday, Dec. 12. Passage is expected.

The measure also transfers ownership of South Main between Route V and the Highway 71 bypass interchange to municipal control.

City Manager Greg McDanel said the affected portion of Main Street is the last remaining segment still under the authority of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

But while the city will take over maintenance of the 1,900-foot-long two-way street and the 1,100-foot one-way ramp, all construction costs — about $2.1 million — are being paid by Kawasaki.

According to Josh McKim, executive director of Nodaway County Economic Development, it is extremely unusual for a private company to provide such a high level of funding for public infrastructure. Almost always, he said, corporations insist that such improvements be paid for by a governmental entity.

“The great thing about this is that Kawasaki is paying for it, and we get to use it,” McKim said.

Kawasaki Motors Vice President and Plant Manager Steve Bratt said his company decided to provide the needed cash because sufficient public funds weren’t available. He further explained that the plant is committed to providing safer, more efficient ingress and egress for haulers and employees.
“This is a one-time shot,” said Bratt, adding that all entities involved, including Kawasaki, the city, Polk Township, Nodaway County, and the Missouri Department of Transportation, were “thinking for the future” in supporting a project that will benefit the entire community.

According to McDanel, those benefits include furtherance of long-range plans to transform the South Main retail corridor into a landscaped boulevard that will include improved turning lanes, aligned parking lot entrances and exits, additional east-west cross streets, and more pedestrian access.

While most of that may be a long way off, McDanel said reducing traffic volume at the South Main/Highway 71 bypass intersection south of Kawasaki and just north of the proposed ramp is an important step toward relieving congestion on the city’s busiest thoroughfare.

Bratt estimated that about 30 percent of the outbound truck traffic exiting the Kawasaki campus departs southbound, and that about 20 percent of the factory’s 800 or so employees leave work going the same way.

Both McDanel and Bratt said that since 285th Street continues west and eventually links with Icon Road, which is paved, the opportunity exists for improving 285th to Icon at some point, effectively creating a north-south bypass on the west side of town.

Crews from Loch Sand & Construction of Maryville have already begun earthwork required for the proposed merge ramp. Another local firm, White Cloud Engineering & Constriction, has been hired as general contractor for both the ramp and improved street.

White Cloud’s Brock Pfost said Wednesday the project will also embrace storm drainage infrastructure and about $150,000 worth of utility relocations, including a gas line, telephone cables, fiber optic line, and a 6-inch water main owned by the Nodaway County Public Water Supply District.

Treatment center marks 20th anniversary

By TONY BROWN Staff writer, Maryville Daily Forum

Missouri’s top prison official was in town Thursday to congratulate staff members at the Maryville Treatment Center on the occasion of the penal institution’s 20th anniversary.

George Lombardi, director of the Missouri Department of Corrections, called MTC and the 239 people who work there a “critical part of our operation” and praised employees for doing “an incredible job for the last 20 years.”

Located on Highway 136 near Maryville’s east city limits, MTC is a Department of Corrections minimum-security prison for male inmates located on the grounds of the former Mount Alverno motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis, a former Roman Catholic congregation of nuns.

The facility houses 561 offenders enrolled in either six-month or one-year substance abuse and behavior modification programs designed to prepare them for life outside prison walls following their release.

MTC Warden Gaye Colborn, who was named the prison’s lead administrator earlier this year, said MTC is unique among Missouri correctional facilities in that it offers inmates access to both Gateway and Department of Rehabilitative Service programs as they near parole or the end of the their sentences.

Colborn said both initiatives provide inmates with opportunities in such areas as cognitive development, overcoming substance abuse, and anger management.

The facility is also known for its participation in one of Lombardi’s signature projects, Puppies for Parole, in which inmates train and socialize dogs taken from animal shelters, including the New Nodaway Humane Society, in preparation for the animals’ adoption by permanent owners.

Speaking in the prison gymnasium to MTC staff and invited guests, Lombardi said MTC’s participation in Puppies Parole, and other efforts designed to impart the values of caring and compassion to criminal offenders, was a hallmark of its success.

He added that successfully preparing offenders for their release had slowed the “treadmill” leading to re-incarceration and forestalled the need to build more correctional institutions. Even so, Lomardi said, MDC’s total inmate population has increased from 22,000 in 1996 to 33,000 today.

Every time a former prisoner successfully makes the transition from a life of crime to becoming a productive citizen, Lombardi said, families are reunited, future offenses are prevented, and lives are transformed or even saved.

“Every encounter you have with an offender is meaningful,” Lombardi said. “If you want them to be caring and compassionate, you have to be caring and compassionate.”

Corrections professionals working to bring offenders “over from the dark side,” Lombardi said, are “a critical part of our operation, and you’ve done an incredible job of that for the last 20 years.”

Also speaking Thursday was state Rep. Allen Andrews, R-Grant City, who is a member of the House Corrections Committee.

Like Lombardi, Andrews thanked MTC workers for “helping those incarcerated here return to a normal life. … You have made this place what it is today.”

The MTC anniversary event also included recognition of 14 current staffers who have worked at the prison since it opened in 1996. They include Amy Chor, Brenda Jennings, Scott Parshall, Kristy Schmitz , Kevin Shirrell, Rhonda Steward, Debra White, John Dunlap, Kelly Parshall, Jessie Privett, Tom Seipel, Sheila Sowards, Ralph Wallace, and Judy Wonderly.

Gov. Nixon announces St. Francis daycare grant

By TONY BROWN Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum
Oct 5, 2016

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was in Maryville Tuesday to tout a couple of state-backed local initiatives he praised as measures that will create new opportunities for early childhood education on the one hand and workforce training and readiness on the other.
During ceremonies at SSM Health St. Francis Hospital, Nixon announced $1.5 million in approved state grant funding and tax credits that will be used to construct a new, larger daycare and early childhood education center on the hospital grounds.
The governor also congratulated local business leaders and government officials on Nodaway County’s recently granted status as a Certified Work Ready Community, which means that a portion of the local workforce has successfully completed ACT (American College Testing Inc.) WorkKeys assessments required to obtain a National Career Readiness Certificate.
St. Francis Hospital Foundation Development Director Megan Jennings said construction of the new $3.2 million daycare building is to begin next spring, and that the center will likely begin serving youngsters, including infants, early in 2018.
About $1 million of the state aid is in the form of Community Development Block Grant funds set aside under Nixon’s Smart Start initiative, which is designed to expand access to early childhood education across Missouri.
Smart Start is currently in its third, and possibly last, year, since Nixon is nearing the end of his second and final term in office.
In addition to the CDBG funds, Nixon also announced that St. Francis has received approval for the sale of up to $250,000 in Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits, which Jennings said will generate an anticipated $500,000 in funding for the new childhood center.
Locally, NAP tax credits have been used in recent years to fund a couple of other projects: the West Fourth Street pedestrian corridor and the Lettuce Dream greenhouse complex, which is to provide vocational training for the developmentally and cognitively disabled.
Under state regulations, CDBG money must be spent on construction, but NAP proceeds are flexible and can be used to cover a number of preschool development costs — anything from furniture to staffing.
In applying for the grant and tax credits, St. Francis worked closely with the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments and the City of Maryville.
Since community development grants can only be issued to governments, the city acted as a “pass through” fiscal agent — the actual grant recipient — and will turn the money over to the hospital, which bears all responsibility for using the funds appropriately.
The St. Francis facility will embrace a new 15,800-square-foot daycare, early learning, and Early Head Start operation that will double the capacity of the existing SSM Health Preschool & Child Care Center at 2112 S. Main St. from 67 to 136 children.
Twenty-four of those youngsters, ages 0-3, will be served by the Early Head Start program, which is to be administered by Community Services Inc., a local social services agency.
In addition, early childhood education majors at Northwest Missouri State University will work at the center while completing practicums in pursuit of college degrees.
St. Francis began providing daycare and early childhood learning programs in 1986 after converting the current 3,000-square-foot facility, a former single-family home built in the late 1950s.
Nixon said that to date more than $23 million in Start Smart funding has been awarded to 24 projects across Missouri that will serve approximately 2,300 pre-school-age children.
“Access to early childhood education is a vital component of ensuring children are ready to start kindergarten with the skills they need to be successful,” said Nixon, who called creating educational opportunities for young people and adults alike “the best economic development tool there is.”
“The first five years of a child’s development have an impact that lasts a lifetime,” the governor added. “Early education is a smart investment.”
As for the Work Ready Community certification, Nixon said the designation will help employers identify qualified employees while providing a tool for economic development officials to use in recruiting new businesses and industries.
“Nodaway County brought together local businesses, educators, and economic development leaders to earn this important designation certifying that the local workforce is ready to compete and win in the global economy,” Nixon said.
The governor was joined at the podium at Nodaway County Economic Development Executive Director Josh McKim, who described Work Ready Communities as “an outstanding example of what is possible when a community sets its sights on excellence and works hard to achieve it.”
McKim continued that the program is “a great way to assess the skill level of our existing and emerging workforce” that will allow business and community leaders to “understand the strengths and weaknesses of our labor base so that we can shape local workforce efforts.”
He said the “metric” would also be useful in terms of recruiting new investment in the Maryville region by both new and existing employers.
Work Ready Communities qualify for the designation by meeting requirements set by ACT, which is best known for its widely used college admissions test.