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U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.35 Million to Bolster Manufacturing and Manufacturing-related Workforce Training in St. Louis

in Companies/News

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.35 million grant to Ranken Technical College of St. Louis, Missouri, to establish an incubator facility that will support the region’s manufacturing sector by providing pre-apprentice and apprenticeship workforce training, and encouraging entrepreneurial start-ups. According to grantee estimates, when fully operational, 100 student workers will generate $4 million annually in products and services for local businesses as part of the integrated work-based learning model.

“Reviving our manufacturing sector and ensuring that our workers have the skills they need to compete globally are key focuses of the Trump Administration,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “I look forward to seeing how Ranken Technical College will help budding manufacturers establish their businesses and train the next generation of workers to support the local economy.”

The incubator, which will be located adjacent to Ranken’s main campus, will engage with local manufacturing partners to provide students with work experience, industrial training and certifications, college credits and/or a part-time salary. Through Ranken Microenterprises, students will be assigned to industry sponsored work cells to manufacture their products/services.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and the St. Louis Development Corporation. EDA helped fund the completion of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and St. Louis Development Corporation Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov<http://www.eda.gov>)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

Retail Designer CSG Expands St. Louis Presence

in Companies

Core States Group, which has renovated and built a number of familiar retail and restaurant venues in St. Louis, is growing its business.   With relocation and construction assistance of Artisan Building Co., Core States Group has moved into an expanded St. Louis branch office at 6500 Chippewa Street.  Artisan completed the $500,000 renovation in the building formerly known as the St. Louis Hills Office Center to create a more collaborative space for Core States, where it plans to grow its work force by 50 percent or more in the coming years.

Core States Group is a national architecture, engineering and construction firm.  It first opened its St. Louis office in September 2003, occupying 2,200 square feet of space in the Crestwood Executive Center building in Crestwood, Mo. until this past August.

Locally, Core States Group has been a part of the design team for more than 150 newly built or renovated Panera Bread restaurants throughout the U.S. and has also helped deliver services for hundreds of newly built or renovated locations for McDonald’s, Hardee’s, and 7 Eleven, among other clients.  The firm has helped introduce a number of restaurant and retail conveniences to the public including double drive-through service at area McDonalds and has designed and engineered conveniences for Panera customers including drive-through service and quick service kiosks inside the restaurant.

Nationally, Core States Group recorded $78 million in revenue in 2015.  The firm is reporting revenues of $84 million in 2016.

“We always saw St. Louis as a growth market for Core States Group, but the Great Recession slowed our progress,” said Patrick T. Bennett, P.E., branch manager for Core States Group.  “We’ve been able to re-energize our business plan with our seasoned staff, add more architects and engineers and are looking to add more.”  Nationally, Core States Group grew by 36 percent over the past year, employing 300 employees to date.

To accommodate its growth and hiring needs, Core States Group worked with Artisan to find a suitable branch headquarters and create a more collaborative environment for its workforce.  “Artisan is not just a builder, but also a firm that makes it their mission to understand your business goals,” said Bennett.  “The firm was invaluable in helping us find our new office in an urban community and help us execute our vision of the space we need to attract the best and brightest talent.”

The firm occupies all 5,000 square feet of the second floor of their new space in a studio setting with open office space to capitalize on design elements that encourage greater collaboration among engineers and architects.  That includes clear site lines, a strategically placed kitchen to encourage interaction with workers, and small and large conference rooms for more private meetings.  An abundance of natural light from windows floods the interior, creating a more healthy work environment.

To leverage the skills from Core States Group’s 14 offices nationwide, the branch office is infused with technology for virtual meetings to tap expertise from the firm’s 300 professionals.

Founded in 1999, Core States Group originally provided engineering and project management services for the retail petroleum industry.

Modjeski & Masters Rehabs Union Station Tunnel Project Will Improve MetroLink Commuter Rail Services in St. Louis

in Companies/News

modjeski-masters-logoThe bridge design and engineering firm Modjeski and Masters announces that it will perform engineering services required for the rehabilitation and replacement of the oldest portions of the Union Station Tunnel in St. Louis, Mo. The work will help to maintain a viable alignment for Bi-State Development’s MetroLink commuter rail services and provide continued access to 18th and Clark Streets and surrounding destinations such as the St. Louis Union Station, the Peabody Opera House and the Scottrade Center. The project will employ a construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC) delivery model where the preliminary design team works with the CM/GC to complete contract documents and oversee construction.

Modjeski and Masters has collaborated with Metro to inspect and repair the Union Station Tunnel since 2005. During that time, Modjeski and Masters has become intimately familiar with the existing structure configuration, structural issues and drainage concerns. Modjeski and Masters also understands Metro’s safety concerns and desire to conduct work with minimal disruption to rail traffic. With this latest project, Modjeski and Masters will focus on rehabilitating and replacing the oldest portions of the tunnel.

“The rehabilitation of the Union Station Tunnel presents several unique technical challenges,” said Michael F. Britt, PE, Senior Vice President and Director of Business Development at Modjeski and Masters. “With extensive experience working with contractors on behalf of owners to streamline the construction process and deliver projects more efficiently and effectively, our expert project staff is uniquely positioned to address these challenges and help Metro complete this project on time and under budget.”

Originally built in 1902 by the Terminal Railroad Association, the steel frame portion of the tunnel served as subway access for the 36 rail lines entering St. Louis Union Station. In 1929, the subway tunnel was lengthened to the west by extending the steel framing to the width of the overhead train shed and adding a concrete slab and column segment. When Metro initiated service in the 1990s, a two-cell reinforced concrete box culvert segment was constructed to extend the alignment west. Today, the Union Station Tunnel crosses beneath the St. Louis Union Station parking lot, five sets (four active) of excursion train tracks and 20th and 21st Streets.

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