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A NOTE FROM THE TEAM 2020. How do you sum up something like this? On the heels of our relaunch in November 2019, we immediately built our case and jumped into an anticipated $2 million capital campaign, began a website and social media overhaul, hired a new director, and added staff while building out an impressive and diverse projects pipeline. And then...the dreaded COVID-19 slow roll-out; remote working, trade shows and conferences canceled, bewilderment, and a moment of pause. Our 2020 story is certainly not unique; big ideas, big intentions, all dashed. Wait a second! We weren't able to follow our carefully laid plans, and it's been challenging to say the least, but we have fared extremely well despite these obstacles. We reengaged regional partners and supporters, added board leaders, and have achieved nearly $1.2 million of our $2 million, ďŹ ve-year Do Even More! campaign goal to date while cultivating new relationships across the region. We expanded our team, adding a Business Development Coordinator to focus inward and bolster our business retention efforts. We also expanded our programmatic footprint to include our seventh county, McDonald County, Missouri. But most importantly, we have continued the work of building out our pipeline and advancing more projects than ever in our nearly 12 years. In early 2021 we intend to gather our thoughts, our leadership, and stakeholders to take a look at what we have done well and what we can do even better. We can not do any of this without you, our partners, our supporters. We are pleased to share this report and update with you as we celebrate the close of a wild year and look forward to perhaps a less tumultuous yet fantastic 2021. And through it all, thank you. #mokanpartnership - Tony Robyn, MOKAN Director

We engaged regional partners and supporters, added board leaders, and achieved nearly $1.2 million of our $2 million, five-year Do Even More! campaign goal to date, all while cultivating new relationships across the region.


What a year it has been. Beyond the obvious obstacles we have faced, there is much to celebrate. 2020 brought about new faces and positions within MOKAN. With Tony in place and ready to roll, we added the new Business Development Coordinator. This new position will allow MOKAN to have a dedicated person who meets with existing businesses to identify ways our organization can assist them in many different capacities. In addition to the new tools in our team toolbox, we have spent much time with our area partners, honing our skills to ensure that when opportunities do arise, we are ready to showcase the MOKAN region. A glimpse at MOKAN’s pipeline is an indication of the hard work that community business leaders and the MOKAN team have put in over the past years, months, and weeks to bring deals to close. There are a number of new opportunities that are coming to fruition that will bring many new jobs and new opportunities to the area. These opportunities range from new industrial parks, businesses coming to the area, business expansions, and large construction projects. This robust portfolio is well balanced for our community, and I am proud of the work from the team and the community as these deals continue to develop. This year, we began a new campaign to raise $2 million dollars, and we are already over halfway there. This is a testament to you, our business leaders. We humbly thank you for the trust you have placed in MOKAN as we work to better our communities and region! My hope for you and your families as we wind down on 2020 is that you are safe, healthy, and have a blessed holiday season. - Matthew Cox, MOKAN Chairman


The MOKAN Partnership is a non-profit, public-private economic development collaborative of regional communities and economic development agencies in seven counties across southwest Missouri (MO), northeast Oklahoma (OK), and southeast Kansas (KAN). Supported by business and community leaders, we are dedicated to promoting the regional economy by working alongside diverse economic development partners to expand business attraction and growth, employment retention and talent attraction, while striving to continually improve wealth and quality of life for people.


We network and develop deep relationships with business and community leaders across the region to build wealth and quality of life and place for people!


We build relationships with business and community leaders while attending trade shows, conferences and meetings, and the annual Private Label Manufacturing Association Conference (PLMA) in Chicago. We market the region's attributes and identify attraction and growth opportunities for partners and area industries. Food and beverage production and associated warehousing and distribution continues to be the leading industries for our region with an expanding medical community and e-commerce base. Advanced manufacturing in energy and munitions is growing, resulting in multiple efforts emerging in 2021. Major businesses and institutions expanded their operations here: - Smith Seed - Ozark Terminal Warehouses - Casey’s Distribution Center - Don's Cold Storage - Jasper Products - Refresco Beverages NA - Schreiber Foods - KCU School of Dentistry - AESIR Technologies

The region’s direct access to the I-44 and I-49 corridors, industrial sites, lower cost of living, and low corporate taxes helped site-selectors land new business here: - AmLog Warehousing - ExpAm Industries - Belleville Shoe Manufacturing

Over 1,000,000 square feet of new warehousing was added to the MOKAN region in the last 12 months, with pad and utility-ready capacity to do even more in the 16 regional industrial parks.


In early 2020, McDonald County was brought into the regional program service area, expanding the Partnership to seven counties. With the northward build-out of the I-49 corridor through southwest Missouri, McDonald County is part of the Bentonville statistical metropolitan planning area and continues to experience growth in light manufacturing, tourism, and housing from the north and south along the corridor. MOKAN established a Revolving Loan Fund Program in response to the pandemic's impacts on regional businesses. With nearly $100,000 in seed capital from the Joplin Capital Corporation, 2021 will see a focus and emphasis on building up this resource and a small grants fund for area businesses retention and growth. For small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups, this need is now more important than ever. If you would like to learn more on how to support this effort, please contact us. With the growth of this fund we will target resources directly to businesses that need critical support.

2020 PIPELINE OF PROJECTS TOTAL VALUE: $827 million ACTUAL WON: $281 million

11 Projects Won 6 DOA

ADVANCING IN 2021: $488 million

9 Projects CV Hold

8 MOPAR Leads

47 Total Leads

13 Projects Advancing

REGIONAL INVESTMENTS Pittsburg, Kansas $10 million in projects, $400k in incentives offered, 30+ new jobs

Miami, Oklahoma $200 million in projects, 300+ jobs

Lamar, Missouri $7.5 million in projects, 25+ new jobs

Neosho, Missouri $19 million+, 125 jobs

Carthage, Missouri $3 million, $35,000 incentives, 175 jobs

Joplin, Missouri $342 million, $7,275,000 incentives, 769 jobs

1080 Jobs Won


The need for workforce development and enhanced training opportunities emerged as even more critical in 2020, given major regional employer slow-downs and layoffs due to COVID-19. MOKAN was asked to assist employers by identifying placement of employees as well as emerging training and skills expansion opportunities and funding. We continued to collaborate with the Workforce Investment Board and Crowder College’s Advanced Training and Technology Center on enhanced skills development and jobs placement, especially in trucking, warehousing, and manufacturing, still the backbone of the region. We also teamed up with the Joplin Chamber’s new director of entrepreneurship to map out emerging opportunities for partnership, especially in identifying additional grant resources to build out this sector. Targeted skill sets and training intended to keep graduates local will be an increasingly important focus in 2021. A recently submitted H-1B Workforce Grant, if awarded, will direct $1,000,000 to the broader Joplin region for targeted workforce development efforts, primarily in digital technology, warehousing, and distribution. In collaboration with the Tulsa, Springfield, and Bentonville regional chambers, the Joplin effort will be part of a $10,000,000 regional grant. Also, Cherokee County, Kansas and Jasper County, Missouri were ACT Work Ready re-certified in 2020, bringing the majority of the service region up to speed in workforce readiness; Crawford County will now be the focus in 2021.


...trucking, warehousing, and manufacturing, still the backbone of the region.

As of 2020, six of our service region counties are now certified ACT Work Ready.

Manufacturing Day is annually the first Friday of each October and launches a full month of highlighting manufacturers across the region. It provides an opportunity for manufacturers to share a glimpse into their operations and address common misconceptions about the modern manufacturing industry. Communities and organizations, like chambers of commerce and local high schools, coordinate with manufacturers to host tours and provide videos and classroom resources that educate students and the general public on the national and regional skilled labor needs while highlighting manufacturing as an attractive and viable career path. This ensures the prosperity of the entire industry by reaching out and educating future leaders and affording opportunities for MOKAN team members to identify gaps and needs in workforce development. This year, we partnered with regional manufacturers, high schools, technology and training centers, and communities across the tri-state corner to highlight the processes and people that make up high-tech manufacturing and business.


The Raise the Bar – Assess Program involves the retention of a site selection consultant to conduct mock site visits in Missouri communities and then provide follow-up analysis and evaluation. In FY2020, the Partnership provided this resource to four communities in our region, including Neosho. This exercise enables communities to be prepared for when an actual industry entity evaluates their community for a major business development.


Each year MOKAN teams up with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce to co-host and promote the regional growth tour. Forty-five area business and community leaders toured business and industrial areas and learned more about major construction efforts and the industries that make up the region’s economy. The 2020 tour highlighted multiple large warehousing construction and expansion efforts and other emerging projects in two of the area's industrial parks. Other stops included the KCU Medical School, Midwestern Engineering Software, Advanced Training and Technology Center, and the Empire Market.


Joplin’s Wildwood Industrial Park was certified by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad as an optimal rail-service location in 2020. Joplin is now Missouri’s second location in this program of national rail-certified sites and will now garner major marketing support and attention from premier rail industry commodity brokers and site-selectors. In addition, Crossroad's Industrial Park is finalizing Missouri State Certification to become the second certified site in southwest Missouri.


MOKAN Partnership participates in local and out-of-market conferences to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders and establish new connections with site selectors. ATTE N DE D 2 0 2 0

U P C O M I N G 2021

Missouri Governor’s Conference - Virtual Missouri Economic Development Conference - Branson, MO Pittsburg State University Economic Outlook Kansas Conference - Pittsburg, KS Native American Economic Development Summit - Miami, OK

Private Label Manufacturing Conference - Virtual Regional Economic Outlook - Pittsburg, KS Labor Workforce Summit - Virtual Missouri Governor’s Conference - Jefferson City, MO


This new website markets the MOKAN Partnership region's attributes, business climate, and infrastructure-ready industrial sites. A variety of resources are available on the new site, including: • Business relocation and expansion information • Key regional data and demographics • Talent and workforce resources • Community profiles • Latest regional updates



A major effort this year was working with regional partners to identify and map sixteen industrial parks across the tri-state region, including each site's amenities and infrastructure. Industrial parks are core assets for the region and MOKAN will continue to partner with area communities and economic development agencies to promote and build their capacities through online promotion and marketing and aerial mapping. Lamar Missouri's Johnson Industrial Park was the newest addition to the portfolio, now with site-ready roads and infrastructure and direct connectivity to BNSF and I-49.

The Partnership worked with media stakeholders to promote challenges, opportunities, and growth successes happening across the region, along with promoting resources available at local, state, and national levels to leverage business development.

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Local media mentions and interviews provided MOKAN with the opportunity to build brand awareness throughout the communities and region we serve.





Scott Watson - Vice Chair, Mercy Hospital - Carthage, MO Aaron Smith - Treasurer, Commerce Bank - Joplin, MO Chad Evans, Arvest Bank - Joplin, MO

Tobias Teeter, President, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce


Jordan Bolinger, Liberty Utilities - Joplin, MO

Justin Branham, Branco Enterprises, Inc. - Neosho, MO

Chuck Bryant, Carthage Water & Electric Plant - Carthage, MO Tyson Collins, Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc. - Joplin, MO

Ivan Crossland Jr., Crossland Construction Company - Columbus, KS Tony Dellasega, Community National Bank & Trust - Frontenac, KS Nick Edwards, City Manager, City of Joplin - Joplin, MO

Charlotte Howe, Miami Area Chamber of Commerce - Miami, OK Logan Powell, City of Lamar - Lamar, MO

Isabel Quepรณns, General Mills - Joplin, MO

Michael Sanders, Freeman Health System - Joplin, MO

Jason Stipp, Community Bank & Trust (CBT) - Neosho, MO

Craig Tankersley, Southwest Missouri Bank - Carthage, MO Montie Taylor, Great Southern Bank - Parsons, KS Jeffrey A. Williams, Guaranty Bank - Joplin, MO


Jake Heisten, Grow Neosho - Neosho, MO

Brad Hodson, Ph.D., Missouri Southern State University - Joplin, MO Kelli Perigo, JACC Board Chairman - Joplin, MO

STAFF Tony Robyn, Director Lisa Kelly, Administrative Support/OfďŹ ce Manager Morris Glaze, Business Development Support Erin Slifka, Marketing and Public Information

INVESTORS Liberty | Arvest Foundation | City of Joplin Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce | Anderson Engineering Branco Enterprises, Inc. | BKD CPAs & Advisors | Southwest Missouri Bank Grow Neosho | Carthage Chamber of Commerce | Commerce Bank Stevens & Hunt/Keller Williams Realty | Freeman Health System | US Bank Crossland Construction | City of Carthage/Carthage Water & Electric Plant Guaranty Bank | Allgeier, Martin & Associates, Inc. | Olsson Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc. | Dan L. Stanley, Edward Jones Community National Bank & Trust | Joplin Capital Corporation



Profile for Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

MOKAN 2020 Annual Report  

The MOKAN Partnership is a non-profit, public-private economic development collaborative of regional communities and economic development ag...

MOKAN 2020 Annual Report  

The MOKAN Partnership is a non-profit, public-private economic development collaborative of regional communities and economic development ag...