Economy

Economy
4:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Aircraft Maintenance Company Opens Kansas City Hangar

Aviation Technical Services President and CEO Matt Yerbic, left, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon cut the ribbon at the company's new hangar at Kansas City International Airport.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a state program that helps employers offset the cost of job training was instrumental in bringing aircraft maintenance company Aviation Technical Services to Kansas City.

The Washington state-based company has renovated a hangar at Kansas City International Airport and hired 70 employees so far.

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Economy
9:24 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Sporting Announces New Facility, Makes Kansas City Indisputable 'Soccer Town'

A rendering on display at the announcement at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., shows what the facility may look like.
Credit Greg Echlin / KCUR

Much like the winning drivers at Kansas Speedway next door, Sporting Kansas City is taking a victory lap.

Firmly planted in Kansas City with a state-of-the-art soccer venue and a first class practice facility and fields, Sporting Kansas City steered the area to another level with an announcement Wednesday of a proposed National Training and Coaching Development Facility in Kansas City, Kan.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was on hand for the formal announcement at Sporting Park before Sporting KC took the field for an international friendly match against Manchester City FC.

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Economy
8:00 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Announcement On National Soccer Training Center Expected Wednesday

Collaborative efforts between the Sporting Kansas City soccer club, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., and the state of Kansas for a national soccer training center appear to be complete.

A “major announcement” is set for Wednesday night at Sporting Park with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback expected to be in attendance, state officials said in a release Tuesday.

It will precede Sporting KC’s exhibition match against England’s Manchester City club.

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Building Up KC With Local Entrepreneurs

Kansas City is home to many entrepreneurs running small businesses.
Credit Photoguyinmo / Flickr-CC

Whether it’s a bakery or a tech firm, running your own business is no cakewalk. Developing one from the ground up takes a lot of hard work and planning.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with some local entrepreneurs about how they got started, the difficulties they encounter and what the future might hold for them. We also talk about why their relationship with the community matters so much and how they stay profitable. 

Guests:

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Economy
8:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

What Would A Sprint, T-Mobile Merger Mean For Kansas City?

Speculation has been building over recent weeks about a possible deal between Sprint parent company SoftBank and T-Mobile to merge the two wireless carriers.
Credit Peggy Lowe / KCUR

Talk of the proposed $32 billion merger of Sprint and T-Mobile continues to bubble, raising serious questions about the future health of the Kansas City regional economy. 

The deal is still just rumored – and it's unknown if federal regulators will approve it, how it will be structured and even whether Sprint or T-Mobile would be the lead company in the deal.

What is clear is that Sprint is a vital company to the Kansas City area, and that the proposed merger comes at a delicate time for the regional economy.

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Central Standard
4:42 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Cash Money Crew: Planning For A New Baby

According to the USDA, a child born in 2012 to a middle income family would cost an average of 241,000 by the time they're 18.
Credit Trevor / Flickr, Creative Commons

Expecting a new baby can force many parents to make complicated financial decisions. On Monday's Central Standard, we were joined by the Cash Money Crew to discuss how to approach and manage the monetary costs that come with a new child.

Guests:

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Economy
7:55 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Purchase Of Russell Stover May Enable Lindt To Do Something 'Creative' In Midwest

Kansas City-based chocolate company Russell Stover was purchased by Swiss chocolatier Lindt on Monday.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

The Swiss chocolate maker Lindt will gobble up Kansas City-based Russell Stover. The acquisition may be kind of an odd pairing, but analysts say it could be a sweet deal for the Swiss company and possibly for American chocolate lovers. 

Mr. Russell Stover started his boxed candy business with money he made helping to invent the modern ice cream bar. He brought it to Kansas City in 1931, where the company still has dedicated stores and a faithful following.

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Economy
6:58 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Lindt Chocolate Maker Purchases Russell Stover

Credit Kansas Tourism / Flickr--CC

Another iconic Kansas City-based company has been sold. Lindt, a Swiss chocolate company, has reached a deal to buy Russell Stover, according the the New York Times. The announcement comes nine months after the sale of one of Kansas City's other iconic retailers — Boulevard Brewing Co.

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Economy
7:50 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Fireworks Sales Generate Economic Returns For Some Metro Communities

Fireworks are a big business for metro communities that allow their sale and use.
Credit Anthony Cramp / Wikimedia--CC

For municipalities that allow fireworks sales, July 4 is a way to rake in the revenue.

Let's start with the cost of doing business.

"The permit fee for a fireworks tent is $1,000," says Spring Hill, Kan., city administrator Jonathan Roberts.

Fireworks are banned in most of Johnson County. But in recent years, Spring Hill, De Soto and Edgerton have decided to allow fireworks within city limits.

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Families
11:04 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Missouri And Kansas Among Worst States For New Parents

This map grades states based on their economic protections for new parents employed in both government and private-sector positions.
Credit www.nationalpartnership.org

A new study has rated Missouri and Kansas among the worst states in the country for new parents.

The National Partnership for Women & Families gave both states a failing grade in the third edition of "Expecting Better," an analysis of economic supports for state and private sector workers with new children.

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Economy
12:36 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Missouri Wants To End Economic 'Border War,' But Kansas Will Need To Act

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signs legislation agreeing to end economic incentives and tax breaks for companies that move across the state line, but only if Kansas also agrees.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Missouri lawmakers want to put a stop to economic incentives for businesses who move across the state line from Kansas.

But the legislation Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law Tuesday only goes into effect if Kansas agrees to a similar measure to end what's commonly known as the "Border War."

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Business
11:02 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Burns & McDonnell Breaks Ground on Headquarters Expansion

Missouri politicians – including Gov. Jay Nixon and Kansas City Mayor Sly James — were joined by more than 100 Burns & McDonnell employees in the engineering firm’s parking lot Thursday for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the company’s headquarter expansion.

The firm’s plans call for two building near its current Ward Parkway world headquarter site, adding an additional 450,000 square feet of office space.

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Up to Date
4:05 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Sprint And T-Mobile: How Corporate Mergers Work

Credit Robert Nazarian / talkandroid.com

When Sprint CEO Dan Hesse appeared on a recent episode, he didn’t say much about the anticipated merger of his company with T-Mobile. Since then, talk of a merger between the third and fourth largest US wireless companies hasn't diminished. And one of the companies is based right in our backyard.

On Tuesday's Up to Date we explore the process of corporate mergers and what this one might mean for Sprint's Overland Park campus.

Guests:

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Lifeguards
7:43 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Why Fewer Teens Are Spending Their Summer Lifeguarding

It is getting harder for pools, like this one in Lawrence, Kan., to recruit teens into lifeguarding.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Temperatures are rising, but a shortage of lifeguards in some communities is keeping pools closed. 

Once a stereotypical way to make some summer cash, fewer teens are willing to go through expensive training for a minimum wage job.

And while the problem here isn't as pronounced as in Austin, Texas, which had to delay opening half its pools, there are still cities scrambling to recruit the needed lifeguards to keep swimmers safe.

It takes a lot of lifeguards to keep one pool safe

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Central Standard
9:50 am
Wed June 18, 2014

To Buy Or To Rent?

Credit CC Wikimedia

    

With the foliage at its finest, "For Sale" signs are popping up in front of houses all over town. Home ownership is a staple of the American Dream but in reality renting may make more sense.

On Monday's Central Standard, the Cash Money Crew explores the age old question of whether to rent or buy.

Guests: 

  • Lucas Bucl, Financial Planner, KHC Wealth Management 
  • David Jackson, Financial Planning Association
  • Sandi Weaver, Financial Security Advisors
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Entrepreneurship
2:06 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing Kansas City's Entrepreneurship Scene?

Kate Weinstock
Credit Cara McClain / KCUR

Entrepreneurship group 1Week KC wants to make Kansas City a top destination for innovative businesses and start-ups, a goal they're promoting with a week-long celebration that began Monday.

The obstacles and challenges that entrepreneurs face are wide and varied, but here is what some of the people who attended this week's events had to say about the climate in Kansas City:

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Economy
3:42 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Report: Kansas City Economy Lags Behind That Of Other U.S. Cities

Credit MARC

The Mid-America Regional Council presented a sobering assessment of the Kansas City area economy Thursday, one showing the metro is having trouble bouncing back from the recession.

The report, called "Prosperity at the Crossroads," says that fewer than half of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, including the greater Kansas City region, had recovered all the jobs they lost during the recession by the end of 2013. 

Data in the report show that Kansas City employment rates, wage growth and job growth are all down.

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Confronting Suburban Poverty

Poverty has hit the suburbs hard in recent years.
Credit Kevin Anderson / Wikimedia Commons

When you think of poverty, you might picture homeless people in the heart of the city or lines at the City Union Mission, but the inner city isn’t the only place where people have fallen on hard times.

On Wedensday's Up to Date, we take a look the suburbs, a place where poverty rates have been climbing for years. We examine what steps local governments can take to help the growing number of people who live in suburban poverty and find out what has been pushing this trend.

Guest:

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Sprint
3:19 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse On T-Mobile, HD Audio And Work-Life Balance

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse sat down with Steve Kraske to talk about the recent rumors and changes surrounding the company.
Credit John Taylor / Flickr-CC

When Sprint Corp. CEO Dan Hesse took the helm of an ailing telecommunications corporation seven years ago, he had his work cut out for him.

In the past year, things have moved very quickly for the company, with a majority buyout by Japan-based SoftBank Corp., layoffs and recent rumors of a merger deal with T-Mobile.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sat down with Hesse to discuss the whirlwind of activity surrounding Sprint, and what it all means for consumers.

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Poverty
2:46 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Johnson County Demonstrates Sharp Uptick In Suburban Poverty

Poverty in suburban Johnson County doesn't look like it does in urban Kansas City, Kan., or rural parts of the state. 

And that makes it harder to address a growing problem in a part of the metro seen as affluent, says County Manager Hannes Zacharias.

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Tue June 10, 2014

A Look At Sprint With Its CEO

Dan Hesse is the CEO of Sprint.
Credit John Taylor / Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to employment and industry, Sprint is a giant in Kansas City, but that status doesn’t come without some issues.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse joins us to talk about rumors of a potential merger with T-Mobile, what a recent quarterly report says about the company and what presses Hesse’s buttons when it comes to audio quality.

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Business
9:59 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Reports: Sprint Works Out $32 Billion Deal With T-Mobile

Sprint Corp. has worked out a $32 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile US Inc., according to reports Wednesday.

The deal was reported by varying media outlets, including the Kansas City Star, but no sources were identified. Sprint has not confirmed the reports and a spokesman for the company declined to comment to The Star.

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Up To Date
9:48 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Development On The Rise In Kansas City

Cerner is just one of the organizations expanding development in the Kansas City metro.
Credit Cerner Corporation

Home construction skyrocketed 88% over last year's developments this April. In the second half of Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Kansas City Star development reporter Kevin Collison about the jump in growth in the metro area.

We'll look at Cerner's expanded office campus where the Bannister Mall once stood, a new $50 million River Market apartment complex, and UMKC's site near the Kauffman Center for the Conservatory of Music.

Guest:

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Economy
3:34 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Spanish Auto Parts Company Opens Kansas City Plant

Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon join Grupo Antolin executives for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Spanish auto parts manufacturer's new plant.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A Spanish auto parts manufacturer will add 118 jobs in Kansas City over the next two years.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was in town Wednesday to help cut the ribbon at Grupo Antolin's new $18 million plant, which will produce customized headliners for the vehicles such as the Ford Transit vans being manufactured at Claycomo.

"Since we first announced Grupo coming to Missouri, the company has already hired over 50 employees, including plant manufacturing and management staff," says Nixon. "That's big news for the company and a huge win for this community."

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Business
10:50 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Kauffman Foundation CEO To Step Down

Tom McDonnell, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, will leave the organization at the end of the fiscal year.

In a release, the Foundation says because of personal plans, McDonnell is unable to make the long-term commitment the organization needs to see through a multi-year strategic plan effort.

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Business
6:07 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Unilever To Make Big Investment In Independence Plant

Unilever is adding 70 jobs and investing $99 million at its Independence food manufacturing plant.

About 190 employees currently work at the plant, which for years has made Wishbone salad dressing. The jobs are above average wage. the kind Independence Economic Development Council President Tom Lesnak says the city tries to attract. But those jobs have been in jeopardy for a couple of months now.

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Economy
7:58 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Greensburg, Kansas Recovers From Twister Only To Face An Economic EF5

Greensburg Greentown Site Manager Ruth Ann Wedel sits on the second floor patio of an environmentally sustainable, tornado resistant silo home overlooking Greensburg.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

A massive EF5 tornado all but obliterated Greensburg, Kan., on May 4, 2007. Afterwards, city leaders saw a blank slate, a chance to reverse decades of decline by building a town for the future.

Greensburg’s green building initiative, drew big money, and lots of volunteer help. But now Greensburg faces a crossroads. The town is stuck at half its pre-tornado population with few prospects for growth. Some blame trends slowly decimating most farm towns, others find fault with the green initiative.    

Greensburg dreams big

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Economy
7:44 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Kansas City’s Auto Assembly Sector Revs Up With New Parts Plant

Kansas City’s thriving auto-assembly sector notched another win Thursday, as the Canadian company Martinrea broke ground on a new parts plant in Riverside.  

Martinrea says it will hire as many as 290 people to crank out front end parts for the Malibu that GM builds by the thousands across the river from Riverside, in Fairfax. The company will reportedly see more than $3 million in state incentives. But Kansas City Area Development Council CEO Bob Marcus says, auto parts manufacturers are moving here for another good reason.

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Economy
10:35 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Spirit Airlines To Begin Service In Kansas City

Spirit Airlines will begin service from Kansas City to five cities in August.
Credit Courtesy / Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines announced Wednesday they will begin service in Kansas City beginning August 7.

The Florida-based airline will provide non-stop service from KCI Airport to Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit and Las Vegas on August 7 and Houston beginning August 8.

“We look forward to help customers traveling to or from the Kansas City area to save money with our ultra-low fares and optional services for a total price that is tough to beat” said Mark Kopczak, Spirit’s Vice President of Network Planning in a release.

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Central Standard
12:05 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Cash Money Crew: Managing And Investing A Financial Windfall

Credit Mark Ou / Creative Commons

Many of us fantasize about receiving a large sum of money unexpectedly. This is the very fantasy that sends people to the grocery store for lottery tickets.

But it's not just a fantasy. Situations do arise when people who are not necessarily experienced in dealing with money find themselves on the receiving end of a financial windfall.

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