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Nixon Hopes Centene Expansion Will Trigger More North County Projects


Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says that Centene Corporation’s plans to build a new claims processing center in Ferguson doesn’t just create jobs.

It’s also about sending a message.

"We're very heartened by their willingness to make an investment,” Nixon said Tuesday. “It now sends a signal, not only in St. Louis but around the world that North County is open for business."

Nixon offered up praise for Centene at the beginning of his luncheon address to members of the Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

Based in St. Louis, Centene is one of the nation’s leading players in the health care industry. It services government health-care programs, including low-income people covered by Medicaid.

Centene announced Tuesday that it plans to build a new claims processing center in Ferguson, as part of a regional effort to help the economy in the north St. Louis County area that has been hit hardest by unrest in recent weeks.

Centene’s planned expansion would create 200 new jobs, as well as provide new facilities for worker development and training, including a day care and cafeteria.

Nixon said he has known about Centene Corporation's plans for almost a week. The company will receive economic incentives through the state's Missouri Works Training Program. The state plans to partner with St. Louis Community College to offer job training for prospective workers at the new Centene operation.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.