By DOUG WILSON
Herald-Whig Senior Writer
MONROE CITY, Mo. — Continental Casting of Monroe City and Palmyra is expanding and will add 80 new jobs during the next two years.
The company has 215 employees and will add 43 in Monroe City and 37 in Palmyra, said company President David Berry.
"This is part of our strategy. We gave ourselves five years to be back at capacity, and we should make that happen," Berry said.
Gov. Jay Nixon was at Continental Casting's Monroe City facility Tuesday to announce the $2.6 million investment and expansion. The state will help out with $313,000 through the Enhanced Enterprise Zone tax program, Nixon said.
"Missouri job creators know they can count on our low taxes, skilled workforce and great communities to help their business succeed. That's why we will continue to fight for every job, every day, to keep our economy moving forward," Nixon said.
The company produces aluminum, magnesium and zinc die cast items for the automotive, communications and electronics industries as well as consumer products.
Monroe City Mayor Neal Minor said die-making companies helped build Monroe City from the 1960s through the 1990s. When the original owners retired, the company was owned and operated by out-of-state and foreign investors. The Intermet went through bankruptcy and the Monroe City and Palmyra die-casting plants closed during the recession. They were bought by Continental Castings in October 2009.
"They're running a great company," Minor said.
Nixon said Missouri is "the best place in the Midwest for entrepreneurs and manufacturers to turn their ideas into prosperity."
CNN-Money recently rated Missouri as the nation's sixth-best state for new business start-ups in its "10 Most Entrepreneurial States for 2011," with Missouri being the only Midwestern state in the Top 10. In addition, Missouri's state exports were up 6 percent during the first two quarters of 2012 compared to 2011, a year when the state of Missouri set a record with $14.1 billion in export sales revenue.