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2023 Coolest Things Made in the Ozarks

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Uncovering the Ozarks’ cool products
A “hidden industry” — that’s how Custom Metalcraft Inc. President Nikki Holden describes manufacturing. And yet, she says, “Everything we touch and use in our daily lives, all the inputs are from manufacturing.”

Holden’s insight into her industry is precisely why Springfield Business Journal launched Coolest Things Made in the Ozarks last year. We knew southwest Missouri is strong in manufacturing, but the industry’s impact on the local economy, and even international markets, needed a stage to showcase the best of Ozarks ingenuity.

In the 14 counties in the southwest corner of our state, manufacturing is one of the largest industries, employing nearly 42,000 people, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

For this award event, we asked these manufacturers to submit one of their products to be evaluated by a selection committee. We met and picked the 16 finalists.

—Executive Editor Christine Temple

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