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Jason Hall, the new director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, speaks during a Dec. 30 visit to Jordan Valley Innovation Center, as Gov. Jay Nixon looks on.Photo courtesy BREWER SCIENCE
Jason Hall, the new director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, speaks during a Dec. 30 visit to Jordan Valley Innovation Center, as Gov. Jay Nixon looks on.

Photo courtesy BREWER SCIENCE

Nixon names new DED director

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Gov. Jay Nixon on Dec. 30 named Jason Hall director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Nixon and Hall visited Jordan Valley Innovation Center on Friday for the announcement, following a trip to address the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Hall, who previously was executive director of the Missouri Technology Corp., succeeds David Kerr, who stepped down from the post Dec. 31 to spend more time with family after working the job for about two years. Kerr will stay on with Nixon's administration as an unpaid consultant to assist Hall with the implementation of the Missouri Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth, a five-year plan meant to foster Missouri's job and economic growth.

In 2009, Nixon appointed Hall to the top post of the MTC, a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and the growth of high technology companies, with a specific focus on bioscience industries. As director of the MTC, Hall was a front-runner in the development of the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a program investing $27 million in small businesses and jobs. Two loan programs, the Missouri IDEA -Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurial Advancement - Seed and Venture Capital Funds and the Grow Missouri Loan Participation Fund, have been created under the initiative, according to a news release.

"Jason Hall is exactly the type of bright, energetic leader we need to help create jobs and move Missouri's economy forward," Nixon said in the release.

According to the release, Hall also was a leader for the administration on the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, the only piece of the Made in Missouri Jobs Package passed by the General Assembly late last year during a special legislative session. MOSIRA offers tax credits for science-based and technological companies.

"I look forward to working closely with the governor to continue to focus on building strength in Missouri's modern manufacturing sector, expanding our exports, educating a work force for the careers of tomorrow, and growing more high-tech science and innovation companies in our state," Hall said in the release.

Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce President Jim Anderson said the chamber would work with Hall and Nixon to create jobs and grow the state's economy.

"As MTC director, Jason Hall has keenly understood that science, technology and innovation are alive and well in southwest Missouri," Anderson said in the release. "Jason has worked aggressively to recruit and grow emerging businesses across our region, and I know he'll continue that relentless work as director of the Department of Economic Development."
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