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Nixon signs orders advancing job-creation plan

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Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday signed a trio of executive orders that set into motion a statewide job-creation plan he unveiled in late December.

The orders created an Automotive Jobs Task Force, the Governor's Economic Stimulus Coordination Council and directed the Missouri Department of Economic Development to work with the Missouri Development Finance Board to create a pool of funds for low-interest and no-interest small-business loans, according to a news release.

Nixon said in the release that he expected participation fees collected on MFDB loans and from other sources to generate about $2 million for small-business loans.

"With $2 million, this fund would be enough to provide 80 loans of $25,000 each to the young innovators and small-business owners who will turn our economy around," he said. "We'll provide these loans on a revolving basis to ensure the greatest possible impact. We want to do everything we can to help small businesses grow, and these types of loans from the state of Missouri will be a big boost."

The Automotive Jobs Task Force, which will comprise 12 people appointed by Nixon, will identify ways government can assist Missouri's automotive industry and industries that are dependent upon it. Specifically, the group is charged with:

• Identifying state economic policies and laws that help or hinder the development and retention of high-tech auto production facilities in Missouri;

• Evaluating the effectiveness of job-training programs specific to the auto industry;

• Recommending legislative and policy solutions to strengthen the automotive work force in Missouri in the short and long term as well as potential funding sources for those recommendations; and

• Issuing a report to the governor within 90 days.

The economic stimulus council, which will consist of at least 15 people appointed by Nixon, will examine how the state can maximize money through the federal stimulus program proposed by President-elect Barack Obama.

Nixon has directed the council to generate a report that will recommend how the state can coordinate job creation activities with the Missouri congressional delegation and the incoming Obama administration, and ensure that it receives the maximum amount of appropriations through a federal stimulus package.

"The federal government will be looking to the states for projects that are ready to move," Nixon said in the release. "This council will develop ideas on how we can make certain Missouri is ahead of the curve."[[In-content Ad]]

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