The state has handed out millions of dollars in incentives to at least two large corporations for job training before the companies announced mass layoffs, cutting more than a thousand jobs.
Brown Shoe Co., headquartered in Clayton, received $2.4 million as part of the New Jobs Training Program this year, according to data uncovered on the Missouri Accountability Portal.
The footwear company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification last month, alerting the state of its plans to close a plant and layoff 132 workers in Scott County by the end of May.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development has not responded to repeated requests for comment from Missouri Journal.
Brown Shoe has also not responded.
Last week, Missouri Journal reported that Ford Motors Co. has received $1.85 million in incentives for job training, despite its plan to layoff 1,222 workers at its facility in Claycomo, near Kansas City until sometime next year as it retools the plant.
The automaker received the funds from the state through the Missouri Customized Training Program, according to a document released following a Sunshine Law request made by Missouri Journal.
Out of the 12 companies that have filed mass layoff notices since the start of March, affecting 2,973 workers, only the $2.4 million for Brown Shoe turned up by searching online on the Missouri Accountability Portal, which bills itself as a single point of reference on how state money is spent.
The incentives for Ford did not turn up on the transparency portal.
Therefore, Missouri Journal filed yet another Sunshine Law request on Tuesday to determine whether any of the other 11 companies have received any state incentives this year or last year.
An attorney for the department responded Thursday, noting that due to the volume of the request, they will need additional time, adding that the department will be unable to waive any fees.
By Brian R. Hook, email@example.com, (314) 482-7944
Hook is editor of Missouri Journal, which tracks the economy across the Show-Me State.
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