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MSU Dedicates Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development

Jay Nixon at Dedication for MSU's Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development (Credit: Michele Skalicky)

The center, at 405 N. Jefferson, houses resources for entrepreneurs in an area designated as the eFactory.  And the center became home this fall to the University’s cooperative engineering program with Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Nixon says he's proud MSU has created an investment that's directly tied to economic activity and viability.

"Those are the kind of investments that the universities need to make--investments that go beyond but also greatly compliment traditional degree programs and institutional research," he said.

Springfield Chamber of Commerce president Jim Anderson says the city’s economy is growing because of entrepreneurs who made something happen.  He’s excited to see the building get a new use—one that serves as a tipping point for the economic development and quality of life and quality job creation in our region.

The building has housed Tablet Manufacturing Company and a post office.  Anderson remembers talking Hudson Foods officials into turning the dilapidated building into a turkey processing plant.

"Who would've thought that just a few years ago that an abandoned poultry processing facility would then become a center of excellence for free enterprise and business development.  It's the Ozarks' version of the phoenix rising from the ashes," he said.

The Plaster Center for Free Enterprise and Business Development is part of IDEA Commons, MSU’s commitment to create a new type of urban research park that blends innovation, design, entrepreneurship and the arts.

For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.