JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin company is finding a solution to a space shortage, and as it grows physically, so will its workforce.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson, company officials, and rank-and-file employees of Boyd Metals signed on the dotted beam for posterity’s sake. This piece of metal will be part of a $9.3 million expansion project at the Joplin company.

“We operate in 60,000 square feet currently, and we are adding 50,000 square feet to bring us to a total of 110,000 square feet,” said Audie Dennis, General Manager, Boyd Metals.

Parson says the project is yet another example of economic growth post-tornado.

“You look at what’s happened since a devastating time when a tornado came through here, but you look at all the advantages that have come out of that, like new hospitals, new schools, new businesses. Sometimes bad things create good things to happen later on, and I think that’s one of those things Joplin’s always gonna look back and say, you know, there were some tough days, but the reality of it is that Joplin’s growing,” said Governor Parson.

Boyd utilized a state economic development fund worth $106,000 to make the project possible.

“We helped with the state incentives through the Missouri Works Program, so anytime a company meets certain requirements and adds jobs, in this case, twelve jobs, they’ll get state incentives for that growth,” said Michelle Hataway, Acting Director, Missouri Department of Economic Development.

This facility opened as Boyd Metals back in 1995, already employing 60, but that number will increase by 12 once the project is finished.

“Well, it is, to say a cliché, to say that 80% of your job growth is going to come from your existing businesses, but it is so true,” said Travis Stephens, President, CEO, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber President and CEO Travis Stephens says this project is a perfect example of that old economic development adage.

“Even with a tight labor market, existing businesses in Joplin are saying we like Joplin, we like the quality of the workforce, and we want to be in Joplin long term, so they are growing,” added Stephens.

“We hope to start moving dirt within the next 3 to 4 weeks, and the projected completion date is summer of ’24,” said Dennis.