“Manufacturing is a great economic driver. St. Louis Makes provides opportunity for our region to capitalize on existing resources and provide emerging products the support and resources to grow exponentially.” – Kris Welhart • Managing Partner • STROCO Manufacturing
St. Louis Makes is a private nonprofit in the public service. Our mission is to grow manufacturing revenue and employment across the St. Louis region’s manufacturing supply chain.
We help commercialize product ideas to grow sales.
St. Louis Makes provides networking, education and analysis programs, which connect and train makers, inventors and manufacturing companies through best practices in product management, new product development and business development.
If you are interested in developing your manufacturing future or are looking for regional manufacturing solutions, we want to talk to you.
As a region we take manufacturing for granted. Manufacturing is a quarter of the St Louis region’s economic activity yet is unheralded as an economic engine for future job growth and economic prosperity. It is easy to reflect back on manufacturing institutions from bygone eras and lament the fact that many have moved, merged or been acquired. It is difficult to fully appreciate the renaissance we are in that is the next generation of manufacturing’s economic output.
Too often it seems that economic developers drive past manufacturing industrial parks on their way across the metro to hear a young person pitch an idea for a smartphone app. What they see when they look in the industrial parks is nondescript landscaping and average paint jobs. What they don’t see is the modern production machinery housed behind the paint jobs and the landscaping; production machinery that is owned and operated by profitable companies with healthy financials, production machinery that employs people and adds workers as the business grows.
A byproduct of the 2008 recession was industry contraction. Companies that were undercapitalized or had poor engineering or poor financial management exited. What we are left with today are healthier companies with more efficient production, great engineering and great financial management. The weak link today is new product development and business development; i.e. the corporate functions required to analyze market opportunities and grow sales.
It is our belief that St Louis is an unrecognized innovation center in manufacturing. Aerospace/defense and biomedical are some of the most sophisticated segments in manufacturing today. St Louis has a longstanding heritage in aerospace and defense manufacturing, arguably the best in the nation, and a rapidly developing competency in biomedical manufacturing. This heightened engineered products capability that started in the aerospace industry and now permeates St Louis manufacturing has had a spill-over effect on adjacent segments. St Louis over-delivers for a city our size. Our innovation capabilities differentiate us globally.
St Louis Makes will address these opportunities through three platforms:
Manufacturing is unheralded, specifically small company manufacturers, because there is no longer meaningful consumer or broad market awareness being driven about the industry. St Louis Makes seeks to bring change that helps grow the region’s manufacturers.
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