KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The largest economic development project in Missouri history. That’s what organizers with Cerner and Kansas City are calling the project that will follow Wednesday’s groundbreaking near Bannister and Hillcrest.
A white tent is where the groundbreaking took place. The tent stood in an empty parking lot, near the old Bannister Mall, a once vibrant and lucrative area. Cerner and Kansas City leadership are hoping to bring the spirit back to the area.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, and Cerner president Zane Burke broke ground on Wednesday on what the corporate giant is calling its New Trail Campus. It’s a $4.45 billion dollar investment, which spans nearly 300 acres and includes plans for 10 office buildings, two data centers, a service center, an on-site daycare and a health clinic.
Cerner says the project is expected to create up to 16,000 jobs over the next decade. The news is much welcomed by people in the metro who have lost jobs this year, like Joel Merritt.
“That’s one of the reasons why I was interested in it. I aspire to work for Cerner,” said Merritt.
Gov. Nixon said, “Not just any jobs. We’re talking about programmers, healthcare experts, designers, engineers, good-family supporting jobs and the careers of the future, right here in the heartland.”
The project will also create 4,500 construction jobs.
Crews and planners will work in 16 phases; the first phase is set to wrap up in 2016. Completion is scheduled for more than a decade from now in 2025. Cerner says it’s always looking for candidates.
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