Business news for the week of June 29, 2010

Grain Valley chamber luncheon is next week

The Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. July 6 at Whiskey Tango. Derik Lindberg will address “Public Speaking Principles.” The barbecue lunch is catered by Whiskey Tango, and the cost is $9. Call the chamber at 816-847-2627.

Area firms on ‘best places to work’ list

Two companies with large presences in Eastern Jackson County are among those recently honored for being a good place to work.

Computerworld magazine has released its 17th annual “100 Best Places to Work in IT” survey.

The Hospital Corporation of America, which owns Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence and Lee’s Summit Medical Center, is No. 42, making the list for a second year in a row.

Edward Jones, which provides financial services to individual investors, has made the list for the ninth straight year and is No. 45. The company has dozens of representatives in the area.

Other companies with operations in the metro area include Northwestern Mutual (No. 43), Allstate Insurance (No. 50), Cerner (No. 52), Harrah’s Entertainment (No. 58) and State Farm (No. 61). The No. 1 company is USAA, a financial services company based in San Antonio.

Grain Valley official on development board

Grain Valley Assistant City Administrator Cathy Cox has been named to represent Missouri and Kansas as co-chair of the International Council of Shopping Centers. The group’s 60,000-plus members in more than 80 countries include shopping center owners,  developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers and public officials.

Jobless rates steady

There’s only slight improvement on the unemployment front in May. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, which tracks figures statewide and locally, says the Kansas City area had an overall rate of 8.2 percent, a slight improvement from April’s 8.3 but a marked improvement from early in the year. In January, it was 9.1 percent.

In Eastern Jackson County:

 Blue Springs – 8 percent, up from 7.8 percent in April but lower than March’s 8.8 percent

Independence – 10.3 percent, up from April’s 10.1 percent but lower than the 11 percent reading in March.


Lee’s Summit – 7.2 percent, up from 7 percent in April but down from 7.7 percent in March.

MERIC puts the statewide jobless rate at 8.7 percent in May, down from 8.8 percent in April and 10.2 percent in both February and March. It reported a nationwide rate of 9.3 percent in May.