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Zhihan Huang/Missouri Business Alert

In the visitors room of the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic & Correctional Center in Vandalia, nine women stand dressed in bright blue caps and gowns. They’re the first to graduate from ASPIRE MO, a program designed to teach inmates the entrepreneurial skills to start a business once they leave prison.

The 20-week program teaches them various skills like market projections, advertising and feasibility studies. By the end of the course, they make a comprehensive business plan.

For the first time ever, Kansas City will have a regularly scheduled flight across the Atlantic Ocean. 

Starting May 26, Kansas City International airport will offer direct flights to Reykjavik, Iceland on Icelandair.

Deputy aviation director Justin Meyer says the new flight will bring down European fares, and allow for easy connections to other parts of Europe. 

The flight will be offered seasonally, from May to September three days a week. 

Steel producer Nucor is building a steel mill in Sedalia.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Tuesday announced the company is investing at least $250 million on the micro-mill. Greitens' administration says more than 250 new jobs will be created once it's built.

Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

While you’re reading this, Winston Kliethermes is probably thinking about batteries.

He owns B & W Battery & Auto Repair in Jefferson City, and he says he’s been working with car batteries since 1974.

There are a lot more kinds of car batteries around now, but almost all of them have one element in common: lead. Lead-based batteries have long been the standard for transportation like cars or boats, and companies across the globe also use lead-based batteries to power their servers in case of emergency.

It’s a well proven system.

Dave Ingraham / Flickr

Gov. Eric Greitens says his administration wants to hear suggestions from Missouri citizens on how the state can reduce government red tape.

Greitens on Wednesday announced the launch of a website, The website allows Missourians to submit recommendations to reduce what Greitens calls burdensome regulations.

The governor says government red tape kills jobs and hurts working families. He says the state has more than 113,000 regulatory requirements, using more than 7.5 million words.

Courtesy of Beth Synder

Beth Snyder turned her hobby of printmaking into a career when she started 1canoe2, a print and illustration studio. Her passion for creating prints began when her husband, then-fiancé, bought her a press for about $700 on eBay, for Christmas in 2007. She had wanted to print her wedding invitations using a traditional method.


Lane Wallace

Strikes and protests are starting up in more than 300 cities around the country today as part of the Fight for $15, the national push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The demonstrations started in New York four years ago, and have since expanded to many cities and sectors. Today airport workers like janitors and baggage handlers, as well as Uber drivers, will join the protests for higher wages and better working conditions. President-elect Donald Trump’s opinions on the minimum wage are unclear, but the movement has also condemned his views on immigration and policing. 

After five years, has Giving Tuesday caught on?

Nov 29, 2016
Marielle Segarra

For the past few days, millions of consumers have been in spending overdrive.  Storming stores on Black Friday. Working the web on Cyber Monday. And nonprofits that do good works like feeding the homeless and exposing corruption have a message for all of us: don’t stop now.  

Click the above audio player to hear the full story. 

Monica Ortiz Uribe

At Omega Trucking in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, employees check in on drivers moving loads across the border via walkie talkie. This is a family-run business that transports things like tiles and construction materials for bigger companies. The owner, Miriam Kotkowski, supports private investment at the ports because she believes it helps everyone, especially small businesses like hers.

"If we don't have an efficient port, we don't have trade," she said. "And if the private sector is allowed to help, that is wonderful."

Marketplace staff

Charitable giving hit a record $373.25 billion in America last year, according to Giving USA. That seems like great news, both for charities and our tax bills, but a new report from the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies looked closer at the numbers to find an interesting trend.

The Trump train hits the Washington merry-go-round

Nov 28, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Washington is like a big merry-go-round. When your party is in power, you reach for the brass ring — a job in the White House or your favorite government agency. When your party is on the outs, you take refuge in a think tank or lobbying shop.

But Donald Trump has never had anything to do with that merry-go-round. He’s more like a train — one that smashed right into the merry-go-round on Election Day.

People who, in any normal transition, would be applying for White House jobs are now wondering, "Do I want to work for Trump? In light of the things he’s said?"

Interest rates and global imbalances

Nov 28, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about how Fidel Castro's death could affect U.S.-Cuba relations; rising interest rates in the U.S.; and how many people plan to shop online today. 

OECD lifts growth forecast, citing Trump stimulus

Nov 28, 2016
Lane Wallace

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has revised its global economic forecast, and things are looking up. It’s predicting 3.3 percent global growth in 2017, up from 2.9 this year and 0.1 percent higher than the prediction it issued in September. The organization is anticipating some stimulus to the U.S. economy under President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised $1 trillion in infrastructure investments, although the details of that idea are sketchy and subject to a political battle. 

What Fidel Castro's death means for U.S.-Cuba relations

Nov 28, 2016
David Brancaccio

With Fidel Castro's death, what might have been a low priority in the Trump administration is jumping up the agenda: what to do about business deals between the U.S. and Cuba.

John Kavulich, president of the nonpartisan U.S. Cuba Trade and Economic Council, joined us to talk about Cuba's future and what Castro's death means for the country's relationship with the U.S. 

On what's next for Cuba: 

New York's Fifth Avenue is under fire

Nov 28, 2016
Sally Herships

You know when you ask a 13-year-old comic book fan about the X-Men? That’s what Gene Spiegelman, vice president of retail services for North America at Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate services company, is like about Fifth Avenue.

“We could walk down the street all day long and I could tell you a story about every space, every building. How Abercrombie & Fitch used to be Fendi,” he said.

Weekly Wrap: It's that time of year again

Nov 25, 2016

Cardiff Garcia of FT Alphaville and John Carney of the Wall Street Journal join Molly Wood to wrap up this week's economic and business news in five minutes. It's Black Friday, so of course we're talking about consumer confidence and early holiday season numbers. Plus: Trump's appointments and tax policy.

Making the most of Thanksgiving leftovers

Nov 25, 2016
Eliza Mills and Lizzie O'Leary

Thanksgiving is one of those rare occasions where many people plan for leftovers.  But while some are content with a sandwich, there are ways to be more creative with turkey.

We have the chips, but how safe is online shopping?

Nov 25, 2016
Annie Baxter

As shoppers hit the stores this Black Friday, many will be paying with the chip cards introduced in the  U.S. about a year ago. Those cards were meant to make in-store purchases more secure. But some cybersecurity experts say chip cards may just push cyber criminals to online or “card not present” transactions.

On today's show, we'll talk about the possibility of virtual reality shopping; the relationship between interest rates and the housing market; and Coca-Cola's entrance into the African market with concession stands. 

U.S. seeks to boost its production of seafood

Nov 25, 2016
Annie Baxter

Americans import about 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S., and about half comes from fish farms or aquaculture.

The Obama Administration wants to decrease our reliance on imported seafood with efforts to allow fish farming in some federal waters — which begin 3 miles off states' shorelines.

Farmed fish create pollution with their waste. But experts say in federal waters — the open ocean — the waste can be diffused more easily than near coastlines.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story. 

Bill George

Coca-Cola is making a big bet on Africa. The Atlanta-based beverage giant sees the continent as a major growth market, as consumption of soft drinks declines in the U.S.

Across Africa, the company is also rolling out an experiment in social entrepreneurship. It’s a kind of community center in a box that also happens to sell Coke products. They’re called EKOCENTERs. The first four letters are "Coke" spelled backward.

This coffee shop isn't very interested in coffee

Nov 25, 2016
Marielle Segarra

Is it just us, or have coffee shops been getting less comfortable lately? You go in, buy a coffee, sit down with your laptop and TRY to get some work done, only to find there are no electrical outlets, there’s no Wi-Fi, the music is too loud, and oh…there are no bathrooms either.

Coffee shops are clearly trying to tell us it’s not cool to buy one coffee and then occupy a table all day long.

A café in New York has found a way around this whole awkward dance: customers pay by the minute, rather than the cup.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, November 25, 2016

Nov 24, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk to Business Insider's Ben Gilbert about the market for virtual reality, and play this week's Silicon Tally with with Geoffrey Fowler, personal technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal. 

Marketplace for Thursday, November 24, 2016

Nov 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! On today's show we're straddling turkey day and Black Friday with stories about football, gift cards and Ikea. Plus, a farm program in southern Oregon that lets former drug addicts grow nutritious food for their families. 

Andy Uhler

The National Football League has been playing games on Thanksgiving since 1920. But the Detroit Lions were the first team to really embrace the Thanksgiving day game.  They've been playing on Turkey Thursday since 1934. And what began as a ploy to fill a stadium on a day when fans didn't have to go to work , has grown into a full-blown tradition of turkey and pigskin and big money for the NFL.




Farming program aims to help addicts and their families

Nov 24, 2016
Melanie Sevcenko

In southern Oregon, the city of Medford has a high concentration  substance abuse. It’s even earned the nickname "Methford.” One of the problems that comes with drug addiction is child abuse and neglect. But the local Family Nurturing Center wants to prevent that,  so it started the Farm & Food Program.

China's Ctrip to purchase Skyscanner for $1.7 billion

Nov 24, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about news that the Chinese travel site Ctrip is purchasing Britain's Skyscanner for $1.7 billion; data that show the percentage of underwater homeowners has decreased to 10 percent; and the high demand for language teachers in Germany.  

Home equity helping people build household wealth

Nov 24, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Remember the housing crisis? Well, for many American homeowners, it’s now squarely in the rear-view mirror. A report from RealtyTrac finds that the percentage of homeowners who are underwater — meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth — has fallen to about 10 percent. It was 28 percent at its peak in 2012. The main reason: home prices have been rising, for years, helped by low mortgage rates. So homeowners have been able to build wealth through the equity they have in their homes.

Chart of the day: the cost of Thanksgiving

Nov 23, 2016
Marketplace staff

A modest Thanksgiving meal for 10 costs an average of $49.87 this year, down 24 cents from last November. The American Farm Bureau Federation has been tracking the cost of a feast for more than three decades with an informal survey.

Virtual reality: can it save us?

Nov 23, 2016

Virtual reality gear has been predicted to be a big trend this holiday season. Even though it’s been popularized as the next big thing for gaming, VR has a lot of potential that reaches beyond just entertainment.