About a dozen new jobs will be added at the Carthage Flex-O-Lators plant in the coming months.

About a dozen new jobs will be added at the Carthage Flex-O-Lators plant in the coming months.

Flex-O-Lators' parent company, Leggett and Platt was honored for hiring veterans and helping those who have served our country.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in Carthage on Wednesday to celebrate a $5.1 million expansion of the Flex-O-Lators facility on the north side of Carthage.

Leggett and Platt CEO David Haffner said Flex-O-Lators added on to the south side of its facility to create new warehouse space and free up space for new equipment to manufacture more of the automotive seating components made at the plant. The new equipment will create about a dozen new jobs.

"This expansion is just one of many we expect for this facility," Haffner said. "I wish we could go back and show you what this facility looked like 25 years ago to what you see today. We're very pleased. We know it's the type of investment that will keep us at the leading edge of the industry we serve."

Nixon met with company officials, local civic and economic development leaders before taking a tour of the plant and speaking to employees and the media.

He lauded Leggett and Platt for choosing to expand in Carthage.

"The competition for jobs of the future is global and it is fierce," Nixon said. "So we're very proud that when it came time for Leggett and Platt to decide where they wanted to grow, that they looked no further than where they started, right here in Carthage."

Haffner, who noted that his older brother worked at the Carthage Flex-O-Lators plant for 42 years before retiring, said he was glad the company could expand in its hometown.

"We're very pleased to be expanding in Carthage," he said. "This Flex-O-Lators facility is critical to Leggett & Platt's growth in the highly competitive global automotive industry. Leggett & Platt began in Missouri and we want to grow here. The state's dedicated workforce, central location, and low taxes make Missouri very attractive location for business growth."

Nixon also recognized Leggett & Platt with a Flag of Freedom award for hiring veterans through the Governor's Show-Me Heroes program.

The Show-Me Heroes program, established by Gov. Nixon in January 2010, is designed to connect military veterans with job opportunities when they return home from service.

Administered by the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Show-Me Heroes showcases Missouri businesses that are willing and eager to hire veterans. Employers participating in the Show-Me Heroes program sign a pledge to ramp up efforts to reach out to, recruit and interview veterans for job openings at their business. Leggett & Platt employs 69 veterans in Missouri.

Local leaders also welcomed the expansion and the economic benefits it will bring to Carthage.

"We're very grateful for the support that Leggett & Platt has received from Gov. Nixon, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and officials in the City of Carthage and Jasper County," said Mark Elliff, President and Economic Development Director of the Carthage Chamber of Commerce. "Leggett & Platt has been a strong corporate partner with Carthage for 130 years. Their specialty divisions, like Flex-O-Lators, continue to produce and develop innovative products in their areas of expertise. Their leadership in innovation and commitment to Missouri are only a few reasons why Leggett & Platt is a great and growing company."