For the past several years USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has worked on transforming our agency by raising the already high level of service even higher. Today we took the next step in this transformation by creating the new National Operations Center in the Overland, Mo., which is close to the St. Louis metro area.
Our goal was to find a location in America’s heartland. Not only would that help us centralize many of our operations, but also help NASS stay close with many America’s farmers and ranchers. This is why as soon as the Government Services Agency (GSA) brought the Charles F. Prevedel building to our attention, we knew that we have found our new center.
GSA turned out to be a great partner to NASS in our transition. In addition to NASS’s investment of $6.7 million in our effort to centralize major survey operations in the new center, GSA will invest $35 million into improvements over the next 5 years.
The new center will allow NASS to centralize and improve the efficiency of our survey procedures by centralizing the data analysis and data processing work currently done by our field offices. All 46 of NASS’s field offices will remain operational after transition and will continue to work with local government, industries and other partners to help NASS serve the needs of agriculture and rural America.
The new center will allow NASS to bring nearly 100 full-time and 300 part-time jobs to the St. Louis area. We will begin the hiring process in 2011.