Department awards over $1 million for job training opportunities

December 23, 2019

The Missouri Department of Economic Development approved two organizations for a total of $1.1 million in grants and tax credits under the Workforce Training Initiative round one.

“In the last year, Missouri has grown by 37,100 jobs. To keep up with the growing demand for skilled workers in our state, it is important to prioritize training and upskilling to prepare our workforce,” Governor Mike Parson said. “The Workforce Training Initiative is a strategic solution for equipping workers to meet this need.”

The Workforce Training Initiative helps provide quality job training opportunities through non-profit organizations, local governments, community colleges, public technical colleges, and public universities.  These programs will increase access to training to underserved areas and benefit 860 persons of low and moderate income.

“The Department of Economic Development is proud to partner with organizations that aid in preparing workers for the future,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “With the state’s tight job market, it is important to find new ways to meet the need for trained workers.”

The initiative defines job training as a method of skill development derived from the practical application of work-related skills. This training prepares individuals for a specific job opportunity, particularly those within occupations that are experiencing growth.

“The Missouri Community College Association is proud of our longstanding partnership with the Missouri Department of Economic Development to deliver high-quality, efficient job training to businesses across Missouri,” said Missouri Community College Association President and CEO Brian Millner. “Whether through the Missouri Works Training program, Missouri One Start, or the Workforce Training Initiative, these crucial programs result in timely, flexible, and cost-effective job training resources that fully address Missouri businesses’ varying training needs.”

The Department of Economic Development worked closely with the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development to select organizations to receive funding. The funds may be directed towards capital improvements, equipment, program supplies, and training materials. These projects will increase the number of students trained and improve the readiness of the students to enter their respective fields.

“These proposals are part of our comprehensive statewide strategy for workforce development,” Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan said. “They will meet critical needs around the state.”

The following organizations have been approved:

City of Salem

Funding will be used by the City of Salem to construct a facility to house construction and technical trade programs for high school students and a manufacturing trade program for post-secondary adult students. This facility will provide all students with classroom instruction and real work experience.

“This grant provides our community an opportunity to expand the Construction Trades and Computer Science programs,” Salem City Administrator Ray Walden said. “The City of Salem and the Salem R-80 District along with other stakeholders are committed to educational opportunities for both current students and adults.  It’s our expectation the investment this represents will benefit our community and the State for years to come.”

Three Rivers College

Funds from this program will be utilized by Three Rivers College to equip a simulation lab located at the Ozark Foothills Business Incubator in the Poplar Bluff Industrial Park. The lab will be an expansion of Three Rivers College’s current Missouri One Start Customized Training Program and will house contracted instruction in advanced manufacturing training.

“This grant will benefit our community for years to come by providing the funds for much-needed advanced manufacturing and technical skills training equipment in Poplar Bluff,” said Dr. Wesley Payne, President of Three Rivers College. “This updated equipment will be housed in the newly created 2,500-square-foot Industrial Park Simulation Lab, where it will be convenient for our manufacturing partners and their employees. It will allow us to train the workforce on the latest equipment in manufacturing technology, further expanding the knowledge of area workers, and helping them remain competitive in the manufacturing environment. We would like to thank the City of Poplar Bluff for applying for this grant, the Ozark Foothills Regional Planning Commission for grant administration, and the Poplar Bluff Training Group, the South Central Workforce Investment Board, and MERS Goodwill for their support.”

For more information on funding opportunities and program eligibility requirements, click here.

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