State of Missouri awards over $1 million for job training opportunities through the Workforce Training Initiative

October 6, 2020

The Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development approved over $1 million in grants and tax credits for three organizations through the Workforce Training Initiative.

“Workforce development has always been a focus of my administration, and these past six months have highlighted even more the need for skilled workers in Missouri,” Governor Mike Parson said. “We are pleased to announce these grant awards through the Workforce Training Initiative, which was designed to provide quality job training in areas of the state that do not usually have access to these opportunities.”

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 persons of low and moderate income.

“A highly-skilled workforce is important to the economic growth in our state,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “These training opportunities are an investment in Missouri workers and making our state a more desirable location for business expansion.”

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 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.

“The Workforce Training Initiative is a great way to meet critical training needs across the state with high-quality job training,” Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan said. “The workers receiving this training will be better able to advance in their career and provide for themselves and their families.“

The following organizations have been approved:

Adair County
Funding will be used by Adair County in partnership with Moberly Area Community College to purchase equipment and offer several classes in Mechatronics and Wind Energy at the Kirksville campus. The program will include intensive hands-on labs and is built around classes that will create cross trained technicians with skills in electrical systems, motor control, safety and quality control, and more.

"Adair County is excited to partner with MACC to bring this needed training to our area for employers now and in the future. There are many job openings for those with these mechanical/electrical skills, and we would like nothing more than to have a strong pipeline of local people to fill them," stated Mark Shahan, Presiding Commissioner for Adair County.

City of Liberty
Funds from this initiative will be utilized by the City of Liberty for supportive infrastructure for a new workforce training facility that will include a lobby, classrooms, offices, restrooms, and a large training room. The facility will be located within the Heartland Meadows Industrial Park and will be owned and operated by Kansas City Tech Academy (KCTA). KCTA will provide training to meet the demand for specialized technology-based jobs in the manufacturing sector in and around the Kansas City metro area.

“This grant will allow our community to provide workforce training opportunities for the growing number of advanced manufacturing and other skilled trade jobs in Liberty and the Kansas City metro,” said Liberty Mayor Lyndell Brenton. “By focusing on hands-on training, KC Tech Academy will help both students and adults to advance their skills and become workforce-ready employees in today’s demanding environment. The benefit these funds will provide to the manufacturing and skilled trade businesses within our community and in the Kansas City Metro area will continue to be realized by employees and employers alike for years to come."  

Crossroads Charter School
Workforce Training Initiative funding will enable Crossroads Charter Schools to provide technical training to 90 high school students in partnership with Resiliency at Work 2.0, a workforce training and development program serving the Kansas City metro. This training will include computer-aided drafting and design and Revit courses along with certification to prepare the students for entry-level positions in architecture, engineering, and construction.

“Helping young people acquire marketable skills is more important than ever given the astronomical unemployment rates they’re facing due to COVID-19. We are excited and ready to serve more students with our unique workforce training approach that emphasizes technical skills proficiency under-girded by the recognition of personal resilience.” Dr. Joy Vann-Hamilton, CEO Resiliency at Work 2.0.

For more information about the Workforce Training Initiative, click here.

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