April 12, 2017 – Rob Dixon, President and CEO, Missouri Community College Association (MCCA), spoke this week to Mid-MO RPC’s Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) on how community colleges across the state are joining forces to address the challenge Missouri businesses face – the availability of a skilled workforce.
Earlier this year, the 12 community college leaders across the state signed an agreement to join forces to create what is known as the Missouri Community College Workforce Development Network. Under the new agreement, if a Missouri company needs assistance with employee training but the nearest community college doesn’t have a curriculum or expert faculty in that subject, then the new network will use collective resources among all the state’s two-year colleges to meet that business’ needs.
In the past, procedural and geographic barriers prevented community colleges from working outside of their mandated service areas. That meant a company may not have been able to get the workforce training its employees needed. Dixon stated the partnership will help grow the state’s economy in two ways. First, to help Missourians learn the skills they need to earn higher pay, and second, to connect Missouri businesses with the workforce they need to grow and create jobs. The MCCA and other business leaders hope this type of innovative solution will help Missouri compete for job creation projects that too often go to other states.
Mid-MO RPC Community & Economic Development Planner David Bock, followed with a report on MoDOT’s 2017 Cost Share Program. This program provides financial assistance to public and private applicants for state highway and bridge projects satisfying a transportation need. MoDOT participates up to 50 percent of the total project cost, however this could increase up to 100 percent for economic development projects that can demonstrate job creation. Applications are due June 30, 2017.
The next EDAC will be held on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 9:00 am. Location to be determined. If you have an interest in economic development issues and would like to start attending EDAC meetings, please contact David Bock at email@example.com for more information.