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Missouri business community applauds Gov. Parson signing Senate Bill 68 into law

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On July 10, Gov. Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 68 into law, a piece of legislation that will bolster Missouri’s economic development and workforce programs.

Senate Bill 68 was sponsored by Sen. Lincoln Hough, a Republican from Springfield. The provisions in the bill were recommendations of the Missouri Chamber Foundation’s Workforce2030 Report released in 2018, and the Missouri Chamber’s 2019 Legislative Agenda. The Missouri Chamber advocated strongly for the bill’s passage during the legislative session, resulting in a fourfold win for our state’s employers and employees.

“Senate Bill 68 is a bold vision addressing two of the biggest issues facing our state’s entire business community: workforce preparation and economic competitiveness. This law will benefit employers of all sizes in Missouri — from empowering thousands of Missourians to equip themselves with in-demand skills, to giving job creators better access to critical workforce resources, to boosting the effectiveness of our state’s economic development tools,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber. “Missouri owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to the strong leadership of Gov. Parson, Sen. Hough and the many legislators who supported this bill and fought for its passage.”

The newly signed legislation will:

  • Create Missouri Fast Track, a program to address gaps in our workforce by providing financial aid for adult learners pursuing education and training for high demand industries. According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education, this program will impact an estimated 17,000 students.
  • Establish Missouri One Start to streamline, simplify and improve the state’s workforce training programs. The Workforce2030 Report included this telling quote from an employer in the state: “I know there must be lots of workforce programs, but we have never used them. Nobody has the time to figure them all out. I wouldn’t even know where to start.” This law addresses that, giving Missouri’s job training programs increased flexibility and making them easier for employers to use. The funding for the programs will be performance-based, contains new claw back provisions to protect taxpayers and will ensure more funding goes directly into job training.
  • Create a deal closing fund to give Missouri a key negotiating tool to finalize business investments — essential to our state’s ability to compete for important economic opportunities now and in the future.
  • Launch new automotive economic development tools to help retain automotive jobs by granting $5 million in tax credits annually to automotive manufacturers that invest $500 million or more in plant upgrades and agree to retain current workers.

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