September 2, 2020 2 min read

Missouri Apprentice Connect: Innovative statewide apprentice matching service launches

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is excited to announce the launch of a new statewide apprenticeship matching service: Missouri Apprentice Connect.

Developed in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development, this innovative service helps employers with registered apprenticeship programs find aspiring apprentices. The site also makes it easier for Missourians to take advantage of the outstanding career and skill growth opportunities that apprenticeships provide.

“The Missouri Apprentice Connect portal is a free, easy service from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry that matches Missourians with great opportunities across our state,” said Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (watch his full remarks). “About 94 percent of workers retain employment after completing an apprenticeship program. If you are looking for quality employees, I encourage you to consider participating in this program. Apprenticeships are a win for employers, a win for job seekers, and a win for our state.”

The launch of this new service enhances Missouri’s leadership role in using apprenticeships to help train the state’s workforce. In 2019, Missouri ranked second in the nation for new apprenticeships.

Since then, the Missouri Chamber Foundation was awarded a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to create nearly 5,300 tech industry apprenticeships.

In addition, state lawmakers passed and Gov. Parson signed a new law to enhance apprenticeships in the state by making it possible for apprentices to obtain industry licenses as part of an apprenticeship. The launch of Missouri Apprentice Connect builds on this momentum.

“The launch of Missouri Apprentice Connect couldn’t have come at a better time. As we continue to lead our economic recovery, we have a situation where many Missourians have lost jobs due to the coronavirus crisis, yet employers report that they still can’t find enough workers with the right skills. We believe apprenticeships are a critical way we can bridge this gap,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “With Missouri Apprentice Connect, our state is continuing to lead the nation in apprenticeship innovation. We are encouraging our members and job creators across Missouri to learn about the advantages of hosting a registered apprenticeship program. We also want Missouri workers — those who have lost their jobs and those who are ready for something more — to seriously consider pursuing an apprenticeship as a way to enhance their skills and grow into a new career. Starting today, the best place to begin is”

With its network of Job Centers, the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development used its deep knowledge of the apprenticeship climate in Missouri to help develop Missouri Apprentice Connect. More than 200 employers and partners are already signed up. The state has long desired a simple, user-friendly way to promote the diverse variety of apprenticeship opportunities that are currently available. The department is already working to onboard employers and apprenticeship seekers into Missouri Apprentice Connect.

“Apprenticeships are a unique path to help both the employer and the worker. We’re excited to introduce this new tool as we strive to give Missourians a leg up in their careers, and help businesses find high quality job candidates,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education.

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