The Missouri MOST 529 education savings plan has long been a vital tool that has helped Missourians save for higher education expenses. But a new law signed by Gov. Mike Parson will add more flexibility to the program — including allowing 529 savings to be used for apprenticeship expenses.
Missouri is considered a leader in apprenticeships. In 2019, our state ranked second in the nation for new apprenticeships, and currently there are nearly 14,000 apprentices in Missouri.
“Missouri is leading the way in terms of apprenticeships. Coming out of this pandemic — and with the workforce challenges we are seeing today — we will need to lean on our state’s on-the-job training opportunities like apprenticeships to rebuild our workforce,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Apprenticeships provide a great avenue for individuals to get trained for in-demand careers. We thank Gov. Parson for signing this into law as we continue to promote and expand access to apprenticeships in our state.”
The legislation was contained in House Bill 297 by Rep. Wayne Wallingford, a Republican from Cape Girardeau.
Last year, the Missouri Chamber Foundation was awarded a $6 million U.S. Dept. of Labor grant to train 5,300 new technology industry apprentices over the next four years. These apprenticeships will address critical needs in computer programming, network support, cybersecurity and other shortage areas.
The state added to that momentum with the launch of Missouri Apprentice Connect, a service the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry developed in partnership with the Missouri Dept. of Higher Education and Workforce Development.