As businesses across Missouri continue to confront a workforce shortage, a Missouri Senate bill seeks to help by giving students an opportunity to earn credit from work experience.
The Extended Learning Opportunities Act, Senate Bill 1051, would allow Missouri school districts to give credit toward graduation when students pursue opportunities like internships, apprenticeships and other valuable out-of-the-classroom learning experiences.
Bill sponsor Sen. Rick Brattin, a Republican from Harrisonville, said his work experiences as a student were very valuable in helping him choose his career path.
“It really helped me be able to apply things that I learned,” he said.
Sen. Brattin’s legislation was heard by the Senate Education Committee on March 22.
During that meeting the committee also heard testimony on an important bill to expand access to high school diplomas in Missouri.
Senate Bill 957 by Sen. Jason Bean, a Republican representing District 25 in southeast Missouri, would develop a new legal framework that would help adult Missourians complete their high school education. Many employers see a high school diploma as a basic prerequisite for a wide variety of jobs.
For Missourians who missed their first chance to graduate from high school, there are currently few good options to go back and get a diploma. But Senate Bill 957 would help thousands of Missourians take this important step toward entering the workforce.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports these bills. The Missouri Chamber has a strong focus on workforce legislation in an effort to help employers deal with this issue. A recent Missouri Chamber poll showed that 70 percent of Missouri employers say workforce is either the first or second biggest factor impacting their growth.
For more information, contact Kara Corches, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-634-3511.