Fifty-three percent of Missouri jobs are middle-skill, but only 46 percent of Missourians are trained to that level. Delivering tailored workforce solutions to Missouri companies and improving that number is the aim of one bill under consideration in House committee.
Rep. Derek Grier (R-Chesterfield) was recently appointed as Chair of the House Economic Development Committee. His House Bill 469 consolidates three existing state workforce training programs into one, called Missouri One Start.
The bill is part of the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Best in Midwest initiative and one of Gov. Parson’s workforce priorities for the 2019 legislative session. Missouri would be the first state in the Midwest to implement this streamlined, more flexible model.
“Instead of companies having to go through three separate programs, do three different application processes, three whole different systems of doing things, we now will have one program. That’s going to be a new division within the Department of Economic Development, and it’s going to utilize existing resources,” said Grier.
The bill would:
“This is one of the governor’s top priorities for the year. Workforce development is so important and key to our state’s success, to the economic success and prosperity of the companies and the workers in Missouri, and he has identified this as one of a very small number of big priorities for the year,” Grier said. “So we’ve got a real focus on this issue and I think we’re going to have great success with it.”
HB 469 was heard in House committee on Feb. 4, with the Missouri Chamber testifying in support. Aligning our state funded workforce development system in order to make it easier for employers to access training is one of the recommendations made in the Workforce2030 Report commissioned by the Missouri Chamber Foundation.
The Senate version of this bill is SB 184, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Wallingford.