Missouri Business Headlines

Bill signed to expand business-education partnerships

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Gov. Mike Parson has signed House Bill 1415, a measure that allows educators’ professional development hours to include externships with local businesses. The bill also facilitates ACT WorkKeys assessments for students and extends two of Missouri’s top job creation incentives.

Similar to internships for students, externships are opportunities for educators to experience workplaces in the community related to what they teach. By letting time spent in externships count toward professional development hours, House Bill 1415 will help teachers bring real world knowledge and skills to their classrooms through programs such as Show-Me Careers.

The bill also provides greater flexibility for students to take ACT WorkKeys in any year the state funds statewide assessments. ACT WorkKeys is an alternative to the ACT Plus Writing test, indicating that a student is career ready and providing an option for those who may seek vocational training rather than college.

In addition, the bill reauthorizes two of Missouri’s most popular and successful job creation incentives that were set to expire this year. Job creators can now make good use of the Missouri Works and Missouri Works Training programs through August 28, 2030. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Jeanie Lauer, a Republican from Blue Springs.

“Strengthening Missouri’s workforce starts in the classroom, and House Bill 1415 helps bridge the gap between the business community and schools so that educators can give their students the knowledge and skills they will need in their future careers,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “It is also vital to keep our state in the running for business investment and job growth, which Missouri Works and Missouri Works Training will now be able to continue to help accomplish. I’d like to thank Governor Parson for prioritizing workforce development and job creation by signing this bill into law.”

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