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House bill to solidify alternative pathway to licensure moves to Senate committee

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Many Missourians who want to enter certain careers face a costly and time-consuming education hurdle. A bill to provide an alternative pathway to licensure through apprenticeship programs was recently passed in the House and is now under consideration in a Senate committee.

“[Apprenticeships] are a proven model for producing skilled workers…As our workforce changes and the types of jobs that are out there continue to change, we want to make sure that as those new apprenticeship programs are added in Missouri we’re allowing people to use those apprenticeships,” bill sponsor Rep. Derek Grier said at the Senate hearing.

Grier’s House Bill 470 would enable an applicant with an 8th grade education or higher who has completed a federally approved apprenticeship program and passed any necessary examination to obtain an industry license.

Rather than leaving the workforce to attend classes full time and paying thousands of dollars for that education, this will allow individuals to take advantage of on-the-job training.

Expanding apprenticeship opportunities is one of the recommendations made in the Missouri Chamber Foundation’s Workforce2030 Report. Kara Corches, Missouri Chamber director of legislative affairs, testified in support of the bill.

“Apprenticeships combine paid, on-the-job training with classroom instruction to prepare workers for highly-skilled careers. In today’s rapidly-evolving job landscape, the Missouri Chamber supports aligning education and skills training with the career pathways of today and tomorrow,” Corches said. “This bill will help to bolster our state’s apprenticeship programs and upskill our workforce.”

A similar bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 318, was recently passed out of Senate committee and awaits floor action.

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