House Fast Track bill has Senate hearing
A Senate committee is considering a bill to help thousands of Missouri workers enhance their job skills.
On April 2, the Senate Education Committee listened to public testimony on legislation to create a grant program that could help working-age adult 16,000 Missourians pursue higher education to prepare for work in high-demand jobs.
The proposal, called Fast Track, was originally put forward by Gov. Mike Parson. The legislation, House Bill 225, is being carried by Rep. Kathy Swan, a Republican from Cape Girardeau. Rep. Swan’s bill is now in the Senate after being passed by the House of Representatives in late February.
During the Senate committee hearing, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry testified in support of the legislation.
The proposal aligns with a recommended action item in the Missouri Chamber’s Workforce2030 Report released last year. According to the report, written by a nationally recognized economist, “upskilling efforts targeted at these adults could have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of our state’s workforce.”
The ability to access a skilled workforce remains a top concern for employers across Missouri. Only 44 percent of the state’s employers are satisfied with the availability of skilled employees, according to the Missouri 2030 Gallup survey. Furthermore, only 15 percent said they think Missouri high school graduates are prepared for the workforce.