One Start proposal aims to streamline state’s job training programs
In the Missouri Chamber Foundation’s Workforce2030 Report released last year, one recommendation that emerged from the data was to make workforce training programs more accessible for employers.
“I know there must be lots of workforce programs, but we have never used them. Nobody has the time to figure them all out. I wouldn’t even know where to start,” one employer responded in a survey conducted for the Workforce2030 study.
It’s a common sentiment throughout Missouri’s business community.
Fortunately, Gov. Parson’s 2019 workforce priorities and the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Best in Midwest initiative include a proposal to streamline and improve the state’s existing job training programs.
The legislation, nicknamed One Start, would:
- Modify existing job training programs to increase funding flexibility and ease of use
- Implement performance-based funding rather than a flat fee
- Add claw back provisions to protect taxpayers’ money if a company doesn’t fulfill its commitments
- Allow more program funding to actually go toward job training
Senate Bill 184 by Sen. Wayne Wallingford and House Bill 469 by Rep. Derek Grier contain these changes. The Senate version was passed out of Senate committee and is waiting for Senate floor action. The House version passed in the House and proceeded to a Senate committee hearing on April 2.
“We’re going to be able to help more businesses with these changes to the program and add some additional accountability to the program as well,” Grier said at his bill’s hearing. “It positions us to be more competitive as a state with those other states in the Midwest and across the nation.”
DED Director Rob Dixon agreed.
“This is attempting to create a one-stop shop that is clear and easy for the business community and the training community as well as employees of our state to know where to get some assistance,” Dixon said.
The Missouri Chamber is a strong proponent of both bills.
“Missouri One Start will greatly increase the number of businesses who can utilize this program and this expansion will have a very positive impact on our workforce,” said Kara Corches, Missouri Chamber director of legislative affairs.