Missouri Business Headlines

Ready to teach? Visiting scholars bill lands on governor’s desk

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Business professionals who want to share their knowledge in Missouri classrooms today face a lengthy, costly teacher certification process.

However, legislation passed by the General Assembly on March 14 will make it much easier for business leaders to teach special workforce courses being offered in several communities across Missouri.

Under House Bill 1665, sponsored by Rep. Kathy Swan, a Republican from Cape Girardeau, business professionals could receive a one-year visiting scholar certificate if they complete an application and a background check. The certificate could be renewed twice. The change would help boost CAPS programs in Missouri. These programs give high school students the opportunity to test drive possible career options before they graduate.

“The visiting scholar bill will allow innovative programs like GO CAPS to bring industry professionals into our business-based classrooms to teach, enhancing student experiences even further,” said Lindsay Haymes, vice president of workforce development at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and executive director of GO CAPS. “This bill offers new options when looking to hire teachers, and ensures that individuals with industry-specific degrees and years of expertise can step forward and lead on the subjects about which they’re most passionate. It’s an exciting prospect for today’s students, and it’s important for building out a robust talent pipeline trained by individuals with significant business experience.”

Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO, praised the passage of the bill.

“Business professionals bring a unique perspective to the classroom. They can help show students how the knowledge they’ve gained during their years of schooling can translate into skills on the jobsite,” said Mehan. “We know that workforce issues continue to be one of the top concerns for Missouri employers. This bill will help more Missouri high school students graduate with skills that are desirable to today’s employers. This is a big win and I’d like to thank Rep. Swan, Senate handler Sen. Caleb Rowden and the entire General Assembly for making this a priority in 2018. Now we urge Gov. Eric Greitens to sign this important bill into law.”

The bill is the second piece of legislation sent to the governor this year. This legislation is a part of the Missouri Chamber’s 2018 Legislative Agenda and supports the goals of the Missouri Chamber’s statewide strategic plan for economic growth, Missouri 2030: An Agenda to Lead.

Would you consider teaching some day? Let us know if you plan to take advantage of this bill.

For more information, contact Ryan Stauffer, Missouri Chamber director of workforce and education policy, at rstauffer@mochamber.com or 573.634.3511.

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