On Thursday, Sen. Lincoln Hough (R-Springfield) brought his Fast Track bill before a House committee for consideration.
Championed by the Missouri Chamber and passed into law in 2019, the Fast Track financial aid program addresses workforce needs by encouraging adults to pursue a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential in a job field designated as high need.
“That program would sunset in August of this year. So we’ve made some changes, moved the sunset down the road and broadened the scope of individuals that can utilize this program,” said Sen. Hough.
The Missouri Chamber voiced the business community’s support for the worker-upskilling initiative.
“Our workforce shortage is a top pain point of businesses across the state,” said Kara Corches, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber. “You probably all hear from businesses in your communities that not only they cannot find workers, but they can’t find workers with the right skills. And so the Fast Track program is a really important tool in helping us address that skills gap.”
This bill would also qualify apprenticeship as an eligible form of training.
“Apprenticeships are a great way to train workers. Missouri is doing a great job already — we’re number three in the nation in new and completed apprenticeships, and so we want to continue on that trajectory of maximizing that earn-as-you-learn model,” said Corches.