The world and the technology in it is ever changing and those looking for jobs are ever scrutinized for how much they know how to use technology on the job. This is why Gov. Jay Nixon launched a $12 million initiative called Training for Tomorrow to train Missourians for high-tech fields and get them employed in growing industries.
"Earlier this fall, I toured many of Missouri's community colleges to hear directly about the needs of workers and businesses in their areas," Gov. Nixon said. "In those conversations, it became clear that to turn this economy around, more Missourians need access to training programs in high-tech, high-demand field. Especially in growing industries like health care, technical training beyond high school is absolutely vital, but many of our community colleges simply don't have the equipment, instructors or resources to meet the needs of Missouri's workers. Training for Tomorrow will expand these programs quickly and help get Missourians ready to work as soon as possible."
Through this initiative, members of the Missouri Community College Association will work with the county governments in which they are located to apply for grants to develop or expand programs to educate Missourians in technical fields.
According to the governor's office, "Community colleges applying for competitive grants from Training for Tomorrow will be required to provide a detailed description of the programs they plan to develop or expand, including, outlining the specific actions they will take to expand the capacity of high-demand programs; detailing the market demand for the programs, both by students and employers; identifying partners from business and industry who can help design the programs; aligning the expansion of these programs with local economic-recovery efforts; showing that the expansion will create or add pathways to specific high-demand careers in the local market; and drafting an implementation plan for the programs."
The Missouri Department of Economic Development will oversee Training for Tomorrow. Funds from this initiative will cover everything except existing salaries, overhead costs or "bricks-and-mortar" projects.
"This program will provide new opportunities for Missouri workers, meet critical needs for our businesses, and help move our economy forward," Marcia Pfeiffer, president of St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley and chair of the Presidents and Chancellors Council of the Missouri Community College Association, said. "Our institutions play a vital role in preparing Missouri workers for the careers of tomorrow. Thos funding will help us expand our highest-demand programs, serve more students, and get Missourians working quickly. We appreciate Gov. Nixon's support of Missouri's community colleges and his strong leadership on this vital economic initiative."
Other than the Training for Tomorrow initiative, Gov. Nixon also recently announced plans for the passage of the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act in 2010, according to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Missouri Chamber says, "The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act would establish a state revenue stream -- without raising taxes -- that would aid in the creation and expansion of high-tech jobs in Missouri. In broad terms, it would help modernize the state's research infrastructure and help Missouri workers transition into new careers that support these fast-growing industries."
"To recover from this current recession, and for Missouri to truly reach its potential in the new economy, the state needs to generate momentum toward investment in new and expanding high-growth businesses. We believe that the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act would help create that momentum," Daniel P. Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO, said. "This legislation constitutes a comprehensive new plan that would work to attract new investment from outside Missouri, create new companies inside Missouri, and incent our existing companies to expand here. This is exactly the kind of program we need to make sure Missouri is ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will exist as the nation eases out of the current recession."