Gov. Nixon seeks to boost job training despite federal cuts

While Missouri expects to see a decrease in federal funding for job training in 2015, Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed to offset those cuts — and then some — with growing state revenue.

Gov. Nixon is proposing to spend $162.8 million on job training next year, a roughly $1.6 million increase over the 2014 level. The increase relies on a greater investment of state resources as Missouri expects the federal government to send fewer training dollars to Missouri in 2015.

Gov. Jay Nixon delivers the State of the State address on Jan. 21.

Gov. Jay Nixon delivers the State of the State address on Jan. 21.

“With technology constantly advancing, we can’t forget that learning needs to be a lifelong endeavor,” said Gov. Nixon on Tuesday, Jan. 21, during his State of the State address. “Every Missourian willing to work hard and learn something new — no matter what their age or education level — should have the opportunity to take that next step and move up the economic ladder. I thank the legislature for working with us to strengthen our workforce training tools, and give more Missouri workers the opportunity to sharpen their skills, and get better jobs.”

The state’s job training efforts, which are part of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, offer a wide array of services to expanding businesses and individuals who are seeking to enhance their careers or rejoin the workforce.

One of the proposed beneficiaries of increased funding is the Missouri Works program, which covers the cost of training workers for new and expanding businesses. Employers can qualify for Missouri Works funding if they are creating new jobs in Missouri or retraining existing employees during a time of significant capital investment. This effort would see a $4.5 million increase under Gov. Nixon’s proposal.

The governor’s proposal also continues funding for the state’s programs aimed at helping Missourians who choose to reeducate for today’s changing job market. Individuals can access skills assessments, career counseling, job referrals, employment training, transportation assistance and other help. Many of these services are part of the state’s career center system and are available to Missourians at no cost.

The governor is also proposing to continue funding for job training efforts that are handled in collaboration with local community colleges. These programs provide training and education to Missouri employees in order to help create new jobs and retain current jobs.

As we seek to ensure Missouri businesses have the workers they need for the economy of the future, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly supports increased investment in the state’s job training programs.

“We have seen these programs work to help Missouri businesses grow and Missouri workers enhance their skills. As we transition into tomorrow’s economy, it’s critical that we continue investing in this effort so that Missouri’s workforce is ready and flexible for the coming opportunities,” said Tracy King, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber. “We look forward to working with the General Assembly and advocating for this cause as they finalize the 2015 budget over the coming months.”

For more information about job training programs and legislation, please contact Tracy King, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, at tking@mochamber.com or by phone at 573-634-3511.

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About mochamber

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry understands that the quality of life in our state depends on quality jobs for Missourians. To that end, we have one simple mission: to protect and advance Missouri business.

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