Let's Talk Business: Workforce Development
Preparing people for today’s jobs is the simple definition of workforce development.
With state and local unemployment numbers continuing to hover near record lows and employers voicing concern about their ability to hire qualified people, workforce development has become a more focused area of concern. This is a good time to review local efforts to prepare people for jobs.
First and foremost is our robust K-12 education system. We are fortunate to have highly successful public, private, and parochial schools in our metro area. Many of these offer specialized educational opportunities. And the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center serves both high school age students and adults and offers a tremendous portfolio of training from piloting drones to allied health fields.
Southeast Missouri State University has been is the workforce development business for more than 140 years. Of course they offer a wide range of degreed programs and lately they have stepped up their efforts to work directly with businesses to address specific areas of need. One of the ways they do this is through a program announced by Governor Parson and passed by the state legislature last year. Fast Track provides funding for adults who meet certain guidelines to return to school and pursue a degree, certificate, or industry related credential.
But it’s not only the formal education system that is working to develop our workforce. The Workforce Development Board, the Missouri prison system, One Start, the SEMO Industrial Training Consortium, Junior Achievement, ABCToday, the Chamber, and others do so every day.