During a visit to St. Louis Community College (STLCC) today, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that the college will re-train more than 1,100 unemployed Missourians for jobs and careers through MoHealthWINs, a statewide effort to retrain unemployed workers for employment in growing health care fields.
Under Gov. Nixon's leadership, Missouri's 12 community colleges and Linn State Technical College collaborated with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the state's Workforce Investment Boards to apply for these federal funds. In total, the $20 million grant will provide training for 4,600 unemployed workers in the short term, while also developing training programs that will benefit students for years to come. At STLCC, the college will invest $3.7 million to train 1,111 unemployed workers.
"My administration remains committed to fight every single day, for every single job. Missouri's community colleges have been a strong partner in the effort to train more Missourians for the jobs and careers of tomorrow," Gov. Nixon said. "Missouri's health care industry needs more workers at our hospitals and clinics. To ensure that unemployed Missourians have the right training and education to fill these jobs and succeed in these new careers, we're focusing on specific, in-demand skills."
Individual colleges will use these funds to develop or expand training programs in the health services and health sciences industry, which is a targeted industry under the Missouri Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth. The application focused on this industry because it offers immediate and long-term employment opportunities and relatively high-wage jobs.
Using MoHealthWINs funds, STLCC will launch two new programs to retrain Missourians for careers in health care:
- A new therapeutic services program will train workers as Certified Nursing Assistants, and put them on the path to earn their associate degree in nursing.
- And an information technology program will train workers to enter and advance in positions in the high-demand field of health informatics.
These competitive funds were made available through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program. When the grant process was announced, Gov. Nixon brought Missouri's community colleges together to submit a joint, comprehensive application.
Throughout the application process, senior leaders within Gov. Nixon's administration worked closely with community college and Workforce Investment Board leaders to develop and craft the grant application. In April 2011, Gov. Nixon submitted a strong letter in support of the application, noting that this investment supplemented his "Big Goal" for higher education: Increasing the percentage of Missourians who hold a postsecondary credential from 37 percent to 60 percent by 2020. Gov. Nixon also discussed the importance of this application directly with federal leaders, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
"St. Louis Community College is committed to preparing our students to be competitive and successful in today's economy. We appreciate the continued support from Gov. Nixon, the Department of Economic Development and the St. Louis Workforce Investment Board to make sure our programs are in line with the needs of industry," said St. Louis Community College Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey.