MISSOURI COMMUNITY COLLEGES RECEIVE $19.7 MILLION GRANT
TO TRAIN WORKERS FOR STEM CAREERS
Jefferson City, Missouri – September 29, 2014. Missouri’s community colleges and the State Technical College of Missouri have received a $19.7 million grant to train an estimated 1,900 workers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and to expand the state’s ability to collect data about students enrolled in workforce programs. The grant, awarded today through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program, will bring the state’s public two-year institutions together to improve the way they educate adult learners – especially those who have lost jobs because of the impact of foreign trade and other negative economic trends.
The project the grant will fund is called MoSTEMWINs. It will train Missourians for jobs in transportation, manufacturing, information technology, health services/health sciences, and science support. The consortium colleges chose to focus on STEM jobs because of those jobs’ importance to the state’s strategic plan for economic growth and positive long-term employment prospects.
“Through programs such as MoSTEMWINS, the state of Missouri and our community colleges have helped lead the nation in preparing students to step into good jobs in fast-growing fields,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. “These grants will create further valuable opportunities for our students, and enhance Missouri’s economic competitiveness in the global marketplace.”
MoSTEMWINs will build on the success of Missouri’s two previous TAACCCT grant projects, MoHealthWINs and MoManufacturingWINs, awarded in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Nearly 5,500 Missourians have received training through those programs to date. Almost half of all participants were unemployed when they started and over 40% of all participants are from minority populations.
MoWINs programs have significantly higher than average retention rates – about 80% – despite the fact that many program participants have never before demonstrated postsecondary success. Eighty-seven percent were not ready for college-level work in at least one area when they entered the program, and 40% had never attempted college.
MCCA executive director Zora Mulligan says, “We’re incredibly proud of the work we’ve done in the first two MoWINs projects. Participants are getting stackable credentials that form the first steps of their journey out of poverty. This kind of work has the potential to change individuals’ lives and families’ fortunes.”
MoSTEMWINs will also continue partnerships between community colleges and the state’s workforce investment boards; the Departments of Economic Development, Higher Education, and Labor; MERIC (the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center); and local employers.
The nine-member “MoManufacturing WINs” consortium of public two-year colleges consist of East Central College (Union), Linn State Technical College (Linn), Metropolitan Community College (Kansas City), Mineral Area College, North Central Missouri College (Trenton), Ozarks Technical Community College (Springfield), State Fair Community College (Sedalia), St. Charles Community College, and St. Louis Community College.