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August 19, 2021

Local workforce partners engage during Job Center Connect Town Hall Series in St. Charles

Local workforce partners and employers shared ideas today to help get more Missourians into the workforce, and stay in the workforce during the second town hall event in a series offered by the Missouri Office of Workforce Development (OWD) within the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD).

Job Center Connect Town Hall events are focused on engaging communities in conversations about improving the state’s public workforce system.

“Job Center Connect is about looking at Missouri’s workforce holistically,” said Dr. Mardy Leathers, director of Workforce Development. “With lower population growth and more people aging out of the system, we are working to get more people in the workforce, but we also have to talk about how to keep those people there.”

Emerging themes from today’s event included increased awareness for Job Center services, better employer engagement with Job Centers, apprenticeship and work-based learning opportunities for youth prior to graduation, wrap-around supports such as transportation, child care, digital literacy, and mental health resources.

Today’s event was the second of nine Job Center Connect Town Hall meetings scheduled between August and October. 

Each event includes a look at regional workforce data and small-group style discussions to gather ideas and feedback.

Seven more stops throughout the state are scheduled for the following dates and times:

August 20 – Kansas City (9 to 10:30 a.m.)

Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center – 3700 Blue Parkway

August 26 – Hannibal (9 to 10:30 a.m.)

Rialto Banquet Hall – 601 Broadway

August 27 – St. Louis (9 to 10:30 a.m.)

Harris Stowe State University – 3026 Laclede Ave.

October 13 – St. Joseph (8:30 to 10 a.m.)

Stoney Creek Hotel – 1201 N Woodbine Rd.

October 14 – West Plains (8:30 to 10 a.m.)

West Plains Civic Center – 110 St. Louis Street

October 15 – Springfield (8:30 – 10 a.m.)

DoubleTree by Hilton – 2431 N Glenstone Ave.

October 20 – Cape Girardeau (8:30 to 10 a.m.)

Drury Inn – 3351 Percy Dr.

OWD has been evaluating the public workforce system over the last year in an initiative called Job Centers of the Future. This initiative aimed to create a statewide approach to promoting workforce development services to the public by comparing Missouri to its 14 neighboring Midwestern states on key workforce data elements, strategies, and policies, while customizing delivery methods to best serve different regions. Job Center Connect, the second phase of this initiative, will finalize policy recommendations and establish implementation.

Learn more about OWD’s work with Job Center Connect at bestinmidwest.com.

About the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development: The department works to empower Missourians with the skills and education needed for success. More information about MDHEWD can be found at https://dhewd.mo.gov or on Facebook and Twitter @MoDHEWD.