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October 09, 2020

National Governors Association hosts Missouri State Workforce Development Board Retreat

Representatives from the National Governors Association (NGA) provided strategic guidance during portions of Missouri’s State Workforce Development Board Retreat on Thursday and Friday. NGA hosted two in-person thinking sessions, entitled “High Performing Workforce Development Boards,” to help the Missouri State Workforce Development Board with developing upstream strategies for Missouri’s public workforce development system.

“Governor Parson has made workforce development one of his top priorities since the beginning of his administration, and recognizes the importance of quality training and job connections in Missouri’s longer-term recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” said Rachael Stephens, Program Director for Workforce Development & Economic Policy at the NGA Center for Best Practices. “In every state, a high-performing state workforce development board that is able to strategically deploy resources to spur necessary innovations and support the governor’s vision for recovery is wholly necessary. We’re proud to be visiting Jefferson City this week to provide coordinated technical assistance and strategic guidance to the Missouri State Workforce Development Board and state agency leadership and to identify opportunities for the board to impact the state’s economic stabilization and recovery efforts.”

The State Workforce Development Board Retreat this week builds on the NGA Center for Best Practices’ prior work on building a high-performing state workforce board as well as current work being undertaken across states to develop an agenda for workforce and economic recovery.

During Thursday’s session, NGA representatives presented its framework of a high-performing workforce board and aligned it with the state’s strategic vision, including tying a direct link to Missouri’s Job Centers of the Future initiative. NGA representatives provided the state board with examples from other states as points of comparison. NGA asked board members to provide their perspective on how they perceive their roles on the board and what goals they would like to set for the future.  

On Friday, NGA spent time with workforce development staff to plan implementation of the vision from the previous day’s session.

“The State Workforce Development Board is committed to working with our partners throughout Missouri to constantly strengthen our state’s workforce. We are very excited to have the National Governors Association help us fulfill that commitment,” said Mardy Leathers, director of workforce development. “NGA’s wealth of experience in state government will provide board members with the valuable insights they need to evaluate Missouri’s workforce initiatives and set goals for the future.”

The two-day retreat was held as a hybrid event, both virtually and in-person in Jefferson City.


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.