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September 29, 2020

MDHEWD hosts second annual Chief Local Elected Officials Summit

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) held its second annual summit with the state’s Chief Local Elected Officials (CLEO) on Tuesday.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s summit was held entirely online.

Attendees discussed the performance of Missouri’s federally funded workforce development programs, how the state and its workforce partners responded to the spike in unemployment caused by the pandemic, and new marketing and outreach strategies that will make Missouri’s job training and placement services more accessible.     

“The pandemic has presented a lot of challenges, but it has also offered key insights as to how our department can better serve Missourians,” said Mardy Leathers, director of workforce development. “Discussing these insights with our CLEO and state workforce board partners will help us broaden the reach and increase the efficacy of Missouri’s workforce development programs.”

Every year, the U.S. Department of Labor allocates federal funding to the state in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Missouri funds go to MDHEWD’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), which distributes the money regionally to local workforce development boards throughout the state.

OWD partners with CLEOs and the local workforce boards to decide how to utilize funds and improve outcomes for workers in Missouri.

In May, MDHEWD launched its Return Strong campaign, aimed at helping Missourians skill up and get back to work, and to reopen the public workforce system safely and responsibly. Through CARES Act funding, displaced workers in Missouri can receive job training vouchers worth up to $6,500. And, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Missouri was the first state to re-open all of its job centers for in-person services following the widespread closures caused by the pandemic.    

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.