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September 27, 2019

Training brings together local elected officials to move Missouri's workforce system forward

First in the nation statewide training takes strategic approach to continuous improvement

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development’s Office of Workforce Development hosted its first comprehensive workshop for Chief Local Elected Officials (CLEO) and Local Workforce Development Board chairs from around the state. The CLEO Summit brought together boards and officials to outline the important role locals play in the public workforce system.

“Engagement of our local elected officials is crucial to help align a more effective job-driven workforce system that invests in connecting education, career preparation, and business demands,” said Workforce Development Director, Mardy Leathers. “Our public workforce system must clearly connect and prioritize performance, delivery, and funding.”

Ron Painter and Tom Kavanagh from the National Association of Workforce Boards facilitated discussion on the roles and responsibilities of the State Workforce Board and how Chief Local Elected Officials can successfully work with partners and community leaders in their regions.

“A workforce system needs to be efficient, effective, accessible, and equitable for both employers and job seekers,” said Ron Painter, CEO of the National Association of Workforce Boards.

CLEOs were asked to look at best practices of other state systems, financial responsibilities, create local plans, and review compliance regulations.

“The most important thing I’m taking back from this Summit is the importance of conducting due diligence and sharing information with elected officials and stakeholders about the importance of working together to set priorities for the workforce system,” said Mary Ann Rojas, executive director, Ozark Workforce Development Board. “I appreciate the manner in which the forum was conducted.”

The Office of Workforce Development recently launched a series of technical assistance efforts to support the 14 local workforce development areas. The CLEO Summit was an innovative step in this process to create a strategic approach to continuous improvement for the public workforce system.

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.