Home » News » News Item

January 29, 2021

State Workforce Development Board sets focus and vision for 2021

Missouri’s State Workforce Development Board (SWDB) held its first meeting of 2021 Thursday, Jan. 28.

During the virtual meeting, the board set key initiatives for its 2021 placemat. The placemat will serve as an official guide for the board, the Missouri Office of Workforce Development, Missouri Job Centers, and the state’s regional workforce partners in their efforts to align and improve the outcomes and effectiveness of federally-funded and other workforce programs and investments.

This year, the board is establishing a subcommittee focused on engaging with Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDB) throughout Missouri. The new subcommittee will offer policy guidance and help the LWDBs align with the public workforce system to support Gov. Parson’s workforce development initiatives.

“By redesigning our public workforce system, we are putting our citizens at the forefront,” said Mardy Leathers, director of workforce development. “Establishing a citizen-focused design means that the system will no longer manage the people, but the people will manage the system.”

The SWDB has prioritized transforming the public workforce system through the LWDB engagement subcommittee; efforts to connect Missouri’s youth to employment opportunities; and the Job Centers of the Future initiative, which is currently underway.

“The Missouri State Workforce Development Board has transformed and continues to transform in ways that will better connect both job seekers and employers to the public workforce system,” said Len Toenjes, SWDB chair. “Connecting the state board and the local workforce boards across the state into a better integrated team will establish stronger relationships to positively impact policy development and service delivery.”

The State Workforce Development Board will meet for its next meeting, Thursday, March 4.

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.