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June 24, 2020

MDHEWD staff hosts virtual meeting with Chief Local Elected Officials to discuss workforce funding

The Office of Workforce Development (OWD) in the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development held its annual conference call with the state’s Chief Local Elected Officials (CLEO), on Tuesday, to discuss the upcoming program year.

Topics discussed during the call included OWD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its Return Strong initiative, the state’s plan to transform its public workforce system, and a 10 percent funding decrease for program year 2020, which begins on July 1.

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

The CLEOs partner with OWD and the local workforce boards to decide the best way to spend the money and improve outcomes for workers in Missouri.

“We speak with local elected officials at the start of every program year,” said Mardy Leathers, director of workforce development. “But during this period of economic uncertainty, it’s even more important that we coordinate a response plan with all of our WIOA partners to help improve the careers and lives of those we serve.”

In May, the Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development 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.

Qualified dislocated workers are eligible to receive training vouchers for short-term training programs. Missouri Job Centers have been operating remotely for the past several months, and are now beginning a phased-in approach to reopen over the next several weeks.


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.