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August 26, 2021

Local workforce partners engage during Job Center Connect Town Hall Series in Hannibal

Local workforce partners and employers shared ideas today to help get more Missourians into the workforce, and stay in the workforce during the fourth town hall event in a series offered by the Missouri Office of Workforce Development (OWD) within the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD).

Job Center Connect Town Hall events are focused on engaging communities in conversations about improving the state’s public workforce system and troubleshooting barriers and solutions to sustainable employment.

“These conversations are about connecting all the support systems together, in a unified way, so we can all be focused on one outcome – helping Missourians go to work and stay in work,” said Dr. Mardy Leathers, Director of Workforce Development. “We have to work together with intention to help Missourians get on a path to sustainability.”

Emerging themes from today’s event included increased awareness for Job Center services, better employer engagement with Job Centers, increased access to broadband, wrap-around supports such as transportation, child care, and digital literacy.

“Workforce development is the key to our future as a state, and we know stakeholder engagement is huge,” said State Representative Louis Riggs. “We want to make sure our workforce is properly equipped so we need to invest more in people. How do we raise our standard of living without raising our taxes? We invest in our workforce and get it where it needs to be here for the 21st century.”

Today’s event was the fourth of nine Job Center Connect Town Hall meetings scheduled between August and October. 

Each event includes a look at regional workforce data and small-group style discussions to gather ideas and feedback.

Five more stops throughout the state are scheduled for the following dates and times:

August 27 –St. Louis (9 to 10:30 a.m.)

Harris Stowe State University 3026 Laclede Ave.

October 13 – St. Joseph (8:30 to 10 a.m.)

Stoney Creek Hotel 1201 N Woodbine Rd.

October 14 – West Plains (8:30 to 10 a.m.)

West Plains Civic Center 110 St. Louis Street

October 15 – Springfield (8:30 – 10 a.m.)

DoubleTree by Hilton 2431 N Glenstone Ave.

October 20 – Cape Girardeau (8:30 to 10 a.m.)

Drury Inn 3351 Percy Dr.

OWD has been evaluating the public workforce system over the last year in an initiative called Job Centers of the Future. This initiative aimed to create a statewide approach to promoting workforce development services to the public by comparing Missouri to its 14 neighboring Midwestern states on key workforce data elements, strategies, and policies, while customizing delivery methods to best serve different regions. Job Center Connect, the second phase of this initiative, will finalize policy recommendations and establish implementation.

Learn more about OWD’s work with Job Center Connect at bestinmidwest.com.

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.