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November 16, 2021

MDHEWD hosts annual Apprenticeship Summit to focus on connecting Missourians to the future of work

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) hosted its annual Apprenticeship Missouri Summit, Tuesday, to promote and encourage registered apprenticeships.

This year’s summit took place at the Hampton Inn in Columbia. More than 140 educators, employers, and workforce partners from all across Missouri participated in the event. 

“Missouri is committed to providing pathways to sustainable employment,” said Dr. Mardy Leathers, director of workforce development. “Registered Apprenticeships are a proven method to help both the employer and the job seeker. This annual summit is a reflection of the enthusiasm and dedication to helping put Missourians on a path to success.”    

Tuesday’s summit opened with remarks from Aaron Willard, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s Chief of Staff, and featured presentations, panel discussions, and a workshop where attendees discussed possible solutions to challenges industries are facing with apprenticeship. Discussions included effective outreach, exposure to the programs at younger ages, as well as keeping employers engaged and making the process easier. National partners CompTIA and Coursera attended the event to share how their programs can help Missourians skill up. A focus on connecting Missourians to the future of work was incorporated into panel discussions on skilled trades and work-based learning opportunities.

During the summit, Apprenticeship Missouri Awards were presented to the following recipients:

Inaugural Apprenticeship Missouri Legacy Award: Dr. John Gaal
Partner of the Year: Missouri Works Initiative, a non-profit affiliated with the AFL-CIO
Provider of the Year: Washington University, St. Louis
Employer of the Year: Jordan Valley Community Health, Springfield

The summit was a celebration of apprenticeship and, in the spirit of the occasion, Equipment Share received its first apprenticeship registration from the U.S. Department of Labor during the event. Missouri State University also received a certified apprenticeship registration during the event. Additionally, MDHEWD was presented with certification to start the Missouri Technology Apprenticeship Framework, a new program powered by CompTIA. This will be an employer-driven virtual learning opportunity that will roll out in the coming months.

Missouri hosted the Apprenticeship Summit in conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week. The state made a commitment to expand and grow Registered Apprenticeships, setting a goal to have 20,000 apprentices by 2025. With more than 15,000 apprentices, the state expects to reach its goal well ahead of the deadline. Currently, Missouri ranks third in the nation in completed apprenticeships, fourth in new apprenticeships, and in the top 10 in four of the five main apprenticeship categories.

Learn more about Apprenticeship Missouri at https://dhewd.mo.gov/apprenticeship_missouri.php.


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.