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Governor Parson visits Southeast Mo. State for education, workforce discussion

Governor Mike Parson made an appearance at Southeast Missouri State University to address local education and workforce leaders this afternoon
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:26 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Governor Mike Parson made an appearance at Southeast Missouri State University to address local education and workforce leaders Thursday afternoon, March 24.

The governor led a roundtable discussion about getting more Missouri workers employed.

“Our unemployment numbers are great,” he said. “We have a little over 20,000 people in employment roles today. But here’s the problem, 119,000 job openings in the state of Missouri. This is where every one of you sitting at this table comes in.”

Governor Parson said with so many jobs available across the state, we need more workers.

“Which means, how do we build the workforce? As bias as I am, how do I make sure a Missouri kid has the opportunity to stay in Missouri,” he said.

It was a discussion that carried on throughout the roundtable. The answer? It starts with the children.

“You have to start with raising children and getting them in the right occupations. Getting them skilled and getting them in the right occupations.”

Career and Technology Center Director Dr. Libby Guilliams said she wants to make sure students know education is not CTC or college, it can be both.

“As our workforce ages, those electricians, those plumbers, those diesel mechanics, those are folks that are nearing retirement age. And we have not in the last several years, trained the numbers to replace them,” Dr. Guilliams said.

A reason why she said technical training is important is to help drive the workforce.

“The vast majority of students do end up going on. Whether that is being employed in that skill in which they trained for specifically. Or maybe they do go on to further their education,” she continued.

Cape Girardeau Mayor Bob Fox agreed.

“We’re trying to get a greater technical education,” he said. “Trying to get our public schools, our junior colleges, and universities all on the same page. So we can educate people in the right way and get them jobs and get them working.”

Governor Parson said in the next three years he will invest more money in the state than ever in education and the workforce because our economy is doing so well.

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