Missouri AFL-CIO launches new workforce initiative

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Missouri Works Initiative aims to provide economic opportunities to Missourians

Jefferson City – The Missouri AFL-CIO has formed a new Missouri Works Initiative to eliminate barriers to economic opportunities by connecting Missourians to union building trades training programs and other necessary resources to build life-sustaining careers.

A non-profit organization affiliated with the Missouri AFL-CIO, the Missouri Works Initiative aims to address workers’ needs by creating health and recovery friendly workplaces, connecting laid-off workers with job-search and training resources for future employment and collaborating with community partners to offer innovative points of entry to traditional apprenticeship opportunities.

“Missouri Works Initiative is uniquely positioned to take on the role of expanding pre-apprenticeship programs statewide because of its partnerships and connections across Missouri with Organized Labor, registered apprenticeship program coordinators, contractors and employers,” said Missouri AFL-CIO President Jake Hummel. “I am excited to expand upon the years of success the AFL-CIO has achieved for workers.”

FOUR MAJOR PROGRAMS
The initiative includes four major programs:

  • The Missouri Apprentice Ready Program is a collaborative partnership with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development that will offer a five-week introduction to the construction industry to qualified participants in Kansas City and Springfield, working toward the goal of increasing the number of Missourians participating in registered construction apprenticeship programs.
  • The Building Union Diversity (BUD) St. Louis Program aims to address the growing need in the construction industry for a skilled and more inclusive workforce. The BUD Program was established in 2014 by the St. Louis Building Trades Council and has successfully graduated 21 classes, with a 92 percent graduation rate.
  • The Worker Wellness Program will work to ensure that all workers have access to timely information regarding mental aspects of safety on the job and in the community.
  • The Dislocated Worker Program, which connects dislocated workers to resources and assistance they need to re-enter the job market quickly following a closure or layoff. The Dislocated Worker Program has been a project of the Missouri AFL-CIO for over 20 years.

“The Missouri Works Initiative is a big step in lifting up all workers across Missouri,” stated Greta Bax, executive director of the Initiative. “Our expert team, network of Labor professionals, and community-based organizations stand ready to work toward the shared goal of creating economic opportunities for all Missourians.”

For more information about Missouri Works Initiative’s programs and staff, visit moworksinitiative.org or follow the Missouri Works Initiative on Twitter @MissouriWorks and on Facebook @Missouri Works Initiative.

Bill in U.S. Senate would expand opportunities
for apprentices to earn college credit

Washington – The United States Senate is considering a number of bills to strengthen apprenticeship programs.

One of them, the Apprenticeships to College Act would codify the Registered Apprenticeship-College Consortium, a network of colleges, unions and businesses that have registered apprenticeship programs through the Department of Labor and have agreements with participating colleges allowing workers who complete a registered apprenticeship program to receive college credits toward completion of post-secondary degrees at member colleges. The consortium currently has programs in 47 states, including Missouri and Illinois.

The bill, introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), also would make improvements to the program to generate new agreements with two- and four-year colleges.

The Apprenticeships to College Act was introduced with bipartisan support at the end of May after its House companion bill was passed as part of the National Apprenticeship Act.

This bill is the latest in a series of bills to strengthen apprenticeship programs. Moran is also sponsoring a bill with Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called the Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act which would support a national network of Apprenticeship Hubs that convene local workforce boards, community colleges, unions, and employers to help support the expansion of the extremely successful registered apprenticeship model. The National Apprenticeship Act is also being considered by the Senate after it passed the House in February. It would provide grants to allow apprenticeship programs to be expanded.


 

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