Moniteau County is the first in Missouri to have a countywide apprenticeship program, led by an economic development board.
Neil Perry, Missouri State Director for the U.S. Department of Labor office of apprenticeship, and Mike Smith, the apprenticeship and training representative, both attended the Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Board's meeting Sept. 12 to present a certificate of appreciation.
"This is a great step in Missouri," Perry said. "We hope other counties will model this."
What makes Moniteau County's program both unique and strong is that it has had employers included from the beginning.
"If it doesn't work for them, it's not going to work for anybody," Perry said.
They encouraged the board to consider expanding to provide a high school apprenticeship program, too.
MRED president/CEO Mike Kelley has been working with several Moniteau County employers to develop apprenticeship standards.
Already, Advanced Chimney, Jamestown, has three apprentices earning hours of experience. MRED has grant funding for another 12 apprentices at other businesses, which could include Arkansas Valley Feathers, Carigll, Burgers, Martin, Koechner and A Fab.
MRED also will organize another Start Up Moniteau program for entrepreneurs. Four business mixers have been scheduled across the county through December. That program is being mirrored in the lake area and MRED representatives will discuss the program with regional interests Sept. 21 in Tipton.
Kelley also reported at the regular meeting for MRED's board that a Central Work Force Development Center is looking for a location to open an office a couple of days a month to help residents with job placement or unemployment filing.