Archive for Regional Growth

Diamond, MO Sees Addition of New Manufacturing Facility

Metal Building & Component Manufacturing in Missouri is projected to grow 7.9% over the next five years, with average earnings of $50,448 per job. McElroy Metals, a leader in the industry with dozens of facilities across the nation, recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Diamond.

In the past five years, Southwest Missouri has seen the addition of more than 3,500 jobs, more than 600 of which in manufacturing.  From 2012 to 2017, the region saw the addition or expansion of 490 payrolled business locations.

Area businesses can utilize their local workforce system for a variety of services, including job posting & matching, wage analysis, job training wage reimbursement, work experience programs, exclusive hiring events, and more.

For more information, contact Frank Neely at 417.380.9626 or learn more at www.sectorready.org.

New Registered Apprenticeships in Southwest Missouri

Southwest Missouri recently saw the addition of two newly developed apprenticeship programs registered with the US Department of Labor – MSW, Inc in Webb City and Cooper Gear & Manufacturing in Anderson.

Registered apprenticeship programs are a proven training model businesses can employ to help develop stable and predictable pipelines of skilled workers, and reduce turnover and increase productivity.  Employers can partner with local community colleges, tech schools, and other state and federal workforce system partners to develop customized training programs specific to their needs.

The Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri offers related, short-term pre-apprenticeship training options specific to a variety of industries.  This training includes drug screens, WorkKeys NCRC credentialing, soft skills training, resume preparation, mock interviews, computer skills, and financial counseling in addition to industry specific curriculum.  Pre-apprenticeship training helps students and jobseekers get a jump-start on their training and careers, and helps employers screen and recruit qualified candidates.

Business interested in learning more can contact Frank Neely at frank@sectorready.org .

Governor Eric Greitens announces business expansions in Joplin and Troy; expected to result in the creation of 180 new jobs in Missouri

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Governor Eric Greitens announces business expansions in Joplin and Troy; expected to result in the creation of 180 new jobs in Missouri


Today, Governor Eric Greitens announced that two Missouri companies operating in the state’s robust food and beverage industry will embark on expansions in their respective communities and create a combined total of 180 new jobs in the state.

“We’re making Missouri a better place to grow jobs, and it’s working,” said Governor Eric Greitens. “Businesses are creating jobs again. Today, I’m proud to announce two major expansions in two corners of the state. In Joplin, Jasper Products is investing $26 million and creating 75 new jobs. In Troy, Witte Brothers Exchange is investing $8 million and creating over 100 new jobs. We’re taking Missouri in a new direction, with more jobs and higher pay.”


two corners


“Missouri has been growing and transporting food to customers around the world for generations,” said Rob Dixon, Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. “We believe there is a renewed sense of confidence in our economy because businesses know that we support them and want to help them grow.”

Witte Brothers Exchange, Inc. offers transport service for temperature-controlled products nationwide from its centrally located office and warehouse. The company utilizes next-generation mobile communication, web-based shipment updates, electronic data interchange capabilities, and much more to the 48 contiguous states it serves.

“We are excited about this project, as this expansion will allow us to offer additional services to our existing customers, along with new customers that will be forthcoming,” said Brent Witte, President of Witte Brothers Exchange, Inc. “This expansion will also allow us to offer great career opportunities to the talented people in our community. We are proud to be growing within Troy, and with the great state of Missouri.”

“I am very excited to see economic and job growth in Troy. Jobs are the number one concern I hear about from constituents as I travel the district,” said Senator Jeanie Riddle. “They want to make sure their families can stay in their communities, and that there are more jobs closer to home. With this expansion at Witte Brothers, over one hundred new jobs will be created, Lincoln County and the city of Troy will prosper, and families will have more quality job opportunities in their community.”

The state is also supporting road improvements near Witte’s operations through a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of up to $800,000. The grant was awarded to the City of Troy which will use the CDBG for much needed public infrastructure improvements to the Mennemeyer Road, where Witte and other companies operate. The company is designing a new 80,000 sq. ft. consolidation model and warehouse facility to serve all customer sectors and their new challenges and demands.

“The City of Troy is excited to get this grant for improvement to Mennemeyer Road. This project would not be possible if it weren’t for the expansion of Witte Bros. Exchange and the jobs they are creating,” said Mayor Mark Cross of the City of Troy. “I want to thank Governor Greitens and the Missouri Department of Economic Development for making this investment in Troy. These road improvements will open this area up for even more business and job creation.”

Jasper Products, LLC, is an industry-leading manufacturer of extended shelf life and aseptically packaged nutritional beverage products serving both private label and contract customers. The company’s $26 million-expansion includes adding processing and production line capacity to meet the companies growing market share and customer base. As part of its expansion, the company will add 75 new jobs to its current workforce of 550. Jasper Products attributes its year-over-year growth successes to a current and productive food processing workforce, strong regional transportation systems and positive growth oriented customer relationships.

“This is exciting news not only for Jasper Products, LLC, but also for Jasper County. I’ve watched the company grow since my time as mayor of Joplin, and I’m glad they have the faith in the city and in Southwest Missouri to expand and continue to strive to be the premiere beverage manufacturing facility in North America,” said Senator Ron Richard.

“The people of Missouri spoke out in the last election saying they wanted real economic growth, more jobs, and better pay and the legislature and executive branches responded,” said Representative Bill White. “In my district, growth like the multi-million dollar expansion of Jasper Foods creating 75 well paying jobs shows Missouri is getting it right and that we are open for business.”

“Jasper Products’ recent expansion continues its position as a leading employer in the region and a leading company in its sector nationally. We appreciate the company’s continued commitment to growing in Joplin,” said Rob O’Brian, President of the Joplin Chamber of Commerce.

More on CDBG:

The CDBG program, administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, provides grants and loan funds to cities with a population under 50,000 and counties under 200,000 to assist in a variety of public works and economic development projects.

To see a full list of businesses embarking on expansions in Missouri, visit https://ded.mo.gov/business-announcements.


Help us spread the news through Facebook and Twitter! If you’re looking for a great place to visit, live, get an education, or start a business, you can find resources and information at mo.gov or ded.mo.gov.

Public Notice for Plan Modification

The Workforce Investment Board of the Southwest Region, Inc. (DBA Workforce Innovation Board), the oversight body for the delivery of employment and training services to the Missouri Counties of Barry, Barton, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, and Newton, is submitting a modification for the region’s official Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Plan.

The plan and proposed modifications will be available during normal business hours to anyone for inspection at the offices of the Workforce Innovation Board, 420 Grand Avenue, Joplin, Missouri, 64801. Additionally, the plan will be available for review on the WIB’s internet website at www.workforcezone.net/plan.

Interested parties may comment or may petition for disapproval by sending written notice to:

Sherri Rhuems
Workforce Innovation Board
P.O. Box 1706
Joplin, MO 64802-1706

OR

Planning and Research Section
Division of Workforce Development
P.O. Box 1087
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1087

Request may be based on the failure of the plan to address the needs of the area, a significant client interest, or the violation of statutory requirements.  Missouri Relay:   1-800-735-2966 (TDD) 1-800-735-2466 (Voice)

Construction Trades Apprenticeship finishes strong

The WIB’s first-ever Construction Trades Pre-Apprenticeship finished strong with ten graduates recognized at a ceremony held Friday, March 17th at the Joplin Job Center. Funded by Catholic Charities together with a special apprenticeship grant to the WIB from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, other partners included Crowder College Training and Development Solutions, IBEW, and the Carpenters Union. The ceremony included several inspirational presentations on the challenges the participants overcame and the improvements gained in their personal and vocational pursuits.

Pre-Apprenticeship Skilled Trades 2017 from WIB on Vimeo.

What’s Next

While some of the grads already secured private sector employment, other completers will stay on with Catholic Charities for additional paid work experience. The social enterprise effort from Catholic Charities helps refurbish local residences for those in need. A special hiring event is set for April 5th to connect grads with employers in the construction sector. Download this printer/tablet friendly flyer for additional information on the hiring event.  The WIB and its stakeholders are currently evaluating outcomes of the training program for future offerings. For more on future apprenticeship efforts, contact Sherri Rhuems at the WIB.

Background

The first week of training covered soft skill expectations of employers, resume preparation, and the National Career Readiness Certificate. Week two probed into construction with worksite safety and basic construction skills. Electrical training happened in week three with electrical safety and basic electrical work. The final (fourth) week covered safety and medical training such as OSHA-10, first aid, CPR, and forklift operation. Weeks five and beyond (up to 12 weeks total) feature the paid internship for participants to put their skills to work.

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs contribute to the development of a diverse and skilled workforce by preparing participants to meet the basic qualifications for entry into one or more Registered Apprenticeship programs. Through a variety of unique designs and approaches, pre-apprenticeship programs can be adapted to meet the needs of differing populations being trained, the various employers and sponsors they serve, and specific opportunities within the local labor market.

Pre-apprenticeship training is a great way for participants to explore and learn about exciting careers; qualify to meet the minimum standards for selection to employment and training programs to help advance; benefit from classroom and technology-based training; get a start on career-specific training with viable career pathway opportunities; build literacy, math, English, and work-readiness skills employers desire.

 

WorkforceZone Winter 2017: Workforce Strategies On-Track Amidst Change

The Winter 2017 edition of the WorkforceZone, the region’s quarterly journal for workforce development, features the theme of Workforce Strategies On-Track Amidst Change. The 14-page magazine-style format may be downloaded as a printer-friendly and tablet-friendly PDF. Check out individual articles online here at WorkforceZone.net as well.

ASE helps brand employers for success

Competition among employers is on the rise after the boost of economic growth following the recession and Joplin’s disaster recovery momentum. Today’s human resource professional needs to put his or her best foot forward to keep candidate pools flowing. That’s why the WIB and its workforce partners are pleased to announce the All-Star Employer (ASE) program.

Helping Employers Stand Out

Employers of Choice need stronger ways to get their message to potential job seekers. Candidates wanting more than just a job can focus on long-term career advancement and other benefits offered by ASE companies. Communities can also recognize local firms that support local causes and routinely give back. The ASE approach helps increase awareness of job opportunities within growth-driven economic sectors. ASE promotes employer champions as advocates that help propel workforce and economic development strategies that improve the entire region.

How ASE Works

To earn the All-Star Employer designation any local firm can meet a portion of quality criteria. Employers make application directly to the WIB or may be nominated by local Chambers of Commerce, economic development organizations, sector associations, education partners (such as career tech schools or colleges/university training providers), or employees.

Other Employer Benefits

The WIB designed ASE to provide recognition and public awareness for leading employers. ASE holders would be prominently featured at the entry points at the Joplin, Monett, and Neosho Job Centers. Participating employers can be profiled through the new career pathway tools and videos at the new SectorReady.org. Plaques or window decals may be displayed by employers to showcase their ASE achievements. The WIB can also make official presentations at special events on site through the employer or other community venues. For outreach and recruitment events at the Job Centers, All-Star Employers would receive the highest priority consideration. As economic developers routinely seek to promote local employers as economic assets, the ASE designation helps power the marketing outreach conducted by growth-minded communities.

In addition to vast promotional benefits, ASE firms can qualify for special discounts for employer events such as Job Fest and the Workforce Summit. Employers using WorkKeys Job Profiles or other testing services can also use ASE for discounts or fee waivers. All ASE employers will receive complimentary WorkforceZone subscriptions by mail.

Quality Criteria

The WIB plans to debut the official ASE entry guidelines and criteria in March.  To qualify, employers would meet some or all of the following quality elements.

Skills Based Hiring

  • National Career Readiness Certificate
  • SectorReady Credentials
  • ProveIt Technical Skill Tests
  • Integrated GED Training with Credentials
  • WorkKeys Job Profiles

Work Based Learning

  • Apprenticeship
  • On-the-Job Training through Job Center
  • Internships
  • Job Shadowing

Targeted Opportunities to Overcome Poverty

  • Veterans
  • FutureLink Youth
  • Ex-Offenders
  • Families receiving public assistance
  • Accommodations for those with disabilities
  • English Language Learners/Legal Immigrants

Career Pathways

  • Opportunities for Advancement
  • Internal training program in place
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Families receiving public assistance
  • Accommodations for those with disabilities
  • Apprenticeship or Job Center OJT

Removal of Barriers to Work and Learning

  • Substance Abuse Recovery or other employer-based mental health assistance
  • On-site or employer-sponsored child care
  • Transportation Assistance

Where ASE Happens

To introduce the All-Star Employer network, the WIB targeted its service area to include the counties of Barry, Barton, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, and Newton. However, employers from neighboring counties in Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma are encouraged to apply as part of the larger Four-States Labor Market. The WIB plans an extensive public service campaign through local TV, radio, print, and social media throughout the Joplin media market.

Importance of the Employer Brand

Business brand strategy concept background.

According to Wikipedia, employer brand is the term commonly used to describe an organization’s reputation as an employer, and its value proposition to its employees, as opposed to its more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers. Likewise, the marketing disciplines associated with branding and brand management have been increasingly applied to the human resources and talent management community to attract, engage and retain talented candidates and employees, in the same way, that marketing applies such tools to attracting and retaining clients, customers, and consumers.

The term was first used in the early 1990s, and has since become widely adopted by the global management community. Employer brand is “the image of your organization as a ‘great place to work’ in the mind of current employees and key stakeholders in the external market (active and passive candidates, clients, customers and other key stakeholders). Therefore, the art and science of employer branding is concerned with the attraction, engagement, and retention initiatives targeted at enhancing your company’s employer brand.”

How to Begin

The WIB is excited to expand services to local firms to boost their employer branding efforts. The All-Star Employer network aims to launch in March together with the debut of new career pathway tools atSectorReady.org. For more information, or to discuss ideas, contact Jasen Jones at the WIB, jjones@sectorready.org, or by phone to 417-206-1717, Extension 106.

Navigator portal connects aid to those in need

Southwest Missouri has dozens of organizations ready to assist those in need.  However, finding up-to-date contacts and information on resources can sometimes be like finding the needle in a haystack.  The new Resource and Referral Navigator tool is coming soon to the new SectorReady.org.  The portal seeks to remove much of the hassle of connecting local solutions and services to customers through an easy-to-use online system.

Benefits of the Portal

  • No registrations or passwords to track 
  • Search by location, category, or keywords
  • Mobile-friendly and tablet-friendly
  • No cost to agency or customer
  • Results geared to local providers without getting lost statewide or out-of-region
  • Integrated with career and training tools

How You Can Help

  • Provide information to help build the online directory profile withinSectorReady.org
  • Walk through the directory with your customers and encourage future usage
  • Share the new directory with partners and other stakeholders
  • Use the contact form (optional) to help facilitate tracking and follow up
  • Update referral forms with key fields to help fellow providers track and follow up:
    The Missouri Job Center system recommends core fields for effective hub referrals 
    Source:  DWD Issuance 24-2015, jobs.mo.gov

Organizations interested in listing services may contact Frank Neely, frank@sectorready.org, or 417-206-1717, Extension 108.

Categories of Aid Available; Navigation

Work:  Help Find Work, Career Planning, Skills and Training, Supported Employment, Volunteering, Help Pay for Work Expenses, Equal Opportunity

Money:  Financial Assistance, Government Benefits, Financial Education, Tax Preparation

Community:  Peer Support, Volunteering, Faith-Based Groups, Arts and Culture, Animals

Care:  Adoption and Foster Care, Daytime Care, End of Life Care, Navigating the System, Residential Care, Support Network

Food and Household Goods:  Community Gardens, Emergency Food, Food Pantry, Free Meals, Help Pay for Food, Nutrition, Baby Supplies, Clothing, Home Goods, Medical Supplies, School Supplies

Housing:  Emergency Shelter, Help Find Housing, Help Pay for Housing, Housing Repair, Weatherization, Miscellaneous

Emergency:  Disaster Response, Emergency Payments, Emergency Food, Emergency Shelter, Help Find Missing Persons, Immediate Safety, Psychiatric Emergency Services, Emergency Cash

Education:  GED/AEL/HiSet, English Language, Basic Computer Skills, Help Find Schooling, Help Pay for School, Preschool, Screening and Exams, Skills and Training, More Education Resources, Translation & Interpretation, Citizenship Skills, Credentialing, Transfers and Articulation

Transportation:  Transit Services, Help Pay for Transit, Vehicle Repair Assistance

Health:  Addiction and Recovery, Dental, Vision, Family Physician, Specialists, Navigating the Healthcare Exchange

Legal:  Ex-Offender Transition, Advocacy and Legal Aid, Mediation, Notary, Representation, Immigration

Population Served:  Layoffs, Young Adults (16-24), Veterans, Persons with Disabilities, Older/Retirement-Age Workers, Welfare, Ex-Offenders/Parole

Directory Fields:  Description, Details, Contacts, Location Details, Site Hours, Cost, How to Enroll, Languages Available, Additional Requirements (Eligibility), Category

 

Missouri improves in Rankings that Matter

The annual State of the States report from Site Selection magazine includes the third edition of  Rankings that Matter. Along with legislative, demographic, economic and education data points, the publisher also ranks all 50 states on elements relevant to corporate location decision-makers. Two of the six rankings cover workforce quality: Rank in total ACT National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRC) earned per capita among working-age adults (as of December 2016) and College Attainment with the percent of working-age population ages 18-65 holding a two-year degree or higher (using Summer 2016 data from the Lumina Foundation). With the NCRC, Joplin remains the best performing metro in Missouri.

With a 20% improvement in Missourians with the NCRC now surpassing 80 thousand, Missouri ranks 20th nationally on the NCRCs per capita. Neighboring Kansas and Arkansas have similar NCRC rankings at 23rd and 24th, respectively. Oklahoma, a long-time champion of NCRC, ranks 7th in this measure.

NCRCs Per Thousand

For local comparison, the WIB generated NCRC Per Thousand rankings of Missouri’s six metro areas and the totals overall for Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Joplin’s ranking of 49 NCRCs Per Thousand is four times the U.S. index overall, three times the index for the Show-Me State, and six times better than Missouri’s largest metros of St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas City.

The WIB computed this index of each area’s population and the NCRCs recorded by ACT’s Work Ready Communities initiative (as of December 31, 2016). Metro populations are based on 2015 estimates while state populations are 2016 estimates.  Joplin’s MSA includes Ottawa County in Oklahoma together with the Missouri counties of Jasper and Newton. The St. Louis MSA includes additional Illinois counties and the Kansas City MSA includes additional Kansas counties.

Other Rankings That Matter

Other rankings in the report include Rank in the Tax Foundation’s 2016 State Business Tax Climate Index (Oct. 2016), Rank in 2015 Higher Education R&D Expenditure (Total in $000s in parentheses), Rank by Lowest Industrial Electric Power Cost (¢/kWh), and Fiscal Condition Index (Mercatus Center at George Mason University, June 2016). The online version of the report indexes each state profile as a downloadable/viewable PDF. In the print edition of the magazine, the report begins on page 94.

 

Joplin’s Vision 2022 connects job growth and literacy strategies

The Joplin Globe newspaper provided strong coverage of Joplin’s Vision 2022 efforts, including WIB perspectives on education and job growth. Today’s edition featured Vision 2022’s Job Growth team that kicked off Tuesday night.

Update on Monday, January 30th:  Joplin Globe covered the second meeting of the Job Growth Team with analysis of occupation growth projections and economic factors that might affect projections and outcomes.

The goal of the Job Growth team is to support the citizens’ desire for a vibrant economy with a thriving workforce by growing the job market. The group’s first meeting Tuesday examined labor market and sector trends with discussions around key priorities. The group meets again January 26th to dig deeper on skill gap trends and issues. Globe journalist Jordan Larimore interviewed Job Growth Team co-chair Ryan Melton, Adam Bokker of Home Instead Senior Care, and Jasen Jones with the SW MO WIB.

The Education team met Monday, as noted in a separate article from the Globe. This team has two components of K-12 and adult education (including post-secondary). This team’s mission is to support the citizens’ desire for Quality Schools by developing a community of learners rooted in strong communications, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative thought to ensure an engaged and informed community.

More about Vision 2022 is available online or through their Facebook page. KCGS-TV at Missouri Southern State University also covered Vision 2022 in its Newsmakers program with video available online as well.  Other teams within Vision 2022 include Governance, Healthy Living/Wellness, Positive Marketing/Branding, and Quality of Life.