Gov. Mike Parson says through May 1, $9.2 billion in federal aid has gone to Missouri businesses affected by the coronavirus. During today’s press conference, Parson says nearly 79,000 Missouri businesses have received Paycheck Protection Program assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“We are also continuing to explore opportunities within federal stimulus funds to assist businesses with training and workforce needs as they modify operations and make accommodations due to COVID-19,” says Parson.
The U.S. Department of Labor is giving the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) an emergency grant of $1.3 million for COVID-19 disaster recovery efforts. The grant will target displaced Missouri workers and help MDHEWD provide temporary employment in humanitarian work such as grocery delivery, health care workers, contact tracing, and other work directly supporting COVID-19, as well as job training. The money will be awarded to MDHEWD on June 1 and will be available to local workforce development boards within 45 days.
Since mid-March, more than 500,000 Missourians have filed for unemployment. The agency is launching a new program on May 18 to help boost employment. Parson says Missouri job centers will shift in the coming weeks from assisting the Department of Labor with unemployment claims to helping Missourians increase their work skills. He says many people receiving unemployment benefits will qualify for the training programs. Department workers will be charged with helping Missourians find and enroll in the training opportunities.
As part of the RecoverMO campaign, the department will also hold virtual job fairs and highlight several short-term training programs from Missouri higher education institutions that allow Missourians to quickly earn a certificate or an industry-recognized credential.
“Some industries have been hit particularly hard, including retailers, restaurants, and manufacturers. But no community in Missouri has been unaffected by the economic impact of this,” says Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon.
He says the department will work with colleges and universities to determine workforce demands and how the funds are used.
View today’s press conference below:
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