An effort to help Missouri build and retain a skilled workforce is awaiting a decision from Gov. Mike Parson.

During the latest session of the Missouri Legislature, lawmakers passed a bill that would encourage workers to get upskill credentials. Upskill credentials are when employees use development opportunities and training programs to improve their existing job skills. The bill would reimburse employers who help their workers earn short-term certificates or credentials for high-need jobs.

Examples of short-term credentials that would be eligible for reimbursement through the program include manufacturing technology, cybersecurity, blueprint reading, medical assistants, pharmacy technician and medical records coding.

During his tenure as governor, One of Parson’s key priorities has been workforce development.

House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson, R-Desloge, is sponsoring the bill.

“It gives businesses a chance to grow their own workers,” said Henderson. “A lot of businesses nowadays have workers they’re having trouble finding the workers they need and if they do find a worker, they may not have the skills they would really like but they come to work every day, they’re a good cultural fit, everybody seems to think they fit with the company.”

The Missouri Chamber is a strong supporter of this legislation, deeming it critical in supporting Missouri in the global competition for jobs and talent.

“Now, more than ever, Missouri employers need every tool in their toolbox to attract and retain workers,” said Chamber President & CEO Dan Mehan.

The legislation would also:

*Allow Missouri high school athletes to start earning on endorsement deals as soon as they sign up to play for a Missouri college or university
*Authorize an income tax credit for taxpayers who hire an intern or apprentice
*Create a grant program for new general primary care and psychiatry medical residency positions in Missouri
*Expand large animal veterinary medicine loan repayment program to 12 veterinarians annually instead of 6
*Transfer authority of adult high schools from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to the Department of Social Services.

To review House Bill 417, click here.

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