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“There Is An ‘Apprenticeship Revolution’ Going On In Missouri” - Missouri Gets $6 Million In Federal Aid To Create Thousands Of Tech Apprenticeships

Published Tuesday, November 10, 2020
by Alisa Nelson/
“There Is An ‘Apprenticeship Revolution’ Going On In Missouri” - Missouri Gets $6 Million In Federal Aid To Create Thousands Of Tech Apprenticeships

(JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI) - The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation is deploying $6 million in Federal funding to create 5,300 new Tech Industry Apprenticeships.

Chamber President Dan Mehan calls the investment a “game changer.”

“There is an ‘Apprenticeship revolution’ going on in Missouri,” he says. “Over the last two years, our state ‘ranks second in the number of completed Apprenticeships - second only behind California.’”

More than 10,000 Missourians have gone through an Apprenticeship Program that gives them real-world and traditional learning through a paid work experience.

The effort is meant to give participants a feel for whether they would like to make a living in the profession.

According to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, about 94% of Apprentices are retained by their employers after they complete their Apprenticeships and the average annual salary is not too shabby - about $70,000.

The Chamber says the pay leads to a $300,000 lifetime earning advantage over non-Apprentices.

Mehan says the state is “poised for strong growth” in Apprenticeships thanks to a number of developments this year – including House Bill 2046, passed this year by the Missouri Legislature and signed into law by Governor Mike Parson which will boost the state’s Apprenticeship efforts.

The plan, sponsored by U.S. Representative Derek Grier (Republican-Chesterfield) gives students industry credentials after they finish their program.

“This progress ‘could not have come at a better time,’” Mehan said. “We ‘all know our state faces many challenges as we continue to confront COVID-19 and seek to grow our economy out of it.’  One of our ‘biggest’ challenges ‘will be training Workers who find themselves unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic.’  Apprenticeships ‘will be a very important tool as we work to help get these Workers back on the job and likewise ensure that Missouri employers have the talent they need to grow and power our economy.’”

Another development Mehan points to is Missouri Apprentice Connect - the first in the Nation Apprenticeship Matching Program.

This free service can be found by going to

Dr. Mardy Leathers, who serves as Director of the Missouri Office of Workforce Development, says there’s a wide variety of businesses contributing to the state’s Apprenticeship success.

“In Missouri, ‘it would be easy if I could rattle off the names of a couple employers, but the reality is, there are 493 employers who have Apprenticeship Programs in the state.’  So, we have ‘a lot of employers who engage,’” Leathers said. “It’s ‘actually a great thing that I can’t rattle those names off because we have so many.’”

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