Missouri Community Colleges Will Help Unemployed with Grant

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COLUMBIA - On Monday, Governor Nixon announced Missouri Community colleges will receive a grant for $20 million. This money will be used to help train people who are currently unemployed to become health care professionals.

The executive committee representing Missouri Community Colleges will begin immediately to formulate the programs under the grant. The focus for the committee will be classes that benefit the unemployed who have limited time to take classes or to travel.

Zora Mulligan is the Director of Missouri Community College Association and has been working closely with the plan.

"Some of the examples of what we are offering are programs in very short time frames. So, a program that might normally take a year to complete will be condensed into a few intense weeks, and maybe some 'boot-camp' weekends."

Programs will also include some real-time on-line classes. Moberly Community College is heading the development of these classes. Greg Mosier, the Dean of Career and Technical Education, is excited for the future classes.

"This is some very interesting stuff that we're working on. It's like being in a real class without leaving your computer," said Mosier.

This is all to help make these classes easier for the students. Students will also be able to work through clinics in their local area to work on the clinical requirements of the classes.

Before the grant was even passed, the executive committee worked with 25 different employers to see what set of skills they are looking for in workers and what jobs will be available in the future.

"We worked with these businesses to make sure that there would be jobs both now and in the future, 5,10,15 years down the line. We didn't want to get a grant and make these classes for a job that won't exist," said Mulligan

The grant is a part of Governor Nixon's "Big Goal" for higher education. He hopes to increase the percentage of Missourians who hold postsecondary credentials from 37 percent to 60 percent by 2020.