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Workforce grant helps Missouri adults earn first-time higher education, further skills

The program saw a 65% increase in participants in 2021.

ST. LOUIS — With so many job postings out, and certain skills required to get some of those positions, Missouri's Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is on a mission to get people trained.

At an opening for a food plant in Hazelwood, Missouri, last week, Governor Mike Parson said while the vast majority of students in the state won't attend college, they will still need the training to lean on.

He added that 70% of the people in this state do not have college degrees

“Whether that's a community college, whether that's a carpenter school, whether that's a certificate program but we got to give people the opportunity to do that," Parson said.

One of those opportunities is in the Fastrack Workforce Incentive Grant which launched in 2019.

Parson reemphasized funding three years later in his State of the State address last week.

RELATED: Gov. Parson calls for higher teacher pay, child care access in State of the State address

He also reminded a group of staff at a new food plant in Hazelwood the resources are there.

“If this company has got maybe a job you're doing now and there's another skill level you want to get to and you want to stay in that company. I want to help you get there,” Parson said.

Through the program,  an applicant can pursue a certificate, degree or industry credential that falls within a high-need skills area.

There are 70 eligible institutions to choose from.

Here are the qualifications:

  • Recipients cannot have earned a bachelor's degree,
  • Recipients must be at least 25 years old --- have not enrolled in school within the last two years,
  • Recipients cannot make more than $40,000 when filing taxes individually, or $80,000 when filing taxes jointly.

During his speech, Gov. Parson said the program saw a 65 percent increase in participants in 2021.

80 % of the recipients are women and 50% are first-generation college students.

Additionally, more than 50 percent are enrolled in health care programs, “which has become a blessing considering the past 22 months,” he said.

Find the information to apply here.