Sen. Roy Blunt came to Ranken Technical College in St. Louis on Friday to advocate for more apprenticeships and job training programs.
Blunt, who is the chairman of a Senate subcommittee that addresses labor and education, released an appropriations bill for the coming year to expand higher education opportunities.
“I do believe for the last 20 or 30 years, there's been too much singular focus on the way to get a good job is a college degree,” he said.
Instead, Blunt said Missouri needs to invest in developing workers’ skills to meet labor needs. Nationwide, there are more skilled trade positions than people available to fill those jobs, he said.
The Senate’s labor bill for the coming year gives $10 million each to the Department of Education and the Department of Labor to create more skilled trade programs.
In addition to youth education, Blunt also focused on programs to help veterans, soldiers and former prisoners transition into the workforce more fluidly.
“We should want to be the easiest state to transfer your skills in the minute you move here,” he said.
Ranken Technical College trains more than 2,000 students in the region on skills in areas such as automotive, electrical and IT.
The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, the building Blunt visited on campus, partners with startups and companies like Enterprise Holdings to teach and pay students simultaneously.
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