Workforce Development | St. Louis Public Radio

Workforce Development

Apprenticeships are normally associated with traditional skilled trades like electricians. The State of Missouri is trying to change that.
Flickr | Electrician_19 IFA teched

Missouri ranks second nationally for completed apprenticeships. Officials say it’s a sign that efforts to improve apprenticeships in the state are paying off.

Respiratory care students Harry Painter Jr. and Darielle Griffin work with a mannequin to get hands-on training at St. Louis Community College's new healthcare facility on the Forest Park campus. OCt. 24, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After counting out the last in a series of chest compressions, Harry Painter Jr. sets up a nebulizer and begins piping oxygen into his patient’s lungs.

“Mr. Jones, you scared us there. How are you feeling?” he asks. The lifelike mannequin blinks back. 

Everything around Painter looks exactly as it would in a hospital, but this is a simulation room at St. Louis Community College’s new health care facility on the Forest Park campus.

Edwardsville High School students observe labor apprentices pour concrete on Sept. 10. The high schoolers are part of a two year program where they learn aspects of the construction trade.
Eric Schmid | St. Louis Public Radio

EDWARDSVILLE — A new program that gives high school students hands-on experience with the construction trades kicked off this year. 

Over two years, juniors and seniors from local high schools will learn to pour concrete, install pipes, construct scaffolding and other aspects of the trades from certified labor instructors through the Illinois Laborers' and Contractors Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program.

St. Charles convention center
Corinne Ruff | St. Louis Public Radio

ST. CHARLES — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt wants to increase job training programs in the state and seek more foreign trade partners.

The Republican Missouri senator spoke about jobs and the economy Friday at the 61st annual Governor’s Conference on Economic Development in St. Charles.

A construction workers examines a cast iron face piece on a window frame that is being removed as disassembly continues at the Clemens House in St. Louis on February 14, 2018. The Clemens house, which burned in July, was once owned by James Clemens, a rel
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

For the fourth year in a row, St. Louis businesses say their biggest barrier to expanding employment is a lack of skilled workers. That’s according to St. Louis Community College’s annual State of the St. Louis Workforce report released Wednesday. 

The new report, which surveyed over a thousand local employers, found that 1 in 3 is still having a hard time finding skilled workers. 

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
File photo |Tim Bommell | Missouri House Communications

Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, was the first in his family to go to college.

Yet the good economic news in the state, and especially his hometown of Springfield, has him championing other routes than four-year degrees, such as certificate programs and associates degrees.

An artist's rendering of the new $1.75 billion NGA West headquarters in north St. Louis.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Students from across the region will gather at St. Louis University Monday to explore careers in geospatial technology.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and SLU are co-sponsoring the free one-day conference, which will bring together experts from industry, academia and government. Organizers hope the event will spur student interest in geospatial careers and establish St. Louis as a leader in the field.

Members of local organizations announce the forming of the Regional Youth Employment Coalition  which aims to reduce the racial unemployment gap.
Abigail Censky | St. Louis Public Radio

The unemployment rate in St. Louis region is the lowest it’s been in 17 years, but that’s only for some people. Unemployment is higher for African-Americans.

The Regional Youth Employment Coalition that launched this week aims to close that gap for young people entering the job market in St. Louis and St. Louis County. The coalition is a group of local organizations, nonprofits and private sector partners teaming up to boost employment opportunities, especially among African-American youth.

Building boom and workforce shortage combine to create a crisis in construction industry
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

The workforce shortage in the construction industry is not going away.

A survey by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 80 percent of Midwest contractors report difficulty finding skilled workers. And, nearly half of the companies surveyed expect hiring is going to get harder over the next year.

Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis, left, and Ivanka Trump discuss workforce development in Godfrey on August 8, 2018.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

First Daughter Ivanka Trump made a public appearance in the Metro East Wednesday morning to highlight the importance of preparing young people for technical careers.

Trump, who serves as an advisor to the president, participated in a roundtable discussion on workforce development at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. The discussion focused primarily on apprenticeships and training opportunities for jobs that don’t require a four-year college degree, such as welding or plumbing.

Washington University announced a medical apprenticeship program, which will teach medical assistants to draw blood and do other clinical tasks.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Washington University has announced it will begin hiring apprentices this fall to work as medical assistants in clinics in the St. Louis region.

Apprenticeships combine on-the-job learning with more traditional instruction. The university’s announcement reflects the growing popularity of such programs in the health care industry.

Gov. Mike Parson poses with organizers of the Best in Midwest and Talent for Tomorrow Summit on June 27 2018, where infrastructure and workforce development were top of the agenda.
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson outlined two priorities to drive the state’s economy during an appearance in St. Louis on Wednesday: workforce development and infrastructure.

The governor spoke at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center following an all-day summit convened to focus on the two issues. Parson urged the gathering of business and education officials from around the state to work together to prepare tomorrow’s workforce and to vote in November.

BriAsia Warren trains new employee Uraiesha Shelton at Beyond Sweet. Customers can order specialty shakes like The New Yorker, topped with a piece of cheesecake, and the Chocoholic. June 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

At Beyond Sweet, an ice cream and snack shop in the Delmar Loop, two teens are practicing the art of of building mountain peaks of whipped cream.

For now, they’re practicing on pieces of paper, but soon they’ll move onto topping real sundaes and shakes for customers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 11, 2013 - The executive director of Saint Louis University’s new state-of-the-art Center for Workforce and Organizational Development understands that the world of information technology stands still for no one. 

So even as she’s hosting an open house at her new training facility Thursday afternoon, Katherine Cain is already talking about the agility of the curriculum and how it will be evolving in the months ahead.