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Springfield, MO

City addressing worker shortages with training project

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The city of Springfield is leading a new job-training initiative targeting openings in the manufacturing, construction, transportation and logistics, information technology and health care industries.

Dubbed Change One Thousand, the partnership between the city’s Department of Workforce Development and the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board seeks to help 1,000 people clear hurdles to fill needed jobs in the area. A $150,000 investment by the workforce board initially will fund the effort, followed by plans for public and private donations, according to a news release.

“The desired result is a qualified workforce which supports an improved competitive edge for the industry,” said Mary Ann Rojas, director of workforce development for the city, in the release.

Through the initiative, officials with the city and partner organizations will work with job seekers at Missouri Job Center locations, The Fairbanks and other sites to help them address issues concerning child care, transportation, mental health, substance abuse, disabilities and criminal background.

To start Change One Thousand, the city will highlight job opportunities in Partnership Industrial Center. Bryan University and employers at PIC will lead the first stage, according to the release.

Officials will focus on Springfield’s northwest Zone 1, which has the highest unemployment rate and lowest per capita income among the city’s four zones, officials say.

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