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Dawn Busick, executive director of the Center for Workforce Development at Ozarks Technical Community College, says allied health care will need trained workers for many years to come.
Dawn Busick, executive director of the Center for Workforce Development at Ozarks Technical Community College, says allied health care will need trained workers for many years to come.

Busick helps workers develop skills, move to fields in need

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The current jobs environment is a battlefield, and Dawn Busick is leading the charge alongside those fighting for work.

Busick, executive director of Ozarks Technical Community College's Center for Workforce Development, was the featured speaker Tuesday morning at Springfield Business Journal's 12 People You Need to Know event at The Tower Club.

A veteran of state and federal government in Illinois, Busick joined the OTC staff in 2009 with one goal: making job training more accessible, in the fields where companies are hiring, for a work force that she said is growing increasingly desperate.

"This is now a middle-skill society," Busick told the group. "The problem is that we have a lot of high-skill people who are without jobs."

That's where Busick and OTC come in. The Center for Workforce Development assists people who may already have the soft skills needed but lack the more technical training in fields where workers are needed, such as allied health, information technology and manufacturing.

Busick said OTC and other community colleges around the state and the country are key to bringing together companies of various sizes to talk about their problems and develop answers.

"When you come together as partners and not as competitors, everyone comes to the table ready to work together," Busick said. "That way, other solutions can be bounced around and hashed out."

OTC is also one of several Missouri schools that is getting more financial assistance to see those solutions come to fruition.

The school announced Monday that it is getting $1.1 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to support efforts to add capacity in high-demand training areas. Busick and her staff were instrumental in developing the proposal requesting those funds, which she said will add much-needed classes in several fields, notably allied health.

"We need 90 new doctors in Springfield right now," she said, adding that leaders of regional medical schools indicate that only 30 graduates return to southwest Missouri. "It's obvious the need isn't being met."[[In-content Ad]]

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