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Ozarks Technical Community College is the recipient of a $1.3 million grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
The funding will go toward startup costs, such as equipment and scholarships, for the Springfield community college's plumbing program, which is scheduled to start in 2024, according to a news release.
"OTC developed this program in conjunction with local plumbing companies, and it is designed so a student can receive training while working," said Matt Hudson, executive dean of technical education for OTC, in the release. "The course work will focus on residential installation and maintenance."
The plumbing classrooms and lab will be located in the Industry Transportation and Technology Center on OTC's Springfield campus. Construction is slated to start this spring, with classes targeted for launch in January 2024.
Plumbing qualifies for the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant, which pays tuition and fees for nontraditional students in high-demand career fields, according to the release.
The average annual salary for a plumber in the Ozarks region is nearly $62,000, according to Missouri Economic Research and Information Center data.
SBJ interviews the interim dean at the William H. Darr College of Agriculture at Missouri State University.