Welcome to your Missouri Workforce News!

Making a World of Difference

September 1, 2021

A Letter From the President

Your MAWD Board of Directors has been working behind the scenes to improve the association and provide members with the best experience possible.  If you want to know what being on our Board is all about, I encourage you to visit our website and check out the MAWD Board of Directors Manual.   If you would like to get more involved, please consider contributing by participating on one of the committees described. You do not have to be on the MAWD Board to support your association.  If you would like additional information, please feel free to reach out to any member of the Board, and you can always reach me at gammdk@marktwain.net.

Save the date: April 27-29, 2022

We are excited to announce that we have begun work on the 2022 Annual Conference.   We can’t tell you how ecstatic we are to move towards an in-person event; to say that we have missed you is an understatement. 

Dana Keller, Board President

    The Office of Workforce Development has completed the Job Centers of the Future (JCF) project in June, which completed the learning phase of understanding how to improve Missouri’s public workforce system

    The goal of this effort is to increase effectiveness of the public workforce system to increase workforce productivity to support employer’s needs.

    On August 18th, OWD began engaging with the community to gather perspective, share information, and workshop ideas.

      • August 18th—visited Columbia
      • August 19th—visited St. Charles
      • August 20th—visited Kansas City
      • August 26th—visited Hannibal
      • August 27th— visited St. Louis

    The remaining town halls include:

      • October 13th St. Joseph 8:30 AM – 10 AM
      • October 14th West Plains 8:30 AM – 10 AM
      • October 15th Springfield 8:30 AM – 10 AM
      • October 20th Cape Girardeau, 8:30 AM – 10AM

    Here is the registration link for the October events:

    Stay tuned!

    We will be announcing a new date for Ann Merrifield's webinar: Working with At-Risk Youth and Special Needs Population. 

    House Spotlight –

    A Close Look at a MAWD Partner:

    1. The Game: Briefly describe an overview of services offered by your agency?

    The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act is Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Adult Education and Literacy programs, referred to as AEL in Missouri, are a section of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in the Office of College and Career Readiness. The components of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act are:

    • Adult Basic Education (grade levels 1-8)
    • Adult Secondary Education (grade levels 9-12)
    • Family Literacy
    • Workforce Preparation
    • Integrated Education and Training or IET
    • Workplace AEL (In a workplace setting),
    • Programs for English Learners
      • Integrated Education and Training
      • Civics and Citizenship Education

    AEL programs provide skills assessments, preparation for High School Equivalency (HiSET), transition to post-secondary opportunities, workforce literacy, digital literacy, employment assistance and English language competencies.

    2.  Who are the Players: Who can or does your agency serve?

    Adult Education and Literacy services are offered free of charge to anyone who is at least 17 years of age or 16-year-olds who have met Missouri’s compulsory school attendance requirements. To be eligible for AEL services, individuals must also have one of the following barriers: basic skills deficiency or low literacy levels based on assessment, lack of high school diploma or equivalency, or learning the English language.

    If an individual has their high school diploma or equivalency, AEL can also serve them as long as they are deficient in basic skills as determined by a recognized assessment tool such as the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE). For students that have a high school diploma, the free classes can help them prepare for college placement tests or other career entrance exams like the ASVAB for the military.

    Many English students have secondary, post-secondary and post-graduate education from another country, and we assist them with English Language proficiency. AEL also serves employers directly and may provide classrooms at the work site.

    3. Aces Up Your Sleeve: What’s your best kept secret about your agency?  

    All Missouri AEL teachers must obtain state certification in adult education and maintain annual professional development requirements. This allows DESE AEL to focus on the standards and techniques based on research and data that best address adult learners.

    AEL students come to us at different skill levels and our teachers are able to address their educational and workforce needs. Each student progresses at their own pace based on an individual learning plan with the assistance of case managers and teachers.

    Students can learn basic literacy and math skills in the context of employment or everyday tasks such as grocery shopping. This allows AEL programs to facilitate the transfer of basic education to real life. AEL classroom curricula align with Missouri’s College and Career Readiness Standards, English Learner standards and the requirements of the HiSET and/or citizenship exam.

    4. Show Me the Money: What funding services should MAWD members be aware of?

    AEL classes are offered free of charge to all students. Some local AEL programs with non-WIOA funding sources offer supportive services to students, and referrals to other agencies are made when needed.

    5. Dealer’s Choice: What’s one thing we should know about your agency?

    Missouri’s AEL programs are a national leader in performance outcomes for students and have a history of producing exceptional measurable skill gains for participants. To ensure the continued success of students, all local AEL programs have a student advocate on staff as well as job developers and transition staff to assist students with their needs after completing their time with AEL.

    Jalen White, MAWD 2020 Scholarship Recipient

    Jalen White - 2020 Scholarship Recipient

    Jalen White is entering his junior year at Morehouse College and took some time to provide an update on his studies as a 2020 recipient of the MAWD scholarship.He is the son of MAWD member Felicia Jordan.

    How is college going?

    College is going well. I'm on track to graduate in spring 2023 with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I'm exploring graduate schools now.

    How did COVID impact your training?

    The quarantine in March 2020 was in my freshman year, so it was definitely a challenge. I had to learn patience and to adapt to change.It was a necessary lesson during this pandemic.

    Sophomore year was virtual. This year, I'm glad to be back on campus with hybrid options available as well.

    What has been the most important thing you have learned in your education so far?

    I've learned that research is a much greater component in the field of psychology than I had realized. In the statistics course, I've learned that all research can be biased, and you have to learn to interpret the data independent of your personal background. you have to learn to remain as objective as possible.

    What would you say to anyone else considering college at this time?

    Don't be afraid to take chances. You never know what opportunities you may have.

    Anything else you would want to share with MAWD members?

    Thank you for this scholarship award and providing this opportunity.

    MAWD Committee Chairs:

    Alice Whalen
    Public Information

    Danielle Briot

    Jenn Adams
    Business Services & Marketing

    Donna Brake
    Professional Development


      MERIC - the research division of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development's Office of Performance & Strategy. MERIC research includes workforce region studies, spatial analyses, and comprehensive coverage of the state's industry and occupational data produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor. MERIC has been recognized with 15 national awards for research excellence since it was formed in 2001.

      NAWDP - The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) is a professional association representing individual workforce development and human resources practitioners, who connect jobseekers, educators and companies to advance the American economy. Whether you are an experienced workforce development leader, director, manager, or WDB member, or you are new to the industry, membership in NAWDP can help you stay at the forefront of your profession.

      Watch the video to learn more about NAWDP membership,

      WorkforceGPS - WorkforceGPS is your online technical assistance website created by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor to help build the capacity of America's public workforce investment system. Here you will find curated communities of interest, useful webinars and other training resources, promising workforce development practices, and relevant evidence-based research – giving you the tools you need to help you create innovative approaches to improve the employment prospects of job seekers.

      2021 NAWDP Youth Development Symposium

      NAWDP is returning to an in-person event for the 2021 Youth Development Symposium and we want to see you there! Mark your calendars to join us December 6-8, 2021 in Chicago, IL. Click here to visit the event page. 

      Click here to review the Schedule at a Glance.

      NAWDP is currently requesting the following proposals for the 2021 Youth Development Symposium. Proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on August 31, 2021. 

      Workshop sessions - Submit proposal

      For general questions about the Youth Development Symposium, please email Grace Schierling at grace@nawdp.org