House Spotlight –
A Close Look at a MAWD Partner:
Office of Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning
1. The Game: Briefly describe an overview of services offered by your agency?
The name of the game is to come out on top! Apprenticeship Missouri along with our extensive network of partners “The Team” has been ranked second in the nation in number of new apprenticeships two years running. Everybody likes a good underdog story and Missouri has been able to stay on top with a fraction of the funding that our competition currently enjoys. Apprenticeships are that perfect blend, we think, of training and development that offers a ladder of success for its participants.
2. Who are the Players: Who can or does your agency serve?
Missouri employers are a huge part of our offense. They start with a game plan and recruit from our many citizens seeking a diverse and rewarding experience. Our Missouri citizens are heavily recruited and they are the true players sticking to the plan and leaving it all out on the field. Our training partners (community colleges, universities, tech schools, etc.) are our assistant coaches and statisticians providing guidance and instruction on how to win the game.
3. Aces Up Your Sleeve: What’s your best kept secret about your agency?
The best kept secret about Apprenticeship Missouri is how we continually manage to perform at a high level and remain nationally known and relevant in the world of work-based learning! It is no secret though. The vision of Missouri Apprenticeships is driven by our Governor, Director, community leaders and partners as well as many others who want to see us succeed. Apprenticeship is a dynamic concept that is not afraid to try something new or take a chance on a new idea. Our motto is “Anything is apprenticeable” and if it hasn’t been done yet then that’s our challenge.
4. Show Me the Money: What funding services should MAWD members be aware of?
When talking about funding sources it’s important to understand that each Local Workforce Development Board is in essence the “gatekeeper” for programs in their respective areas. They are the sponsors of many of the programs because we rely upon them to know employer needs in their area and to be able to access the talent pool of each apprentice applicant. We are driven by grants and are continually seeking new funding streams through this vehicle. The money changes but the message remains and the biggest step is getting area employers excited about the program to get them to invest in it.
5. Dealer’s Choice: What’s one thing we should know about your agency?
The Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning talks the talk and walks the walk. We pour everything into our projects and are not afraid to take a chance. If an employer wants to be a part of the program we will do everything in our power to make it happen. If a Missouri citizen wants to be an apprentice we work to make sure it can happen. If an apprenticeship does not exist for what they want to do we can create one. Whether it’s an employer that wants 1 or 100 apprentices we will do our best to make it happen. We can admit defeat but we don’t like it. We are down but never out and though we may be small we are mighty in spirit. Our greatest gift is our network which spans the state and that’s why a tenacious force of state workers can take on a nation and come in second place.