June 21, 2024

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Apprenticeship Missouri hits goal of 20,000 new apprentices nearly three years ahead of schedule

From the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) is excited to announce that Apprenticeship Missouri has surpassed its 2019 goal of serving 20,000 new registered apprentices by 2025. The milestone was met nearly 3 years early thanks to increased efforts with partners and providers throughout the state. Registered Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway in which workers can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a transferable credential while job creators develop and prepare their future workforce.

Since October 2019, Missouri has had 20,285 newly registered apprentices, and 8,140 completed apprenticeships. Missouri currently ranks third in the nation for completed apprenticeships, fourth in the nation for new apprentices, and sixth for active apprentices. Missouri ranks in the top 10 in the nation across four out of five categories for Registered Apprenticeships.

“Reaching this milestone ahead of schedule is a testament to the providers and employers who champion Registered Apprenticeship programs and the integral component of talent attraction and retention,” said Dr. Mardy Leathers, director of workforce development. “The increase in participation shows that Registered Apprenticeship is a viable path to not only fill skills gaps for employers, but it also gives Missourians a chance to learn valuable skills and take steps to further their careers while they earn a paycheck.”

In November 2019, Gov. Mike Parson signed Executive Order 19-20 to officially establish the Missouri Office of Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning within the Office of Workforce Development, under MDHEWD. In conjunction with this announcement, Missouri set a goal to expand apprenticeships, including having 20,000 new apprentices by 2025.

“Thanks to our incredible team at DHEWD and the Office of Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning, we have achieved our goal in record time, but we aren’t stopping,” Governor Mike Parson said. “We appreciate all the employers, providers, and partners who have helped us achieve this success and recognize the immense value of these programs. Apprenticeships provide Missourians with quality skills and good-paying career paths, and we will continue to support and expand these opportunities in our state.”

Efforts to expand and increase quality apprenticeships throughout the state have been underway since the 2019 goal was set. Just this year, in February 2022, the department announced Project Eagle, a Registered Apprenticeship for Missouri National Guard members. In 2021, a department initiative focused on serving more diverse Missourians in workforce programs, including within apprenticeships. Missouri leads the nation in public sector apprenticeships.

Other growth in Apprenticeship Missouri is due to expanding industries and sectors offering apprenticeships, including a new program established in fall 2021, Missouri Industry-Recognized Credentials. Industries supporting apprenticeships include agribusiness, bioscience, construction, education, energy solutions, financial solutions, health sciences and services, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing, and transportation and logistics.

A 2022 initiative to work toward meeting department goals includes an initiative to expand Apprentice Ready programs, first launched in February 2021. A $1 million investment of federal funds was used to create certified pre-apprenticeship opportunities, supporting pathways to Registered Apprenticeships. Expansion of this program is currently underway.

Apprenticeship Missouri has increased its outreach and promotion, providing an Apprenticeship Playbook to help providers and employers understand the steps needed in order to create and implement programs. More than 140 hours of technical support were provided by the Apprenticeship Missouri team from 2020-2021. A partnership with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Apprentice Connect, helps match future apprentices with employers through an online portal. Each year for National Apprenticeship Week, the department hosts an Apprenticeship Summit to share best practices and successes. Thanks to these efforts and more, Missouri was able to meet its goal.

Learn more about Apprenticeship Missouri at https://dhewd.mo.gov/apprenticeship_missouri.php.

Casey’s kicks off its second summer of freedom sweepstakes with new instant win game and epic prizes

From Casey’s

Casey’s (NASDAQ: CASY) is putting the “free” in freedom again this summer. During the Summer of Freedom Sweepstakes, guests have the opportunity to win an epic summer adventure of their choice and free fuel for the summer. There are two ways to participate:

• Scratch, Match, and Win Game: Casey’s Rewards members can play Casey’s Scratch, Match, and Win game in the Casey’s app or online daily. Simply ‘scratch a match’ for a chance to win millions of free, instant prizes, like pizza slices and fountain drinks.

• Prize Drawings: Throughout the summer, qualifying purchases using a Casey’s Rewards account automatically enter guests into the weekly and monthly prize drawings to win one of four epic summer adventures or free fuel for the summer.

“Summertime is a ‘get out and have fun’ season that has people craving adventure, and Casey’s is your one-stop shop for everything you need. With our delicious pizza, grab-and-go food items and snacks, and cold drinks, Casey’s can fuel whatever your summer brings,” said Tom Brennan, Chief Merchandising Officer. “Want to make summer epic? Shop with Casey’s Rewards for a chance to win millions of prizes, including your choice of an outdoor adventure prize package or free fuel for the summer.”

The Adventure Begins at Casey’s

Casey’s Summer of Freedom Sweepstakes grand prize winners will have the opportunity to choose an epic summer adventure from the following grand prizes:

• Float Trip Excursion: Winners can pick a 7-day summer getaway trip to Meramec River Resort in southeast Missouri, along with up to 10 guests for a fun-filled floating trip. Kayak and raft rentals are included, plus expenses for food, travel and other float trip essentials.

• Lake Week Excursion: Live it up on the lake with a 7-day stay at Big Cedar Lodge in southwest Missouri. With a private cabin, fishing barge rental and lake cruise, it’s the perfect lake getaway to recharge this summer. Winners can bring up to 5 guests.

• Ultimate Backyard BBQ: Transform your backyard this summer with a new, Traeger grill, 8-seat patio dining set and more. This prize has all the fixings to host your friends and family, including smart speakers, a corn hole set and even an outdoor fridge for the outdoor BBQ space of everyone’s dreams.

• Backyard Adventures: Casey’s Summer of Freedom Sweepstakes winners can choose the Backyard Adventures option for a Canam Maverick Sport ATV, along with helmets to make for an unforgettable off-road experience.

Casey’s Summer of Freedom Sweepstakes: How it works

Casey’s Rewards members will be automatically entered to win a grand prize package or free fuel for the summer with each qualifying purchase. Beginning in May, there will be a drawing each month for an adventure package winner and each week for a free summer of fuel winner – creating a whole summer of fun.

Members will also have a chance to win an instant prize everyday by opening the app and playing the Scratch, Match and Win Game. Winners will receive a variety of prizes including free slices of pizza, snacks, drinks and bonus points.

More information on the Summer of Freedom Sweepstakes and official rules are located at www.caseys.com/summer. Casey’s is inviting all of its guests to make the most of this Summer of Freedom by joining Casey’s Rewards at caseys.com/rewards or in the Casey’s mobile app.

Council places property tax question to support Public Safety services on August 2 ballot

From the city of Joplin

Later this summer, Joplin voters will be asked whether they support a property tax to support and grow public safety services in our community. The City Council recently passed an ordinance to place a question on the August 2, 2022 ballot asking Joplin citizens if they would approve a property tax designated for “municipal public safety services” in Joplin. The question is titled Proposition Public Safety on the ballot.

City Manager Nick Edwards introduced the discussion during the May 16, 2022, Council meeting and reviewed the City’s history of working to improve wages for public safety. He opened the presentation by saying that those following the City’s conversations are familiar with the constraints the organization faces, however, others may not be aware of how the City has reached this point and the issues facing the community.

“Serving the businesses and citizens of Joplin is a point of pride for the City including the public safety professionals, and to have a vibrant community with a high quality of life and strong public safety services are essential.”

The Joplin Police Department has 16 openings but needs an additional 22 officers over and above that to meet nationally recognized law enforcement standards. The Joplin Fire Department has also experienced shortages in recent years.

“The City is faced with a significant shortage of officers to patrol and enforce the laws within the City,” he said. Even after positive improvements were made, extraordinary new challenges presented themselves. After Prop B, the City faced challenges brought on by the pandemic such as the ‘great resignation’ with people leaving the workforce. Like the private sector, this continues to impact the City in the same way. Following Prop Action, the City faced a new economic reality of increased costs and competition with increasing private-sector wages and opportunities. Behind every positive step, in the current environment, there is a seemingly bigger and more difficult step to make. Thankfully, past Councils and the citizens and businesses have responded to great challenges like this in the past.”

Joplin citizens will vote on Proposition Public Safety that would levy a property tax of $1 per every $100 of assessed value on all real and personal property. The funds generated would be designated to improve public safety services in Joplin. Currently, the City has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state at $0.1746. The majority of funding for the City’s current budget comes from a sales tax. In 2020, Joplin City Council established several goals including creating resilient revenue to improve city service, so as not to rely solely on sales tax revenues.

Mayor Doug Lawson recognizes the impact this issue has on residents, visitors, and the future of Joplin, saying, “We are competing with Police Departments across the country. This is a need that many other communities are also facing. This proposition would address staffing and pay issues that have been identified in independent resource allocation studies for each department. The reports showed needs, not wants, for the City to improve our public safety services. Investments are going to be critical if we are going to grow, and we’re not going to grow Joplin if people don’t want to move here or invest in Joplin with a new business if they don’t feel safe.”

At the close of his presentation, Edwards said, “I’ve had the fortune of working with great people from the FOP and the IAFF looking at the funding, but also the solutions,” and invited Tom Bowin, Treasurer of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 27 and Jeremie Humphrey, President of the Joplin Professional Firefighters Local 59, to provide their comments about the proposal.

Bowin began by stating that Joplin was not the only community facing these issues, as agencies are having to choose whether they lower hiring standards or cut services to their citizens while working to find some way to better attract qualified public safety applicants. He noted that Joplin has had a turnover rate of more than 34% each year for the past several years. The department should employ 110 sworn officers, although there are only 78 officers currently available on the street. This gap creates more work for those in the department as they take on additional responsibilities.

“It is our belief that the funding this plan will provide will take great leaps toward addressing these issues. And the proposed pay plan will make us competitive with similar agencies in the region and state. The FOP has spent years working with City leadership striving for a solution to our crisis. The City now has a plan designed to address the two most stated reasons why our officers are leaving,” referring to pay and workload.

Humphrey also addressed the Council noting the support of the IAFF members for Proposition Public Safety. “This is the plan that addresses our number one issue — pay. Let’s give the citizens the chance to say we support this plan.”

Proposition Public Safety

Shall the City Council of the City of Joplin, Missouri, be authorized to levy and impose annually for municipal public safety purposes upon all subjects and objects of taxation within its corporate limits a tax which shall not exceed the maximum rate of one dollar on the one hundred dollars assesses valuation?

More information about Proposition Public Safety will be posted on the City’s website at www.joplinmo.org/elections. Members of City staff and the Citizens Committee would also be available to talk with groups seeking more information. Please contact Lynn Onstot, Public Information, at 417-624-0820, ext. 1204, if interested in having them at your meeting.

Voter registration is open through July 6, 2022, to be eligible to vote for the August 2, 2022, election. Please contact the County Clerk’s office in your home county for more information.

CBCO proves giving blood is a “big deal” during the “Let’s Save A Life” campaign

From Community Blood Center of the Ozarks

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the sole supplier of blood and plasma to patients at 44 area healthcare facilities, is giving area blood donors a chance to win some exciting prizes when they donate during the all-new “Let’s Save A Life” promotion this summer.

Successful donors at any CBCO blood drive or donor center between June 1 and July 31, 2022, will be automatically entered into a weekly mystery prize drawing, which are valued at $200. Participants can earn an additional entry by following instructions in the CBCO online donor store. Donors will also receive an exclusive “Let’s Save A Life” blood drive T-shirt, while supplies last.

“Let’s Save A Life” is a powerful, easy-to-remember call to action that each of us have the ability to make a huge impact in the lives of our friends, neighbors and loved ones,” said Michelle Teter, CBCO Media Relations Representative. “You never know who your blood donation will benefit. It could be a cancer patient, new mother, traumatic accident or burn victims, but their exact identity will remain a mystery. We thought introducing mystery prizes would be a fun way to encourage some much-needed donations at a critical time of year. Of course, the real prize is saving lives.”

Each weekly winner will have the chance to make a “big deal” by deciding whether to keep their weekly prize or forego the prize and be entered to win the $5,000 MYSTERY GRAND PRIZE. CBCO will invite all weekly winners to a virtual event in August where they will spin a wheel, pick the grand prize winner, and reveal the grand prize.

For “Let’s Save A Life” promotion official rules, visit our website https://www.cbco.org/save.

Appointments are strongly encouraged for this blood drive but are not necessary. Make an appointment by calling 417-227-5006 or visit our website at https://www.cbco.org/donate-blood.

Donating blood is a BIG DEAL and there is no easier way to save a life than to give blood.

On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community.

The Carthage Chamber of Commerce is turning 90

From the Carthage Chamber of Commerce

The Carthage Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating its 90th birthday this Thursday, June 9th. In 1932 the Jasper County Circuit Court Division declared the Carthage Chamber of Commerce granted by the Court in the articles of agreement that “they are hereby created a body polite and corporated.”

The Carthage Chamber will be celebrating this Thursday June 9th from 11am-1pm at Central Park in Carthage, 714 S. Garrison, with a free hot dog feed to those that come out to celebrate. “We are so fortunate to have such an active Chamber here in our Carthage Community. We want to give back a little something to not only our business community but to the community for their loyal support to us for 90 years,” said Julie Reams, President of the Carthage Chamber. “There have been many leaders before me that have helped shape our Chamber to the way it is now. I am extremely grateful and honored that I get to be a part of the history of our Chamber. It’s exciting to be leading this amazing organization with new business opportunities to help foster our communities growth and to keep our current businesses thriving,” added Reams.

A proclamation will be presented to the Carthage Chamber by Senator Bill White’s office at 11am to commemorate this 90 year milestone. A few other awards will also be presented to community members and businesses that includes the recipient of the Athena International Award honoring a distinguished female leader in the Carthage Community, the Small Business of the Year Award, the Carthage Emerging Leader Award, the Carthage Community Enhancement Award and the Spotlight Award.

Carthage presents Eye of the Tiger Awards

From the Carthage School District

Last week, Eye of the Tiger Awards were presented to the individuals listed below in recognition of outstanding service and dedication to the Carthage R-9 School District and the students it serves.

Please join us in congratulating the 2021-2022 Eye of the Tiger recipients:

• Candy Harris, Technology — Administrative Support Services

• Lora McDaniel, Administrative Office — Custodial/Maintenance

• Jeff Kasperski, Transportation

• Heather Housh, Fairview Elementary — Instructional/Student Support Services

• Gina Taylor, Fairview Elementary — Food Service.