State Technical College of Missouri is the nation's third best in its category, Forbes Magazine reported this week.
The ranking is part of an article published Thursday, titled "The Top 25 Two-Year Trade Schools: Colleges That Can Solve The Skills Gap."
"We have received numerous national accolades, but this one is pretty cool. I suspect many people don't recognize we have one of the very best technical colleges in the country in Linn," State Tech President Shawn Strong said in a statement Friday. " ... It means a lot when a company, as well respected as Forbes, recognizes our dedication to career and workforce education."
John Klebba, president of Linn-based Legends Bank and long-time president of State Tech's Board of Regents, told the News Tribune in a statement: "The Forbes ranking is unbelievably good news about where State Tech is nationally in terms of quality of instruction and the satisfaction level of the companies that employ our graduates. It is a tribute to all of the employees of the college, past and present, who have contributed their talents to make State Tech what it is today."
Forbes' rankings were based on a number of factors, including post-graduation success (37.5 percent of the ranking), affordability (25 percent), completion or graduation success (20 percent), and student experience (17.5 percent).
"These are all areas where State Tech excels. We are an incredible workforce development asset for the state of Missouri," Strong said. "A student who chooses State Tech will, more than likely graduate and get a good paying job, while meeting the most critical needs of employers. I am confident when it comes to workforce development that no one does it better than State Tech."
The magazine noted this is its second year for the trade schools study.
"The 25 schools on the list cover a myriad of careers that need workers," the magazine's story explained, "and in high-paying, high-growth areas, such as aircraft maintenance, funeral services, dental hygiene and drafting."
The story begins with the familiar scenario of high school seniors talking with their friends and families about their post-high school options.
"Four-year schools are good fits for many students, but the notion that they're the best one for all students is downright wrong," the Forbes Magazine story reported. "As high-tech machines continue to disrupt how things are made, and as workforces age in many technical fields, there are vital jobs opening up that academics just can't fill. Highly-skilled and well-trained workers are needed, and the country is home to top-notch technical schools ready to fill that need."
Strong told the magazine: "We are here for one purpose - I wouldn't even say to get students jobs, but to start students' careers. That's all we do."
Forbes said 60 percent of the Top 25 schools are in the Midwest. State Tech is the only school listed from Missouri.
Among Missouri's eight neighboring states, three of the Top 25 schools on the list are in Kansas, one is in Iowa, and one is in Nebraska.