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Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order Tuesday, creating a state office for apprenticeships and work-based learning.

Before signing the order, Parson was at the Apprenticeship Missouri Summit in Columbia, where — during National Apprenticeship Week — he commended the state’s second in the nation ranking for new and completed apprenticeships, according to a news release from Parson’s office.

Missouri reached 10,000 new Registered Apprenticeships for fiscal year 2019, and had 3,614 completed apprenticeships in fiscal year 2019.

Registered Apprenticeships are an “earn while you learn” training model that increases apprentices’ pay as they advance to higher productivity levels, under the supervision of a trained professional.

“Apprenticeships play a critical role in our efforts to develop a workforce that is prepared to meet the demands of the future,” Parson said.

He added, “We are proud to be leading the nation in apprenticeships, and we will continue working to increase apprenticeship opportunities, strengthen our workforce, and give Missourians the skills and on-the-job training they need to be successful.”

Parson’s executive order created the Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning within the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

The office’s goal will be to grow the number of participants in apprenticeships and other work-based learning experiences to 20,000 by 2025. The state currently has 15,189 active apprentices in 472 registered programs, involving more than 3,600 employers.

The office will also “engage and coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor to expand federal apprenticeship opportunities in Missouri, specifically targeting emerging industries and diverse populations. OAWBL will also work with all state agencies to implement apprenticeship programs and other similar earn-and-learn programs,” according to the news release from Parson’s office.

On the web:

More information about Missouri Registered Apprenticeships is available at jobs.mo.gov/content/moapprenticeships.

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