44 percent of small businesses nationwide cannot find employees to go to work for them, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
NFIB Missouri director Brad Jones tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that he expects the new Ranken Technical Center being built in fast-growing Ashland to relieve some of the labor shortages in central Missouri.
“My stepson is actually a Ranken graduate from over in St. Louis and he’s in construction. He can tell you firsthand how difficult it is to find these folks that can come in the trades,” Jones tells listeners.
Construction is progressing on the multi-million dollar Ranken campus, which is being built next to Salter Lawn Service near Highway 63. Ranken’s Ashland campus will focus on IT, construction, nursing and manufacturing. Ranken will also incorporate life skills into its curriculum, including work ethic and showing up on time.
Jones predicts Ranken Tech’s Ashland campus will lead to high-paying jobs for its graduates while also providing mid-Missouri businesses with skilled labor. He thinks it will be great for the entire region.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing. I’m glad that Ranken is doing it and those kind of jobs and I think for those kids that are going to come out of there, they’re going to be very, very pleased with the reception that they’re going to get from the business community,” says Jones.
Ranken Technical College president Don Pohl says Ranken didn’t choose Ashland, and that it was Ashland which chose Ranken. Pohl has said that the new facility is industry-driven.
Centralia’s AB Chance has donated $250,000 to Ranken’s Ashland project, describing the gift as a great way for them to give back to the community and help build a skilled workforce at the same time.