Mizzou vice chancellor for Extension Marshall Stewart (at podium) prepares to introduce Governor Mike Parson on October 26, 2021 in Ashland (photo courtesy of Southern Boone R-1 spokesman Matt Sharp)

Missouri’s governor: Ashland tech center will create a pipeline of skilled workers in region

Mizzou vice chancellor for Extension Marshall Stewart (at podium) prepares to introduce Governor Mike Parson on October 26, 2021 in Ashland (photo courtesy of Southern Boone R-1 spokesman Matt Sharp)

About 80 people from six mid-Missouri counties attended Tuesday’s workforce summit in Ashland, where they discussed a planned new tech center to meet the region’s need for more skilled workers.

Southern Boone R-1 Superintendent Chris Felmlee says the new center will focus on IT, construction, nursing and manufacturing.

“And these are great paying jobs. As a teacher, I would have loved that opportunity and that kind of a paycheck. But seriously, these are great careers, high-demand and very stable financially,” Felmlee says.

The superintendent hopes to open the new technical center by the fall of 2023. The Ashland community has raised $2.3 million of its $3 million campaign goal.

“Lots of great things are happening. We’ve got a new foundation for the school district so that encourages investment, because they’re (donors) able to write that off as a tax write-off,” says Felmlee.

Governor Mike Parson delivered opening remarks on Tuesday, predicting that Ashland’s tech center will create a pipeline of skilled workers in the area.

The Southern Boone R-1 district, city of Ashland and Ranken Tech are collaborating to build the center.

The project has received a $4-million federal grant.

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