Community resources to create a system that helps move people to prosperity

by Francine Pratt, Unite Contributing Writer Springfield MO— Prosper Springfield builds relationships and aligns community resources to create a system that helps move people to prosperity. Every month, we will provide the community with information about resources and services available in Springfield. This month we feature the new Change 1,000 Skills Academy. Change 1,000 is a new job-training program led by the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board and it is administered through the Missouri Job Center. The Academy’s goal is to create job training opportunities for 1,000 individuals over the next three years in manufacturing, construction, transportation/logistics, Information Technology, and health care industries. The Academy is designed to close the skills gap and create career pathways for individuals who have limited skills because they have been unemployed or under employed or have not had access to good jobs and resources. The priority for the Academy is to recruit people who reside in northwest Springfield. Each class will have a maximum of 30 students with classes during the day and in the evening. The outcome of the Academy is for participants to become equipped with the skills needed to compete for good jobs that pay between $10 per hour and $17 per hour. There are four phases for the Skills Academy: Soft Skill Training, Technical Skill Training, Job Readiness and Job Placement. Students will also earn certified and accredited competencies and complete training in Personal and Business Finance, Family Support, Mentorship Support Services, Personal Development, Health and Wellness, Barrier Removal and Remediation (when needed). Competencies in basic industrial safety, OSHA certification and basic computer skills will be offered as well. The Missouri Job Center has partnered with local colleges and training providers to develop the training materials.  The Missouri Job Center will screen and make referrals to the industry partners and host hiring events to help connect graduates from the Academy to job opportunities. Some of the industry partners include Partnership Industrial Center East (PIC East), Buckhorn, Springfield Sign, Cintas, John Deere Reman and other businesses. For more information on this new program contact the Ozark Region Workforce Development Board located at 2900 E. Sunshine, Springfield, MO 417-887-4343 or the new Job Center located at 1443 N. Robberson (Cox North Tower), Springfield 417-874-2730. For more information about Prosper Springfield, contact Francine Pratt at 417-888-2020.