The MPUA Resource Services Corporation (MPUA-RSC) has been awarded a $1,142,145 ARPA Workforce Training Grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED). MPUA-RSC will be able to offer additional vocational training in the utility field. The benefit of this funding will be a more skilled workforce and filling open positions with Missouri hometown utilities.
The grant program was mentioned by Governor Parson in his State of the State Address on Jan. 18, and DED announced individual grant recipients on Jan.24. MPUA’s programs for utility worker training focus on the recruiting and training needs of municipal water, wastewater, natural gas, broadband and electric utilities. The training will benefit at least 150 people and will be targeted towards people in these counties: Butler, Barry, Barton, Crawford, Dent, Dunklin, Howell, Johnson, Livingston, Marion, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Phelps, Randolph, Scott, Shannon, Texas, and Wright.
“MPUA is grateful to Governor Parson and his administration for recognizing the important role of Missouri’s hometown utilities and their workforce needs,” said John Twitty, President and CEO of MPUA. “Hometown utilities require highly-skilled, high-quality jobs that keeps its workforce local, raising the quality of life in our local communities.”
Hometown utilities in Missouri, like much of the utility industry, are experiencing labor shortages and an aging workforce that will soon retire. To help combat these issues, MPUA will use project funding to further advance its training to assist individuals who seek higher wages and career advancement and create a pipeline of industry professionals for municipally-owned utilities in Missouri.
Funding for Missouri’s Workforce Training Grant program comes from Missouri’s share of federal funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The grant program helps employers address workforce disruptions stemming from the pandemic, funding projects to recruit and train individuals who are seeking jobs that provide better opportunity for economic advancement.