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AIM supports Workforce Diplomas and hands-on learning experiences

March 22, 2022 - On Tuesday, AIM president and CEO Ray McCarty testified in favor of two Senate bills in front of the Senate Education Committee, SB 957 and SB 1051.

SB 957

Senate Bill 957 introduced by Senator Jason Bean establishes the "Workforce Diploma Program" to assist students in obtaining a high school diploma and in developing employability and career and technical skills.

This bill states that before August 16, 2023, and annually each year after, the Department shall issue a request for applications for interested program providers to become approved providers to participate in the program. Applications must include evidence that such interested provider meets certain criteria set forth in the act, including having at least two years of experience providing adult dropout recovery services. The Department then must announce approved program providers prior to October 16 each year, and approved program providers shall begin enrolling students before November 15 each year.

"We support this additional way to educate workers and prepare them for some of the job openings we have right now," said McCarty in his testimony.

The Department shall then pay approved program providers amounts set forth in the act for the completion of certain milestones by students. However, no program provider shall receive funding for a student if such provider already receives federal or state funding or private tuition for such student.

The committee took no action during the hearing. We will update you on any future action.


Senate Bill 1051 introduced by Senator Rick Brattin establishes the "Extended Learning Opportunities Act". The bill would allow school districts to provide students credit for out-of-classroom learning experiences.

This bill states that beginning with the 2023-24 school year, the State Board of Education and each local school board shall routinely inform students and parents of the ability to earn credit through extended learning opportunities, which the act defines as out-of-classroom learning experiences approved by the State Board, a school board, or a charter school to provide enrichment, career readiness skills, or other approved educational opportunities.

This would help better prepare students to be more work ready and have a better grip on what they want to do when they are finished with school.

"This bill is in line with the Missouri Center for Manufacturing Excellence Connecting Students with Careers program we have been promoting for a number of years," said McCarty. "We have been talking about CAPS programs and other programs that help provide hands-on learning experiences for students so they may determine their career path and the training necessary to realize their career goals."

The committee took no action during the hearing. We will update you on any future action.



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