When U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez visits MCC’s Business & Technology campus Aug. 18, a stop on his “Shared Prosperity for a Stronger America” tour leading up to Labor Day, there will be a lot of talk about the “Mo” grants.
Do you know what the “Man” in the MoManWINs grant stands for? How about STEM in MoSTEMWINs? And why’s it all about WINning? Here are those answers and a few more facts:
+ The three MoWINs grants were awarded to a consortium of Missouri two-year colleges, including Metropolitan Community College, starting in 2011.
+ The grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the Department of Education. The federal grant program is called TAACCCT, which stands for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training. The intent behind the grants: to ensure that community colleges are well-positioned to serve workers displaced due to jobs shifting overseas.
+ Through TAACCCT, $2 billion over four years goes to community colleges and other higher-ed institutions to deliver education and career training that can be completed in two years or less. Targeted workers include those who are unemployed or underemployed, as well as veterans. The goal is to give workers “the skills, degrees and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment while also meeting the needs of employers for skilled workers.”
+ The first of the MoWINs grants was MoHealthWINs, announced in 2011, followed by MoManufacturingWINs (also called MoManWINs) in 2012 and MoSTEMWINs in late 2014. In case you’re wondering, WIN stands for Workforce Innovation Networks. STEM, as you may know, refers to science-technology-engineering-math.
Details on each of the three grants:
Of approximately $20 million in MoHealthWINs funds distributed statewide, MCC received about $3 million to retrain people for jobs in the healthcare industry. As with the two grant programs that would follow, tuition assistance was available for qualified target participants. At MCC, MoHealthWINs students could choose from four career paths: environmental services, healthcare information technology, computer support specialist and certified nursing assistant. MCC trained 888 participants through the grant program, which is now completed.
MCC received $1.8 million to launch the MoManufacturingWINs program here. Statewide, $14.9 million in funds were distributed. At MCC, participants could choose from four career paths: welding, ABB Robotics industrial maintenance, computer-integrated machining and manufacturing (CIMM), and warehouse logistics. MoManWINs enables students to earn industry-recognized credentials that validate their mastery of skills in specific areas of manufacturing. MoManWINs training at MCC continues through the end of 2015 and has served 457 participants to date.
One reason for MoManWINs’ success at Metropolitan Community College: collaboration with the business community. For instance, the MCC-Business & Technology campus established partnerships with more than two dozen area manufacturers to address a critical shortage of trained machinists in Greater Kansas City. The companies offered guidance on curricular changes and paid internships for successful students.
As part of the MoSTEMWINs grant, MCC received about $2.7 million to train long-term unemployed and other dislocated workers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. About $15 million was distributed to colleges statewide for training (MCC was the lead fiscal institution).
Another $5 million went to Missouri to create an integrated data reporting system for noncredit workforce development students. That system will allow the state to track information such as rates of program completion, job placement and salaries.
MCC is offering participants a medical assistant program – the first cohort, or group of students, started in June – as well as supplemental instruction for CSIS (computer science and information systems) students, to increase successful completion of classes and prepare them to pass industry certification exams. MCC expects to serve 190 students through MoSTEMWINs. Training continues through 2018.
+ Thanks to these Department of Labor grants, MCC has in some cases created new training programs and in others enhanced existing programs. The medical assistant program funded by MoSTEMWINs and the environmental services/sterile processing training funded by MoHealthWINs are examples of newly developed programs. The ABB Robotics industrial maintenance program was developed through MoManWINs at the request of an MCC employer partner.
+ MCC officials also point out that for the MoWINs training, the College developed “intrusive” advising strategies. Instead of students having to reach out for help, instructors quickly and proactively identify participants who are having difficulties. Other initiatives have included student progress reports and success plans, employability skills training, employer outreach and job placement assistance.