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Governor Nixon Announces MoHealthWINs Program

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon visited Ozarks Technical Community College on Wednesday to announce a new program that will train 4,600 unemployed Missourians for new jobs in the healthcare field. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe reports.

The MoHealthWINs program, backed by a $20 million federal grant, will support Missouri’s 12 public community colleges and their healthcare related programs. OTC will offer Maintenance Technician, Hearing Instrument Specialist, and Information Technology programs, all through accelerated training in an effort to get students employed as soon as possible.

“All of these tie together in an integrated state effort, with our network of community colleges developing collaborative and targeted programs that will capitalize on the unique resources of each college. Colleges will share equipment and faculty, emphasize online and distance learning, and take other steps to avoid duplication, to save money and ultimately to ensure that when folks graduate from a Missouri community college, they are prepared for work and for success,” Nixon said.

OTC will oversee the total state grant, as well as receiving $1.6 million to train almost 500 unemployed workers. Nixon says Missouri won in the competitive grant process over other states, and he looks forward to its economic future.

“These colleges are truly special places that prepare students to excel in the jobs of tomorrow, traditional and non-traditional students. The future of this institution, the success of our young people, and the prosperity of our state are all intertwined, and through the MoHealthWINs initiative, we are on very solid ground,” Nixon said.

Online courses, distance learning and other tools will be used to fit the busy schedules of adult students. And while Nixon isn’t sure yet what salaries new hires can expect to make, he says he’s confident that graduates of these accelerated healthcare programs will be hired immediately and earn competitive wages. For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.