The Department of Economic Development's Division of Workforce Development announced today the award of $5.1 million to 186 companies across Missouri to help train workers for new and existing positions.

The Department of Economic Development’s Division of Workforce Development announced today the award of $5.1 million to 186 companies across Missouri to help train workers for new and existing positions.

“Not only will this funding help Missouri workers gain new skills, it delivers value to Missouri businesses in an area of critical need — the availability of a quality workforce,” Governor Mike Parson said. “By helping businesses train new and existing workers, we’re helping them stay competitive and remain here in Missouri.”

The funding comes from the state’s Customized Training program, which helps small, medium and large businesses to grow by providing training to new and existing workers.

Through the latest round of funding, the program will train a total of 17,090 workers, 1,202 in newly created jobs and 15,888 in existing positions.

“This program has helped us remain competitive in our industry,” Tim Tuohy, Machine Center, Inc. said. “Manufacturing is a very competitive industry, and the global market makes it increasingly more difficult to remain so. Additional training has helped us to be more cost-effective and quality conscious. That gives us an advantage over the competition.”

Machine Center is a family-owned full service machine shop that’s operated for nearly 55 years in the St. Louis area.

Missouri’s customized training program allows companies the flexibility to choose their training provider, but the program is administered by Missouri’s community and technical colleges.

"The Customized Training Program is an invaluable asset for Missouri’s community and technical colleges, primarily because of the strong relationships they hold with their community employers," Brian Millner, President and CEO of the Missouri Community College Association said. "Together these partnerships result in timely, flexible, and cost-effective job training resources as they address Missouri businesses’ varying training needs. The program also ensures that Missouri’s workforce receives state of the art skills training required to retain their jobs and be competitive in the labor market."

“Our employees can participate in training classes that would not be possible without the funding we receive from Missouri Customized Training,” Matthew Kays with Kays Engineering, Inc. in Marshall said. “This not only improves our productivity and profitability, but it also makes our employees more educated, more productive, and more valuable. A more skilled and productive workforce is key to attracting manufacturers from all over the country and the world.”

For a complete list of the companies that will receive funding through the latest customized training award, visit their website.