March 13, 2007
For more information, contact:
Bonnie J. Prigge, (573) 265-2993
MRPC LEARNS ABOUT JOB TRAINING RESOURCES,
JOB LAYOFFS IN THE REGION
ST. JAMES—Persons looking for work and needing training to find work as well as employers who need assistance in training workers have many resources available to them, Jan Vaughn, executive director of the Central Region Workforce Investment Board (C-WIB) told the board of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission. The MRPC board met in regular session March 8. Some 41 people attended the meeting.
Vaughn explained that C-WIB is the administrative agent that provides funding for a variety of job training and employment services for both workers and employers. The C-WIB contracts with Central Ozarks Private Industry Council to provide services in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps and Washington counties, with Lake of the Ozarks Employment Services for services in Pulaski and four other counties, and with Central Missouri Community Action, for services in Osage County and seven other counties.
One of the programs of interest to the commission was the Rapid Response program, which assists permanently laid off workers to re-enter the workforce. Since July 1, 2006, 26 companies have laid off 1,285 people in the 19-county area served by the C-WIB. Nine of the those companies—and 659 employees—are in the Meramec Region. Briggs and Stratton, Rolla, has had two separate layoffs, displacing 359 workers. Some 250 workers lost their jobs in Cuba when Affinia Brake Parts announced its plant closure. Of the eight Meramec counties, only Osage, Maries and Washington counties posted no Rapid Response job losses, according to information provided by Vaughn. When job losses are reported to the Rapid Response program, workers are then provided information on a variety of programs to help them become re-employed.
In other businesses, the MRPC board:
Learned that MRPC and the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste District will be providing environmental education assemblies in seven schools in the seven-county solid waste district. The assemblies, to be led by Environmental Educator Stan Slaughter, will be scheduled at the beginning of the next school year;
Heard a report from Tammy Snodgrass on the chemistry lab pilot clean-up program, which was offered to five school districts interested in properly disposing of dangerous, outdated chemicals and learning about new alternatives for chemistry classes. Meramec Regional Planning Commission, using a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, worked with private contractors to dispose of hazardous chemicals and provide information on the proper storage of chemicals to school staff;
Discussed the upcoming board retreat, planned later this spring. The board will review MRPC’s mission statement and provide information on planning, developing, implementing and managing grant-funded projects. MRPC will be accepting proposals
Heard a loan board report from At-Large Commissioner for Lending Tom Klebba. MRPC staff are currently closing 10 loans through the programs offered by Meramec Regional Development Corp., Klebba said, and some 35 lenders recently attended a workshop on Small Business Administration loans, which was hosted by MRPC and
Learned that the Meramec Employment Committee will be hosting a Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m on March 27 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Cuba. Some 24 companies are expected to participate in the Job Fair;
Learned that the External Relations Committee will be requesting nominations for two at-large positions: emergency management and transportation. Dawn Warren of Gasconade County serves as the at-large emergency management commissioner, and due to time restraints, is unable to attend meetings. Decky Finn of Vienna, who served as MRPC’s transportation commissioner and chairman of MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee, passed away March 3. The board observed a moment of silence in honor of Finn, who had served on the MRPC since 2002, first representing aging and then transportation;
Heard a report from MRPC Assistant Director Bonnie Prigge on MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee, which was established in August 1994 to advise MRPC on the transportation issues. Prigge explained the responsibilities of the committee and the board and highlighted the transportation accomplishments that have been achieved in partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation; and
Recognized and honored Steve Mueller of Hermann, who retired from full-time employment as city administrator of Hermann. Mueller represented the city of Hermann on the MRPC board since 2005. (See related story.)
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 24, directed by the 52-member MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities. More information is available online at www.meramecregion.org.
The group will meet again April 12 at the MRPC office, 4 Industrial Drive, St. James, MO. Meetings are open to the public.