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UCM Staff Members Share Information with State Representatives about Efforts to Prepare Students for the Workforce and Provide Skilled Talent for Businesses Through Innovative Programs

By Janice Phelan, May 15, 2024

UCM Staff at Capitol Hearing.

UCM staff members presenting in Jefferson City included (from left, front row) David Pearce, Clarinda Dir, Stan Elliott and Dr. Laurel Hogue.


Missouri General Assembly leaders recently heard how the University of Central Missouri is preparing students to excel in today’s work environment by collaborating with business partners and accelerating degree completion all while maintaining academic rigor and providing well-qualified workers for Missouri companies.


A group of UCM officials presented information to the Missouri House Workforce and Infrastructure Development Committee May 8 in Jefferson City. UCM representatives involved in the discussion included Clarinda Dir, Workforce and Professional Education manager; Stan Elliott, Missouri Innovation Campus program director; Dr. Laurel Hogue, vice provost for Online and Learning Engagement; and David Pearce, UCM director for governmental relations. Also attending the meeting was Cade Tremain, a 2023 UCM graduate who is currently public relations coordinator on the Outreach Team for the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD).  


“This was a great opportunity for the UCM Lee's Summit campus to showcase their successful programs in meeting workforce needs for the state of Missouri,” Pearce said. “We appreciate the chance to appear before the House Workforce and Infrastructure Development Committee.”

Highlights of the well-received presentation included the Missouri Innovation Campus program, a unique partnership involving both industry and students from area high schools; UCM’s Aerospace Academy; the university’s School of Nursing, with classrooms and state-of-the- art simulation labs located at UCM’s Lee’s Summit campus; and the Center for Workforce and Professional Education, a non-credit and certificate training program also located at the Lee’s Summit facility.    


“The team is super appreciative of Rep. Riggs and the committee for their invitation to share our programs and engage in dialogue about the importance of working with K-12 school districts to reduce the overall cost of college and time to degree,” Hogue said. “We are thankful for the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District who are invaluable partners in the Missouri Innovation Campus.”

During the presentation, General Assembly members learned how UCM has successfully addressed the area’s need for a highly skilled workforce while helping keep top talent in our state. The team also discussed the university’s effective use of partnerships with businesses to provide impactful internship opportunities as well as the innovative way UCM joined with the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District to share space and resources at the Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit.


The state officials were especially interested in UCM’s efforts to train workers for high-needs areas such as healthcare, information technology and cybersecurity while also offering certificate programs designed to help students begin a new career or advance in their current job.


“I love that we are creating options for people who are incredibly smart and talented but the regular school schedule is not for them,” said Missouri Rep. Bridget Walsh Moore (D-93) about UCM’s industry-recognized certificate programs.

The UCM team was invited to speak to the House committee by Missouri Rep. Louis Riggs (R-5), committee chairman.


To view the complete UCM presentation, select this link and then click on the May 8 meeting. For more information about UCM’s programs, select these links:

Missouri Innovation Campus programWorkforce and Professional EducationSchool of Nursing and Department of Aviation.


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