The St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) Downtown location recently hosted a press conference on behalf of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. The event took place on August 12, 2011, before members of the St. Louis Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and SLATE staff tasked with matching unemployed and displaced workers with new jobs within a volatile economic and budgetary climate. McCaskill relayed the input she had gathered from a variety of Missouri businesses and proposed the steps needed to help them create and fill more jobs.
The businesses Senator McCaskill has visited were primarily manufacturing and agricultural companies in Perryville, Jackson, Sikeston, O'Fallon, Troy, Earth City, Lee's Summit, Sedalia, and St. Louis. The Senator found that many business leaders agreed on ways to expand business and job opportunities across the state and stop jobs from being shipped overseas. This will entail compromises at the federal level, the enforcement of fair labor standards, and providing incentives to businesses to help them train the skilled workforce they will need to stay competitive in a global economy.
McCaskill praised One-Stop Career Centers, such as SLATE, as the best way for businesses to connect with job seekers. SLATE helps to close the gap between industry specific hiring needs and the local workforce by providing job re-training and free services that help our customers transition to new careers. However, she expressed concern that there are many duplicative services at the federal level regarding workforce training. Senator McCaskill emphasized that SLATE and similar organizations need and deserve Congressional support in order to continue to serve its local community effectively. McCaskill said she intends to do whatever she can to streamline the services and increase their efficiency to help more Missouri employers and job seekers.
A related discussion about employment and skills training took place at the Workforce Development Open House held at SLATE's Central West End location on August 15. The Open House welcomed U.S. and local legislators to discuss SLATE's many programs and services with both WIB members and staff. State Senator Joseph Keaveny, State Representative Tishaura Jones, Deputy Director for Senator McCaskill Mattie Moore attended.
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment