Missouri Colleges & Universities Work Toward “Big Goal” for Higher Education

The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development (MDHEWD) has been steadily tracking progress toward the “Big Goal,” a pledge initially adopted in 2011 for 60 percent of working-age adults in the state to hold a degree or certificate by 2025. Missouri’s colleges and universities are making significant progress toward achieving the Big Goal by increasing completions and graduation rates. Minority graduation rates have also improved statewide over the past five years.

“We commend the work Missouri colleges and universities are doing to make tremendous strides toward Missouri’s Big Goal,” said Zora Mulligan, Missouri’s Commissioner of Higher Education. “There is still plenty of room for improvement so we will continue to work with our institutions to increase enrollment and completion rates throughout the state.”

By working towards the “Big Goal,” Missouri is ensuring that businesses across the state have access to the highly-skilled and innovative talent that they need. Through programs in higher education and apprenticeships, Missouri is becoming one of the best states in the nation for top talent.

In fact, Missouri ranks second in the U.S. for completed apprenticeships according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor.

More than 3,800 people completed apprenticeships in Missouri during fiscal 2019, securing the state’s position as a top location for apprenticeship programs. What’s more, Missouri ranked second in the country for the highest number of new apprentices, with nearly 11,000 registered in the state.

“While we continue to have more than 12,000 registered apprentices in our skilled trades, we’re now adding three and four-thousand apprentices a year in areas like IT and education and advanced manufacturing,” said Dr. Mardy Leathers, Missouri’s Director of Workforce Development.

These services make it easier for Missourians to take advantage of career opportunities that higher education and apprenticeships provide. Additionally, they help businesses find high-quality job candidates and help workers find good-paying jobs.

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