The MPUA Resource Services Corporation has been awarded a $1.1 million American Rescue Plan Act workforce training grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Public Utility Alliance said on Jan. 25.
As a result of the grant, the MPUA Resource Services Corporation, which provides services for public power electric, wastewater, natural gas, water, and broadband utilities in Missouri and surrounding areas, will be able to offer additional vocational training in the utility field. The benefit of this funding will be a more skilled workforce and filling open positions with Missouri public power utilities, MPUA said.
The grant program was mentioned by Missouri Governor Mike Parson in his State of the State Address on Jan. 18, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development announced individual grant recipients on Jan. 24.
MPUA’s programs for utility worker training focus on the recruiting and training needs of municipal water, wastewater, natural gas, broadband and electric utilities. The training will benefit at least 150 people.
MPUA noted that public power utilities in Missouri, like much of the utility industry, are experiencing labor shortages and an aging workforce that will soon retire.
To help combat these issues, MPUA will use project funding to further advance its training to assist individuals who seek higher wages and career advancement and create a pipeline of industry professionals for municipally-owned utilities in Missouri.
Funding for Missouri’s Workforce Training Grant program comes from Missouri’s share of federal funding under ARPA.