“We pushed for everyone to get the four year degree and we’ve lost track of skilled labor. There is a shortage that we want to correct in Central Missouri,” said Dave Westhoff, Southern Boone County Economic Development. 

The Southern Boone County School District and local Economic Development have been in discussions with Ranken Technical College to provide education and training, in order to prepare students for employment in technical careers. 

Several local school and business leaders met at SoBoCo Central Office on Friday, November 15, to brainstorm about how to design a satellite campus of Ranken Technical College. Some of those in attendance include: Representative Sara Walsh, Senator Caleb Rowdan, Steve Walsh from Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler’s office, MU healthcare, Ameren, REDI of Columbia and the regional planning commission. 

“We have had several tours [to Ranken], and we want to keep the momentum going,” said Superintendent Chris Felmlee.

The possible partnership with Ranken Technical College will influence the Southern Boone School District’s educational programs with the addition of STEM curriculum and industry experiences from sixth grade through twelfth grade.

“This is important for Southern Boone and the Mid-Missouri area, not only for our students but the adults in the community. I believe in the education and reeducation for adults as well,” said Felmlee. 

Currently, Southern Boone is focusing on instruction in medical, agriculture technology and business, advanced manufacturing and construction trades

“We will have additional meetings with Ranken personnel and they will help us to define what the needs are and how to create the programs. Again, this is not just for high school students this is for adults as well,” said Felmlee. 

~ There’s more to the story in today’s Journal ~

By Carson Blake

Photo: Brenda Ravenscraft, of Ashland’s Skyline Cafe is getting prepared for her Thanksgiving Day Donation Dinner to the Welcome Home project.