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Parson promotes Work Ready communities with visit to Nichols Career Center


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson recognized and promoted Missouri’s Work Ready communities while touring the Nichols Career Center in Jefferson City Thursday. 

The Nichols Career Center offers 12 different programs to its students; agriculture education, broadcast media, collision repair, culinary arts, health sciences, mechatronics, auto technology, building trades, computer technology, graphic design, and HVAC, as well as welding. 

“These kids are learning a trade. Not only are they learning here in school, they’re actually getting to go out as an apprenticeship and put that in practical experiences. You can’t beat that,” Parson told reporters Thursday. “If they can get that underneath their belts, and when they graduate — and they may need a little bit more certificate or training to go through — but businesses will recognize what these schools are doing preparing these kids, and they’re going to give the opportunity for a job.” 

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“Almost everything we looked at whether automobiles, carpentry, whether its health care, whether its IT, whether its graphic design, all of those things are in big demand,” Parson said. 

The Nichols Career Center is part of the ACT Work Ready, a national program that provides a community-based structure linking workforce development and education, aligning with the economic development needs of the community, and matching individuals to jobs based on skill levels. Cole County has had Work Ready status since 2016. 

Parson also applauded school administrators for their efforts in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and keeping in-person learning.

“These school administrators have done an excellent job preparing these schools and making sure these kids can still go to school,” Parson said. “When you go in there and see some of the things they’ve done to protect those students, whether it be shields or whether it be masks … the administrators that have kids set back in seats are just doing an excellent job.”