When it comes to preparing local residents for 21st century jobs, State Fair Community College is not waiting for someone else to provide a blueprint. SFCC is drafting its own vision, and is picking up some significant support along the way.
The college has partnered with ProEnergy Services, KCP&L and Waste Corporation of Missouri on the Missouri Center for Waste to Energy. When the Waste to Energy project was announced, we used this space to applaud the vision of local officials who developed a road map to create the project, but we cautioned that it would be just a vision if funding could not be secured to turn it into a reality.
On Thursday, Gov. Jay Nixon came to Sedalia to announce that SFCC had been awarded a $718,500 Training for Tomorrow grant — providing the seed of an idea the water it needs to grow. The grant will fund an alternative energy curriculum, including research, training and other programs to help prepare local students for jobs in emerging energy fields.
In announcing the grant, Nixon said, “Our need for greener, cheaper, homegrown energy sources only continues to grow, and SFCC is taking a dynamic leading role to train workers to meet that demand.” He went on to say that the college’s partnership with local industries was a solid bridge that would take students from campus to work force.
“(H)aving employers help (SFCC) help design the training programs almost guarantees (students) will have jobs at the end of the process,” the governor said.
We are hopeful that his projection is accurate.
The Training for Tomorrow grant will not be enough to ensure success for the Missouri Center for Waste to Energy, but it is a solid starting point. The project is now on the map and moving in the right direction.
SFCC and those backing the Waste to Energy project should celebrate this victory, and we are hopeful that they will be able to celebrate more as they pursue a path to greater opportunity for the Sedalia area and its residents.