Gov. Jay Nixon has been appointed to a two-year term on the board of directors of Achieve, a group composed exclusively of governors and top business leaders that is responsible for guiding Achieve in its mission to ensure that all U.S. students graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary success.
"Gov. Jay Nixon's focus on the importance of an educated workforce for economic development makes him an important asset to Achieve's Board of Directors," said Michael Cohen, Achieve's president. "Achieve is dedicated to ensuring students have the skills needed to be ready for college and careers. Gov. Nixon has made this a priority in Missouri, and we look forward to his leadership and insight on our board."
Created in 1996 by the nation's governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization based in Washington, D.C., leading the effort to make college and career readiness a national priority.
"It is an honor to join this outstanding group of bipartisan governors and industry leaders as we work toward our shared goal of aligning the education and skills learned in the classroom with the demands of today's economy," said Gov. Nixon. "In Missouri, we've worked with employers to identify those training opportunities that support economic growth. Through our continued emphasis on college and career readiness, Missouri is making a wise investment in our schools, our workforce and our future."
Last week, Gov. Nixon announced that his administration is soliciting applications for $10 million in competitive grants to establish Innovation Campuses throughout the state. Innovation Campuses pair local colleges and universities with area businesses to train more workers with specific skills and to prepare students for career opportunities in high-demand fields.
Innovation Campus students will enroll in college courses while still in high school, and then participate in high-impact apprenticeships throughout the college curriculum. Corporate partners will underwrite tuition scholarships, and faculty and employers will partner to guide each student. The grant funding provided by Gov. Nixon's administration will also help to underwrite these apprenticeships and cover costs associated with on-the-job training for the students.
Additionally, under Gov. Nixon's leadership, Missouri has established four new higher-education programs specifically designed to train students for rewarding careers that exist today: Caring for Missourians; Training for Tomorrow; the Nurse Training Initiative; and MoHealthWINS.
Caring for Missourians is a $40 million initiative that was launched in the fall of 2009 by Gov. Nixon to increase the number of nurses, physicians, dentists and other health professionals being educated at Missouri's public colleges and universities.
The $12 million Training for Tomorrow grants program initiated by Gov. Nixon works to educate Missourians for careers in growing industries. Under Training for Tomorrow, member institutions of the Missouri Community College Association will develop and expand programs to train Missourians in high-demand technical fields.
Through a partnership with the Missouri State Board of Nursing, the Nurse Training Initiative is a $3 million effort to increase the number of nurse educators and licensed nurses in Missouri over the next three years. The program will provide $1 million in grants each year in Fiscal Years 2012, 2013 and 2014. The grants are funded by revenue generated from nursing license fees collected by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. Public and private colleges and universities are eligible to apply for grants of up to $150,000 per institution per year to hire additional faculty, purchase vital educational equipment or offer scholarships.
MoHealthWINS was established by Gov. Nixon as a statewide effort to retrain unemployed workers for employment in growing health care fields. Through this effort, Missouri's 12 community colleges and Linn State Technical College collaborated with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the state's Workforce Investment Boards to obtain a $20 million competitive federal grant to provide training for 4,600 unemployed workers for careers in the medical field.
By serving on Achieve's board, Gov. Nixon joins a distinguished group of gubernatorial and business leaders, including Board Chairman Craig R. Barrett, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Intel Corporation; Mark B. Grier, Vice Chairman Prudential Financial, Inc.; Governor Bill Haslam, State of Tennessee; Governor Dave Heineman, State of Nebraska; Governor Deval Patrick, State of Massachusetts; Jeff Wadsworth, President & Chief Executive Officer of Battelle; and Chairman Emeritus Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of the IBM Corporation.