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State Training Resources Help Hannibal Manufacturer Strengthen Its Workforce, Gov. Nixon Announces

Press Release

Location: Hannibal, MO

Gov. Jay Nixon today visited Buckhorn Rubber Products in Hannibal to discuss how the state's newly redesigned workforce training programs will help the company to train its 180 employees and support more than $1 million in capital investments.

"Workforce training is a perfect example of the kind of proven, strategic investment that will pay big returns for our workers and our economy," Gov. Nixon said. "And this year, our initiative to streamline and update these tools will make them even more effective in helping deliver the trained workforce our employers need to compete in the 21st Century economy. Through a relentless focus on fiscal discipline and a commitment to preparing our workforce for next-generation jobs, we will continue to create jobs and move Missouri's economy forward."

Gov. Jay Nixon and Jae Fisher, a plastics machine operator at Buckhorn Rubber Products in Hannibal. Missouri Works Training helped Buckhorn train its 180 employees and make more than $1 million in capital investments.

Earlier this year, Gov. Nixon launched Missouri Works, which updates and streamlines Missouri's economic development and workforce training programs to make them more efficient, effective and business-friendly. Missouri Works also targets the state's workforce development resources to the industry sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, with the greatest potential for growth and job creation.

Missouri Works implements recommendations of the Governor's Strategic Initiative for Economic Growth, an effort that engaged 600 business, education and labor leaders from across Missouri, to develop a comprehensive strategy to transform the state's economy.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Buckhorn Rubber Products was founded in 1913 in Portland, Oregon, and later relocated to Hannibal in 1977. The company designs and manufactures 3-D blow molded plastic, injection, and compression molded rubber original equipment and replacement parts for the automotive commercial vehicle, agriculture and off-highway, waterworks, marine, and civil construction industries.

Gov. Nixon's administration provided $20,000 in Missouri Works Training funds in Fiscal Year 2014 to help Buckhorn Rubber continue training its 180 workers on production operations, lean manufacturing and supervisory skills.

"Workforce training grants through the state of Missouri are an essential tool for Buckhorn Rubber Products as part of the company's continuing effort to upgrade the skill level of its workforce," said Todd Kendall, Operations Manager for Buckhorn Rubber Products. "We have used training funds to help defray the costs of new employee training, training on operation of new equipment, and training on ever-changing customer quality and technical product requirements. Without Missouri Works, much of the training that we currently do would not be possible."

So far, 370 companies have been approved to receive Missouri Works Training funds that will help train nearly 36,000 workers.

Missouri Works Training is offered through the Department of Economic Development's Division of Workforce Development in cooperation with local educational agencies, such as the community colleges and area career education schools. Missouri Works Training at Buckhorn Rubber Products is provided by Linn State Technical College.

"Linn State Technical College is pleased to be working with Buckhorn Rubber Products," says Shelle Jacobs, Businesses and Industry Coordinator for Linn State Technical College. "In order for companies to succeed in the global market, they must keep up with industry standards. This training allows them to do that and become more competitive."

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