SJSD kicks off new partnership with Kansas City based community college

Educational leaders at both institutions hope to bring more educational opportunities to St. Joseph and close the jobs gap.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 8:04 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 9:50 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District has teamed up with Kansas City based Metropolitan Community College (MCC) to provide more educational opportunities to those pursuing post-high school education regardless of age.

The new educational opportunity was made official at Hillyard Technical School Wednesday morning.

"We’re excited about what we’ve started," Dr. Kimberly Beatty, chancellor, MCC said, "We’re excited about our future,"

Educational leaders at both institutions said they hope the new partnership will lead to a more developed workforce, which could then address the jobs gap in the city. 

To date,  several hundred jobs in st. joseph remain vacant due to a lack of skilled workers to fill the positions.

"We’re excited to be able to truly begin to move St. Joseph in the direction that it's wanting to go." Dr. Tyjaun Lee, MCC Maple Woods, Penn Valley president said.  

MCC will offer manufacturing, welding, and production management courses at Hillyard begining with the fall semester this year.

Leaders also say these opportunities aren’t just for those graduating from high school, they said the program will be open to adults looking to continue their education and/or learn new skills. 

SJSD Superintendent Doug Van Zyl said opening up the course to adults will help businesses in the St. Joseph area thrive. 

"The opportunity to have adults be retrained or pick up some other skills can help grow our business partnership and opportunities for our community as a whole," he said. 

Officials said the new opportunities will bring hope to the community

"The mission of community college is to provide access for all of the community," Beatty said. "That’s why we represent hope."

MCC leaders said they look forward to bringing that hope to new students while bringing down the number of open jobs.

"We’re going to make sure that we bring those jobs so that the individuals here can live, work and play in St. Joseph while being educated by MCC." Lee said. 

Hillyard will hold an open house on October 21st. Those interested are encouraged to attend to find out more about courses offered through MCC. 

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Temperatures will be cooler on Friday making it a great end to the week across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Temperatures will warm into the mid to upper 70s and we will have an increase in moisture that could bring some rain Saturday afternoon.
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