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Congressman Smith Announces Investment for New Apprenticeship Program

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Congressman Jason Smith (MO-08) and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) announced today the DRA will invest $240,100 for the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) to establish a manufacturing apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program will strengthen skills and training so workers are prepared to pursue entry-level careers in industries such as electronics and electricity, machining, robotics, hydraulics and welding, among others. Roughly 115 workers are projected to receive training in the apprenticeship program.

“The Delta Regional Authority was created by Congress for this exact purpose – to increase the quality of life for residents in the Mississippi River Delta Region,” said Congressman Smith. “By investing in Missouri’s workforce, this project will bring good paying jobs for the hardworking families of rural Missouri.”

“The Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) is a vital component for the future of educational and economic growth for our region,” said West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlman. “We are thankful for Congressman Jason Smith’s active support of this project and DRA’s investment in our community. This is our tax dollars coming back to our community to improve opportunities in South Central Missouri.”

The new apprenticeship program in West Plains was announced as Congressman Smith and DRA announced investments totaling $1.1 million in rural Missouri’s economy and infrastructure.

“DRA investments will support the development of new manufacturing facilities, support the expansion of an existing business, and establish training programs that enhance the productivity and competitiveness of Missouri’s workforce,” said DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell. “Our key investments include infrastructure improvements that support economic development and job growth in the state.”

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has invested more than $185 million into more than 1,100 projects. Overall, DRA investments have helped create and retain more than 55,000 jobs, train nearly 45,000 workers to advance in the 21st Century, and deliver sewer and water improvements to more than 238,000 residents and businesses.