The partnership to launch a downtown Joplin training center is being recognized at the state level with the Distinguished Business Industry Award. The Missouri Community College Association gave it to the Joplin Chamber of Commerce.
Daniel Percy, ATTC Student: "We actually started a new process of welding this week."
ATTC Student Daniel Percy was one of the first students to sign up for the new downtown Joplin school.
Daniel Percy, ATTC Student: "I hope to graduate here in May 2018 and be on my way into the workforce."
He represents a wave of new students getting ready to enter the local workforce. Crowder College is teaching welding and advanced manufacturing, skills local employers can't get enough of.
The City of Joplin funded the project with disaster relief grants. And the Joplin Chamber brought it all together.
Crowder Pres. Jennifer Methvin: "One of the most unique and effective partnership models currently in operation in our state today."
The Missouri Community College Association is recognizing it with the Distinguished Business Industry Award, as a new way to stimulate the economy and support community college students and programs.
But Joplin Chamber President Rob O'Brian welcomed the award and pointed out there's even more.
Rob O'Brian, Joplin Chamber: "We have space in the building, not just for Crowder. But there is also space for companies to train their own employees directly if they so choose to use that space. We also have space for entrepreneurs and small businesses to start."
Speakers traced the roots of the project back to the 2011 Joplin tornado. Franklin Tech temporarily relocated in the building, showing the type of education that the site could host. Project leaders pointed out students are already 12 weeks into the school year.