Representatives with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Innovation Board and Crowder College signed on the dotted line Wednesday to formally create the Joplin Training Center. The center is located on 4th Street inside the building that had previously been occupied by Franklin Tech Center.

The fourth partner is this project is the City of Joplin– they kicked in about $5.5 million in Disaster Recovery Funds to A, buy the building for businessman Gary Hall; B, retrofit it; and then C, furnish it with equipment.

Joplin Chamber President Rob O’Brian says the center will provide area employers with a well-trained workforce and employees with the skills they need to get jobs that are in demand right now and even more in demand in the future.

“A number of these good jobs around the area really need something beyond high school, but they don’t need necessarily a four year degree or even necessarily a two year degree,” O’Brian explained. “So a lot of focus at this facility for Crowder will really be around certificate programs.”

“Students can gain a certificate in one semester, which is essentially four months in the fields of Information Technology, Computer-Aided Drafting, And Advanced Manufacturing,” said Melissa Smith, the Director of the tech center.

And, Jasen Jones with the Workforce Innovation Board says job-seekers not attending classes inside the facility can also benefit from the center.

“We serve as an extension of the American Jobs Centers in Joplin, Monett and Neosho, where we’ll have job counselors and testing proctors and different workforce specialists working here as an extension of our services to the community,” Jones explained.