JOPLIN, Mo. — Education was the focus Thursday as the Missouri governor made stops at a few local schools. Educating students and workforce development have long been a focus for Governor Mike Parson. He spent his time seeing how that plays out firsthand in southwest Missouri.

It’s some high-level attention for area classrooms.

“Really good to be able to come in here today and see kids in here, young men, young women, expanding their education to training certificates, which I think is huge for the state of Missouri,” said Governor Mike Parson.

Governor Parson toured the Advanced Training and Technology Center, learning about programs like the new surgical tech training course.

“You know, that’s where the job market is out there. That’s where the demand is. And the reality of it is people are taking advantage of it here,” he said.

ATTC officials are hoping the tour reinforces the role they play in the local workforce since they’re asking the state for funding to buy the ATTC campus, which they currently rent.

“So we have made the first round of approvals. And so we hope to hear something within the next few months if we’re able to receive the funding,” said Melissa Smith, ATTC Director.

Governor Parson also stopped at Franklin Technical Center and Joplin High School, his first time ever on that campus.

“These are the exact things that we wanted to get done. A little over four years ago when I first become governor… How do we really build up the workforce of tomorrow? And when you come in the school systems, you see they’re buying in totally, to make sure whether it’s healthcare, whether it’s nurses, whether it’s business models, whether it’s it, whether it’s welding, I mean, just up and down the scale of the workforce. They’re doing it here,” said Governor Parson.

He said he hasn’t seen any better schools in the state and encouraged students to take advantage of the options on campus.

“It’s always good when you go visit someplace and see the fruits of your labor and what’s been done statewide to help with that clear tech education and, and the investment that he talked about. And you know, you never know when he, some student or some conversation piques his interest about an idea or something else down the road,” said Dr. Kerry Sachetta, Joplin Schools Superintendent.