Speaking at the MU Extension Workforce Development Summit in Ashland, Missouri, Governor Michael Parson highlighted the new Ranken Technical College campus coming to mid-Missouri as a model workforce development initiative and pointed to the community led effort to bring Ranken to Ashland as the blueprint for other communities to follow. David Bock, Executive Director of the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission (second from the left in the above photograph), spoke on a panel of stakeholders describing MMRPC’s key role in the project.

The project is slated to begin construction in spring 2022 with classes starting for high school and adult students in fall 2023. A joint effort between the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission, Southern Boone County School District, the City of Ashland, and Ranken Technical College, the project has required extensive collaboration to secure funding from all levels of government, community leaders, and industry partners.

Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission helped secure a $4.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration which has been paired with a $1.5 million commitment from the State of Missouri and $100,000 from Boone County. Additional financial support for the project has come through collaboration with MoDOT’s Cost Share program and from donors from throughout the mid-Missouri region including industry leaders who stand to benefit from future Ranken graduates joining their respective workforces.

The campus will initially offer training in the fields of carpentry and construction technology, health and medical, industrial engineering technology, and information technology. Curriculum is currently in development with local industry partners to ensure students are being equipped with in-demand skills to set them up for success on future career pathways with employers across the region. As the needs of the region’s employers change the Ashland campus will continue its collaboration with industry, adapting its approach to serve the changing need.