JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Approximately $125 million from the CARES Act will go toward workforce development and higher education initiatives in Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday.
Missouri’s Commissioner of Higher Education Zora Mulligan broke down where exactly the large amount of money is going and what it will do for the state, KTVI reported.
Mulligan said $80 million from the CARES Act will go to public colleges and universities to assist them in paying for more PPE, COVID-19 tests, and give them the ability to modify physical spaces to allow for social distancing. Institutions can use this money on any facility on campus.
Additionally, $10 million from the CARES Act will go to public colleges and universities to aid them in remote learning.
She also said an additional $23 million from the governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund (GEER) will go to public colleges and universities.
Job training will also see a pay day in the form of $9.7 million. Mulligan said $6.7 million of that will go to local job training centers and to the website jobs.mo.gov.
An additional $2 million will go to training Missourians for information technology jobs and another $1 million will provide support to those who are utilizing the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant, which covers the full cost of an adult that goes back to school and pursues a high-demand degree or certificate.
“The best way to have a more productive worker is to have them be educated and trained,” Mulligan said.
The commissioner ended her remarks by encouraging students to continue their degree programs.
“I want to encourage every one of them to continue and persist,” Mulligan said. “If they’re thinking about taking a semester off or taking a year off, I really really encourage them to stick with their plan, even if their plan looks a little bit different than it did this time last year. Education changes lives and that’s never been more true than it has been right now,” Mulligan said.
Parson continued Thursday’s briefing by saying that as school starts again in the fall, the coronavirus will still be there, but he said being prepared is the key.
“That virus will be in the schools. I don’t think there’s any reason for us to think it’s not going to be there. It will be in the universities,” Parson said. “You just got to be prepared for it.”
The governor said the virus will be here until there’s a vaccine.
On Thursday, there were 795 new cases of COVID-19, bringing Missouri’s total to 25,999 and 1,051 COVID-19-related deaths. That is a .5% increase from Wednesday and an increase of 8.4% over the last week.