New micro-grants help rural communities grow workforce development efforts

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The Ozark Region Workforce Development Board and the Missouri Job Center are now accepting applications for micro-grants of up to $5,000 to help rural communities enhance their workforce and economic development, and help them develop leadership throughout their communities.

The Communications Coordinator with the Missouri Job Center, Katherine Trombetta, said these micro-grants are for agencies in Dallas, Polk, Taney, Stone, Webster and Christian Counties. She also talked about the types of agencies these micro-grants are geared toward. "These rural communities and organizations in these rural communities like businesses, chambers of commerce, institutes of higher learning, they can all apply for these grants," said Trombetta.

This is a result of a new partnership between the two agencies over the past year. “In 2018, the Workforce Development Board and the Missouri Job Center launched the Rural Outreach Initiative to build and sustain relationships and identifying needs in the six counties surrounding Greene,” said the Director of the Missouri Job Center, Mary Ann Rojas, in a news release.

The President of the Table Rock Chamber of Commerce said money like this is hard to come by. "It's difficult to find grants that would help small counties or rural counties in this way," said Shelia Thomas. "The development of this grant gives us the opportunity to have some funds available to us that we would not have otherwise."

Thomas said they plan on applying for the grant. If it is awarded to them, they plan to use that money on a workforce development summit that is already in the works. "When we heard about the grant we though that it might be appropriate to get a professional facilitator," said Thomas.

Applications will be reviewed when received and early submissions are encouraged. To download an application visit, Completed applications may be emailed to Dennis Wiggins at or mailed to the Missouri Job Center. The address for the Missouri Job Center is 2900 East Sunshine Street, Springfield, MO 65804. Those who mail in applications should write "Attn: Dennis Wiggins" on the envelope. The deadline to apply is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28.

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