Columbia Chamber of Commerce to launch Workforce Development Division in 2021

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is launching the Workforce Development Division to retain talent in Columbia and to build a workforce for tomorrow.

“We have heard from our business community, the City, and the County, that this is a need. The goal is not to duplicate what is being done already in workforce development, but to collaborate and capitalize on what is being accomplished,” says Chamber President and CEO Matt McCormick. “Columbia needs a convener to help push our community forward. We are proud to fill that role.”

The Division’s will work to gather key partners and organizations working on workforce development, collaborating with the business community, developing workforce development programming and collaborating with state workforce programs.

“While the Division’s goals may have been adjusted to fit our business community’s changing needs, this is not a reaction to COVID-19,” says McCormick. “This is a Chamber initiative created to serve as a catalyst for Columbia, Boone County, and the central Missouri region as well as all strategic partners within.”

Moberly Area Community College President Dr. Jeff Lashley will chair the Division’s steering committee.

The Chamber plans to hire a full-time employee who will focus on the implementation of the Workforce Development Division’s strategic initiatives and goals.

The Division had its inception in late 2019 after the 2019 Leadership Visit and was slated to start in March 2020 but was paused due to COVID-19. The Division will conduct its first meeting in early January 2021.