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Show-Me Heroes program in West Plains, Mo. needs heroes

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 7:00 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - Steven McCann served eight years in the United States Air Force. Now, he oversees programs that help veterans find jobs.

“Veterans have given some things for their country, they have served their country and are deserving of some sacrifices that they made,” said McCann.

The Show-Me Heroes program is administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Workforce Development Division. It offers veterans on-the-job training to learn new skills. In return for being willing to teach those skills, the tate pays half of the employee’s wages for up to six months. That can amount to thousands of dollars in savings to an employer, and also enable them to pay higher wages. Meanwhile, the veteran learns valuable new skills.

Pretty good deal, right? You’d think people would be lining up for this program?

In West Plains that’s not the case. In fact, currently, nobody is using the program. According to Sean Mooney, who works in the West Plains office, there are a couple of reasons for this.

“The program is not well known to the general public, he said. “Of course, we’d like to change that.”

Mooney also pointed out the fact that his office covers a very large geographic area. Sometimes, the potential employer and the employee simply are too far apart.

“We may have someone who wants to learn welding, who lives in Theodosia,” said Mooney. “But the company might be located in Houston.”

According to Google Maps, that’s about 70 miles apart.

Rodney Crewse educates employers about the benefits of hiring veterans. “Some employers, they mean well, but when you say the word “veteran,” they think of someone broke down, old,” he said. “But that’s not the case. Many, or most veterans are fit, capable men and women. Veterans make great employees. They’re used to working with a team, they’re great team players, they’re dependable.”

If you’re a veteran looking for work, or you’re an employer who needs employees, visit your local Missouri Job Center, or visit: www.jobs.mo.gov.

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