The Missouri SkillUp Program got its start at East Central College in October 2018. Now the college is working to get everyone involved.

ECC recently held an event for community members, Head Start, local school district counselors and Early Childhood Center directors to learn more about the program.

SkillUp provides access to childcare, housing assistance, job skills training and job placement to help food stamp, or Supplemental Nutritious Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. It is funded through the Family Support Division and Missouri Division of Workforce Development.

ECC offers six programs for those in the program: Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Medication Technician, Microsoft Office Suite, Medical Terminology, Welding and Child Development Associate.

“All of these offered are what we call industry recognized credentials,” said Melissa Willmore, project coordinator.

The informational event was held for representatives to inform other educators, students and parents.

“We had great feedback,” Willmore said. “I felt like the schools were very engaged.”

The program is specifically designed for adults between the ages of 18-59.

“We work with participants to help them find employment,” Willmore said.

Those interested should contact the Washington Job Center or Willmore at 636-584-6530 to enroll in classes.

“I just hope to help people get training and better employment,” Willmore said.

Union School District Assistant Principal Markie Lampkin said the event was incredibly informative. It covered the challenges school districts face with students who need help, but the school cannot provide those services.

“It’s going to do nothing but help our community,” Lampkin said.