Missouri Governor Mike Parson brought the spotlight to Four Rivers Career Center on Thursday, March 11. The governor has been visiting work-ready communities in the state and spoke with students and instructors in the Engineering, Machine Tool, Information Technology, Carpentry, Auto Technology, Collision Repair, Welding, and CAPS programs. Student Ambassadors led the tour, giving Missouri's top elected official a unique perspective to the tour.
Programs at Four Rivers are focused on bridging classroom learning with real-world experience. The Chamber is excited to partner with the career center to develop relationships with area businesses, improving the outlook for our community's future workforce.
For more photos and details on Gov. Parson's visit:
School District of Washington article
Photos from Gov. Parson Flickr
Inaugural Class of Youth Registered Apprentices from Four Rivers Career Center - Many Chamber Businesses Participating!
On Friday, February 26, Four Rivers Career Center in Washington hosted a signing day ceremony to recognize 33 Youth Registered Apprentices and 10 Apprentice-Elects. Watch the Ceremony here! Leaders representing the community, apprentice's parents, FRCC instructors and elected officials, as well as Wade Johnson (Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship) and Commissioner Zora Mulligan (Dept. of Higher Education and Workforce Development) were present to celebrate the students' achievements. Over the past six months, staff at the career center has worked closely with City of Washington and Chamber Officials to develop partnerships with local businesses and accelerate the youth-focused apprenticeship program.
At this time, FRCC offers seven (7) different apprenticeship study programs: Automotive Technology, Machine Tool, Welding, Collision Repair, Carpenter, Engineering, Information Technology. There are currently 24 Premier Business Partners certified to employ apprentices from Four Rivers Career Center. Chamber Members taking advantage of the training program include Modern Auto Company, Riechers Tire and Auto, Straatmann Toyota, School District of Washington, KJ Unnerstall Construction, GH Tool & Mold, Riechers Truck Bodies, and Sahm Welding and Fabrication.
The Signing Day ceremony was the culmination of many efforts and milestones leading up to this ceremony:
Four Rivers Career Center prides itself in authentic experiences for their students, bridging the gap between education and career success. Recognized as a premier Career and Technical Education Center FRCC offers students the ability to connect their passions to their career path. FRCC services ten high schools and spans St. Charles, Gasconade, Warren, Franklin, Crawford, and St. Louis Counties.
"Five years ago, the charge was to change the face of Four Rivers," said FRCC Director Andy Robinson. "Prior to that, we were vo-tech - we were the school students would go to that weren't successful in academic educational areas. I trust my staff, I trust the teachers that are making it happen, I trust what they do every day in the classroom to make it real. They take our students and they find their passions and they push them out into the real world. They understand that their program of study may be to go to a 4 year university, to a 2-year community college, or to a trade school, or just go straight to work and get involved. We find every kid where they're at and we push them along. In order to represent that, we needed an apprenticeship program."
The program has great potential to keep growing, developing an effective pipeline for a highly skilled, sustainable workforce. Four Rivers Career Center is setting a high standard to qualify as Youth Registered Apprentices through aptitude, academic performance, and work ethic. Students must meet a number of requirements to qualify for the program, maintaining a minimum 2.5 GPA and 95 percent attendance rate, and they must be at least 16 years of age. "Today we're celebrating 33 students," Robinson said. "We call them gold standard students because they are our guarantee. We want to push out high quality students.
We've got another 500 kids in the wings - we just couldn't get to them all, but we will. It just takes time and effort, and building more relationships in our community."
Cynthia Walker was hired as the Apprenticeship Coordinator and has been impressed with the way the community has embraced the apprenticeship model. "I'm amazed at the achievements we can make when we all work together as a team. The vision of YRA has been a long held initiative for our administration, school board, employers, and our local/state officials, with a purpose to bolster our economy and fill the needed workforce skills gap. Our FRCC Director, Andy Robinson, has helped put feet to that vision and provided the initiative for the community relationships, the leadership, as well as the many provisions to move this chapter of career and technical education forward."
Governor Mike Parson and Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, both supporters of apprenticeship and other programs to help narrow the skills gap, were unable to attend the ceremony due to scheduling conflicts. Gov. Parson has plans to visit FRCC for a tour in the future, and Lt. Gov. Kehoe provided a video address for the ceremony, stating, "CTE (Career & Technical Education) students are a vital resource to Missouri's thriving economy today, tomorrow, and the future because our state needs a strong skilled, and highly motivated workforce to compete in the world's marketplace."
Wade Johnson of the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship had wonderful things to say about the greater Washington community and Four Rivers Career Center. Before presenting the official certification of the FRCC Apprenticeship Program, he stated, "City and Business organizations. This is the perfect storm in a positive way of things that need to happen to not only develop an apprenticeship program, but to have it be sustainable."
His words about the students, however, were a highlight of the day, and proof that Four Rivers Career Center is living and fulfilling its mission to provide a quality education with real life experiences and opportunities to achieve a higher standard of living for a diverse student population using authentic hands-on learning modeled by knowledgeable and caring instructors.
Johnson stated, "I wish I was as confident and talented in high school as what I've seen today. And it's not just the apprentices. The kids that gave us tours... They were very sure of what they wanted to do and how they wanted to prepare themselves for the workforce, for becoming productive, contributing members of society, forging their own path to the middle class. It inspires me, and it gives me hope for the future."
The program was closed by Commissioner Zora Mulligan of the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. "To the students watching - the state of Missouri is tremendously proud of your success and we can't wait to see what you do as you finish your apprenticeships and go on into the economy and your lives. Thank you all for celebrating this important event with us today."
Does your company want to get involved with the Youth Registered Apprenticeship Program?
Learn more here, or contact Cynthia Walker, Apprenticeship Coordinator for additional details!
Room for Art Gallery celebrated its Grand Opening on Monday, March 1 at 124 West Main Street in Downtown Washington. The Gallery, owned by JoAnn (Peters) McCoy showcases the work of sixteen Missouri artists throughout the 2,000 square foot space.
Featured Artists include:
Read The Missourian's feature article on the gallery here!
A ribbon cutting was held in February to officially welcome Exit 11 Coffee House & Workspace's 2nd Washington Drive-Thru, located behind Cinema 1 Plus.... Pictured are owners Scott & Angela Garland with representatives from the Chamber Board & Staff, Ambassadors, and City of Washington officials.
Exit 11 started as a shared workspace with an on-site coffeehouse in the Washington Business Center at 1351 Jefferson Street. Soon, a two-sided drive-thru coffee location was added just a block away, followed by a Union location, and now the newest drive thru off Rabbit Trail. For addresses and hours, visit www.exit-11.com/locations.
The Exit 11 Menu includes coffee (fresh, cold brew, or iced!), Frozen Drinks, Teas & Cocoa, Espresso (Hot or Iced), Pastries and other breakfast items. Drinks can get an extra pump of deliciousness with a variety of syrups, including Scottie's Organic House-Made flavors (Bourbon Vanilla, Spanish Vanilla, Hazelnut, Coconut, Cinnamon Dulce, or Louisiana molasses blend), and for those that like to brew their own, Scottie's Whole Bean Coffee is available by the bag,
“Our mission has always been to evolve the bank to meet the needs of the community and our customers. I do not envision a time when people will not want to talk face-to-face to a banking professional regarding big financial decisions – we feel this smart branch is the perfect union of personal customer attention and efficient technology.”
The new smart branch will perfectly meld the high level of friendly service our customers are accustomed to with a range of technological solutions to provide full-service transactions. New features include:
"Our goal is to more than deliver on our 'same great bank, next-generation branch' tagline that we introduced last year when we started the remodel of several of our other branches. Creating a unified, seamless experience across our banking channels, whether it is online, mobile, or in-person, is our top priority. No matter how you choose to bank with us, your service experience will be consistent."
Buhr continued by stating, “The digital advances we’re going to introduce at this smart branch will not simply be add-ons to outdated banking practices, but rather they are designed to be enhancements to our current banking culture. We’re here to create a welcoming experience where customers feel comfortable transacting business and receiving financial guidance no matter which channel they choose.”
Once completed, the two-story, 15,000 square foot structure will include a retail banking center and two smaller rental units on the first floor. The bank will occupy 75% of the building with backroom operations claiming space on the second floor.
“With 5 locations and total assets now approaching $300 million, we have long since outgrown our existing facilities here in Washington. We plan to continue to grow, and this new facility is a key part of the plan. At the same time, we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished in the past 20 years, and this further solidifies our commitment to our customers and the communities in Franklin and surrounding counties.”
With construction anticipated to start at the beginning of February, it will be necessary to close the current Rabbit Trail location on January 30, 2021. Other locations will remain open with normal hours of operations. As of today, lobbies are only accessible by appointment to ensure the safety of employees and customers during this pandemic.
While the future impact the pandemic will have on our communities is uncertain, the bank eagerly looks forward to being able to reopen their lobbies and welcome their customers back.
“We look forward to extending a warm welcome to our new neighbors and customers, and thank those who have been with us for the 20 years we’ve been operating in your neighborhoods.”
The bank has enlisted the services of Washington Engineering & Architecture, Inc. and Jasper Builders, Inc. to complete this project.
Bank of Franklin County is an independent and locally owned community bank with five locations in St. Louis area serving Franklin, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren Counties. In addition to its full service banking locations, Bank of Franklin County also owns and operates Missouri Valley Wealth Management, LLC along with Franklin Mortgage Company, LLC as wholly owned subsidiaries of the bank.
For more information about Bank of Franklin County please visit www.bankfc.com
The November 12 event has been postponed. To see how Four Rivers Career Center is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week, watch the FRCC Facebook Page for updates!
Thursday, November 12 will be an exciting day for our community as students and local businesses are officially paired for apprenticeships as part of the Career Now program. The ceremony will not be open to the public, but a recap and photos will be available on our blog, and from the School District of Washington.
Four Rivers Career Center prides itself in authentic experiences for their students, bridging the gap between education and career success. Recognized as a premier Career and Technical Education Center we are excited to offer our students the ability to connect their passions to their career path. FRCC services ten high schools and spans St. Charles, Gasconade, Warren, Franklin, Crawford, and St. Louis Counties.
Washington is an ideal location for an apprenticeship program based on our civic leadership, ability to attract and promote long standing businesses, and equip students for the future workforce through our excellence in education. In our first quarter we have been able to connect with fifteen employers for our students. We anticipate a goal of twenty apprentices to sign their commitment with the Department of Labor and their employers. Leaders representing our community, apprentice's parents, our instructors alongside our elected officials will be there to celebrate these students' achievement.
More information on the Apprenticeship Program at Four Rivers Career Center can be found here.
Bank of Franklin County to participate in Community Banking virtual roundtable w/ St. Louis Biz Journal
Bank of Franklin County has partnered with the St. Louis Business Journal for a virtual roundtable discussion that includes a mix of community bankers and actual local small business owners. The discussions center on community banks, small businesses and the vital roles each play in communities across the country.
Four Rivers Career Center is pleased to announce the creation of the Youth Registered Apprenticeship Program in coordination with TransPORTS and the Missouri Department of Labor and with full support from the City of Washington and the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Department of Labor officially approved the FRCC Youth Registered Apprenticeship (YRA) program standards as a nationally recognized and registered intermediary. The FRCC stands as the newest YRA program in Missouri Career and Technical Education.
Andy Robinson, FRCC Director, and Andrea Wieland, Career and College Specialist, have laid the ground work through effective internship (pre-apprenticeship) programs with their industry relevant instructors.
FRCC is setting high standards of qualifications for high school students to qualify through aptitude, academic performance, and work ethic. This merit-based job placement will utilize the top performing students for on the job training, using an earn-while-you-learn model with local employers in high demand.
“Rigorous and relevant career technical education through our instructors at Four Rivers Career Center is producing highly qualified skill trade workers,” Robinson said. “We are bridging the gap between 21st century education and employment needs of our community. We do not just graduate highly skilled students, but we help launch them into their long-term career path.”
The first occupations registered are through the Machine Tool program. Tool and Die Maker and Machinist will be the first apprenticeable occupations as the launch of the YRA program takes shape.
Advanced Manufacturing companies, Homeyer and G & H Tool/Tool Tech are long-term supporters and partners with FRCC advisory councils and internship program.
Gretchen Homeyer, Director of Business Operations, Homeyer Precision Manufacturing, and Julie Scannell, Tool Tech Human Resources Administrator, were the first employers to sign the Department of Labor YRA agreements. Employers are selected by administration and instructors.
KJ Unnerstall Construction and Modern Auto, Inc. have recently joined the industry partner lineup as this program is exponentially expanding to meet the immediate needs of the City of Washington.
“We are thrilled and would like to pass along our congratulations to the Four Rivers Career Center for the launch of this program,” said Sal Maniaci, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Washington. “Washington’s growing industries are fortunate to now have another tool to find and train the future of their workforce. The YRA Program not only gives companies the opportunity to find skilled and reliable workers but it also solidifies the vital business and education relationship in this community.”
Robinson and Wieland recently received notification that TransPORTS accepted the proposal for partnership. As a part of his vision, Robinson has long desired to reinstate the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship initiatives into FRCC. As a first step, he received his first investment of $40,000 to help offset costs of hiring a coordinator, establishing the program, and launching this program into the community.
TransPORTS Project and Marketing Communications Manager Katie Adams has partnered with numerous entities across the nation. As one of only eight national industry intermediaries for the U.S. Department of Labor, they are dedicated to expanding register apprenticeship. Four Rivers is one of only six organizations nationally and the only registered youth apprenticeship to receive funding.
“TransPORTS is proud to partner with Four Rivers’ as a valuable, nation leading program,” Adams said. “Their registered apprenticeship program will link students with employers giving them a strong head start on career paths that pay a family supporting wage and provide opportunities for professional growth.”
Robinson and Wieland welcome Cynthia Walker as the new apprenticeship coordinator. She comes to the School District of Washington after heading up two successful Career and Technical Center Youth Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Missouri that received both national and state recognition.
Wieland will be working closely with Walker as they enhance the internship and college articulation opportunities for FRCC apprentices.
“Youth Registered Apprenticeships use a proven earn-while-you-learn model by combining the excellence in career technical education and employer-provided on the job training, resulting in a highly skilled, sustainable workforce,” Walker said. “We can all find hope in this next generation of workers to be contributions to our community. Youth apprentices are doing something today their future self will appreciate.”
On September 23, Dr. Howard Short, of Advanced Sight Center, retired from practicing medicine. He has been a physician in Washington since 04/18/1983. The practice will continue to be owned by Dr. Short and the four remaining physicians (Dr. Ullrich, Dr. Olk, Dr. Elliot, and Dr. Pieper) will assume the responsibility of caring for his patients.
Advanced Sight Center is located in Washington at 1251 Jefferson Street, Suite 110.
Phone: (636) 239-1650 ~ Facebook
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