Blog, Workforce Readiness|

The Montana Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Montana University System (MUS) and state agencies, is proposing a rapid retraining program to upskill Montana workers in industries where labor shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic are most pronounced.

The Montana Rapid Retraining Program (MRRP) will be heard before the ARPA Economic Transformation, Stabilization and Workforce Development Advisory Commission on September 8 in Helena, where the Montana Chamber and other stakeholders will advocate for its approval. The Commission is responsible for reviewing proposals for American Rescue Act (ARPA) funds granted to the State in early April 2021.

The MRRP is designed to accomplish two things:

  • Utilize the existing state network of workforce programs to conduct and support short-term training needs; and
  • Support expansion of a proven accelerated job-training model to create industry-led workforce training programs in high-demand sectors.

Workforce readiness is a core pillar of Envision 2026 – the Montana Chamber’s 10-year strategic plan. The MRRP is designed to build and maintain a pipeline of employees to help Montana businesses meet the emerging needs of a qualified workforce.

The program will identify and create up to 10 short-term occupational trainings, designed by industry leaders and the MUS, that are focused on jobs that pay or provide a pathway to at least $50,000/year.

There’s a lot of talk in Montana about the workforce challenge. The Montana Chamber is excited to convene businesses and educators as they develop industry-driven training curricula to fill workforce gaps and offer a ready-to-go solution.

Public comments for the ARPA Economic Transformation, Stabilization and Workforce Development Advisory Commission Meeting may be submitted during the meeting or via email here.

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