ASHLAND, Mo. (KMIZ)
The new Ashland campus of Ranken Technical College is expected to create 163 jobs and generate $9 million in private investment, according to local economic development groups.
Officials gathered Friday to break ground on the project. The campus is set to open in 2023.
St. Louis-based Ranken offers bachelor’s and associate’s degrees and certificate programs in information technology and medical training. Construction trades are a primary focus for Ranken.
The private non-profit college will also offer degrees and certificate programs in automotive, architecture, electrical, manufacturing and advanced and continuing education.
Ranken is working with the Southern Boone School District to create the campus in Ashland.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a $4.5 million grant to Southern Boone that is being used to build the Central Missouri Workforce Development Center. The federal money is being matched by $3 million raised through a local fundraising drive called the Investing in Tomorrow’s Workforce Capital Campaign.
The project’s supporters say there is a strong need in Mid-Missouri for trained workers in construction trades, information technology and health care and that the curriculum will be designed to match the needs of the area’s largest employers.
Regional Economic Development, Inc., recently commissioned a workforce study that revealed that health care jobs in the region would increase by 12% in the next decade, and information technology jobs would increase by 11%.
The collaboration will also provide incentives for Southern Boone High School students to take Ranken courses. Students in the 11th and 12th grades will have the opportunity to take classes through Ranken and after graduation can continue with an associate’s degree program.
Students who qualify can use Missouri’s A-Plus Scholarship Program, which provides two years of tuition-free education. Southern Boone students who start Ranken programs while in high school can get an associate’s degree a year after graduation and a bachelor’s degree two years after graduation.
Check back and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6 for more on this developing story.