Crafting an Innovative Workforce Built On Leadership in St. Joseph, Mo.

St. Joseph’s schools and higher educational opportunities are focused on giving students and workers the technologically-advanced skills they need to make an impact in today’s workforce and on future generations. 

  • The majority (88 percent) of the area’s adult population has a high school education or has continued on with further educational training. 
  • As a result of a community-wide partnership, St. Joseph’s high school graduation rate is 80 percent. 
  • In the City of St. Joseph, about 50 percent of workers have earned a post-secondary degree. 

Universities and Colleges in St. Joseph or within a Short Drive

Missouri Western State University

Located in St. Joseph, Missouri, MWSU has a student population of over 5,300. The university offers certificates, associate degrees, four-year baccalaureate programs and a number of master’s degree programs. The university houses the Bond Science and Technology Incubator, a $2.5 million, multi-tenant research facility in which MWSU students collaborate with business leaders and area universities.
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Northwest Missouri State University

Location: Maryville, Missouri
(45 miles north of St. Joseph)
Enrollment: 6,800 students
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Benedictine College

Location: Atchison, Kansas (20 miles southwest of St. Joseph)
Enrollment: 1,800 students
Liberal arts residential university offering Executive MBA in Leadership and Executive Master of Business Administration, among other master’s programs for professionals
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Other Educational Opportunities in St. Joseph

North Central Missouri College

  • Location: Trenton, MO. with a campus one mile north of St. Joseph
  • Enrollment: 1,854
  • North Central Missouri College is a two-year community college offering associate degrees and certificates that focus on career readiness and easy transferability.

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Metropolitan Community College

  • Location: five locations in the Kansas City area, one location in the Saint Joseph area
  • Enrollment: 18,000
  • MCC is one of the premier community colleges in the nation and offers 80 degree programs, with strong transfer options.

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Hillyard Technical Center

Located in the center of St. Joseph, Hillyard provides specialized programming to hundreds of students throughout the region annually. Hillyard offers 15 program areas in health sciences, industry and trade technologies, two public safety programs and two in agriculture/natural resources. 

Hillyard Technical School is home to the Northwest Missouri Registered Youth Apprenticeship program. The program serves all 19 sending schools, has grown to seven educational strands and 21 employer partners. This program incorporates related technical instruction coursework and on-the-job training, offering students a pathway into a high-demand career. Students earn industry recognized credentials through their Hillyard programs, a high school diploma, a nationally-recognized, portable Apprenticeship certificate through the Department of Labor and paid employment at their training provider.  

  • Location: St. Joseph, Missouri
  • Enrollment: 650 daytime, 1,000 evening
  • Longstanding history as a career center in St. Joseph, meeting both industrial and individual needs in areas such as architecture, computers, business technology, computer-aided drafting, construction technology, precision machine technology, welding and medical technology.
  • Active partner with area high schools, helping establish students on a career path for post-high school.

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Parochial/Private Grade and High Schools

Many options are available for quality parochial and private education in St. Joseph. St. Joseph’s private educational opportunities include several top-ranked elementary schools, middle schools and high schools, whose students consistently score high in college entrance exams. Parents seeking a private school education for their children may send their kids, pre-kindergarten through high school, to a number of quality schools. Catholic education is offered at Bishop LeBlond High SchoolCathedral of St. JosephSt. Francis Xavier, and St. James schools. Christian education is offered at St. Joseph Christian SchoolSt. Paul Lutheran, and South Park Christian Academy.

University of Missouri – Kansas City

  • Location: Kansas City, MO (60 miles south of St. Joseph)
  • Enrollment: 5,300 students
  • Offers undergraduate programs as well as schools of law, medicine, business, pharmacy, and dentistry for those wishing to pursue higher educations.

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University of Missouri – Kansas City - School of Medicine

  • Location: Kansas City, MO with a location in St. Joseph, MO at Mosaic Life Care
  • With a campus conveniently located in St. Joseph, students have access to one of the largest private rural primary care networks in the nation, Mosaic Life Care.

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Workforce Development Initiatives

St. Joseph Manufacturing Day​

Manufacturing Day is a national day set aside to recognize the importance of the manufacturing industry and the diverse, highly-skilled, jobs that are available in our community. 

Held the first Friday in October each year, community organizations and companies come together to lift up the industry and the possible career paths available. 

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Edge Factor

St. Joseph has the edge in workforce development because it partners with Edge Factor to provide local students with online learning tools about careers in a variety of fields, especially those in technical fields like skilled manufacturing and healthcare. Schools get access to the platform and are encouraged to use it with students when developing career paths. Click here to learn more.

A Community Starting Young for a Motivated Workforce Success by Six

An initiative by the United Way of Greater St. Joseph, this is a community-based movement of public and private partners working together to deliver proven solutions for children. The goal is to ensure that all children ages zero to six are healthy, nurtured and ready to succeed. Check out for more information. Additionally, Success by Six launched the Family Friendly Employer program in 2008. The program encourages employers to evaluate programs or policies to help working parents better manage the stress in balancing work and home.

My Success Event

Area businesses promote career opportunities available to more than 2,100 area students from 33 Northwest Missouri high schools. Held in October each year, representatives from more than 80 businesses meet one on one with students and encourage them to develop a career path. Through a career laboratory, they share the educational and technical skills necessary to pursue their career interests in the local economy.