Workforce Development

We’re located in the heart of the animal life science industry, and we’re committed to contributing to our region’s life sciences environment. We’re also committed to student-faculty research beneficial to that industry, and we’re committed to preparing our graduates to compete in that industry as well as anybody in the world.” Dr. Robert Vartabedian, President, Missouri Western State University


A Workforce of Top-Quality Expertise and Midwestern Values

St. Joseph’s workforce is unique because it draws upon a pool of committed, community-oriented and dedicated employees from 18 Northwest Missouri communities. Many of the surrounding counties are built upon long histories in agricultural production, and have played a role in the creation of St. Joseph’s pivotal and foundational manufacturing businesses.

One factor contributing to our high quality workforce is the educational background of our residents. Nearly 88 percent of the area’s adult population have a high school education or better. As a result of a community-wide partnership, St. Joseph’s high school graduation rate is 88.6 percent – higher than the state average of 85.7 percent.


St. Joseph Institutions of Higher Learning:

Missouri Western State University

Missouri Western occupies a 744-acre campus on the east side of St. Joseph. MWSU offers certificates, associates degrees, four-year baccalaureate programs and a number of master’s degree programs, including those in Applied Science, Applied Science in Assessment, Applied Arts in Integrated Media and Applied Arts in Written Communication.


The Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator at Missouri Western State University

In conjunction with Missouri Western University, this 25,000 square feet technology incubator is also home to the Institute for Industrial and Applied Life Sciences which provides training and wetlab space available within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.


Western Institute

Western Institute provides high quality, affordable programs and services for degree and non-degree seeking students. Programs include bachelor’s degree completion, graduate options, professional training, community arts, conferences and scheduling, a law enforcement academy, dual credit and much more.


Northwest Missouri State University

Northwest has a St. Joseph Center located just off Interstate 29 on the east side of St. Joseph. Students pursue master’s programs in education and business at this facility.


Technical Education in St. Joseph: Job Skills for Workplace Leaders

Hillyard Technical Center

This public school meets both industrial and individual needs in areas such as architecture, computers, business technology, welding, medical technology, and personal development.
Enrollment: 650 daytime, 1,000 evening


Vatterott College

This private technical school offers a broad array of programs and is designed to get students into the workplace in less than two years. Vatterott provides vocational training in an industry-current setting. Students can earn a diploma or associate degree in cosmetology, massage therapy, criminal justice, medical assistant, computer systems and network technology. Enrollment: 700


American College of Technology

Located in St. Joseph, the American College of Technology is a nationally-accredited institution offering online courses in 12 areas, such as Health Information Technology, Criminal Justice, Computer Programming, Networking and Security Technology or Business Administration – all in a convenient setting for workers balancing their career and family lives.


St. Joseph is Less than an Hour Away From Additional Top-Notch Educational Programs

  • Northwest Missouri State University — Main campus, Maryville, Mo.
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC)
  • Park University
  • William Jewell College
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Rockhurst University


Positive Work Ethic and Nationally-Low Corporate Taxes

Missouri has lower than average rates for unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance. And at 6.25 percent, Missouri’s corporate tax is one of the nation’s lowest. The favorable tax structure complemented by St. Joseph’s positive work ethic translates directly into industry profitability.


St. Joseph Demonstrates Full-Spectrum Workforce Development:

Early childhood learning, student awareness of promising career opportunities, continued life-long learning and skill development, enhanced work ethics, and improved attainment in science and math curriculum are all essential long-term strategies for meeting the workforce needs of the diverse base of employers in the St. Joseph area.


Another Smart Move: As the overall umbrella for our workforce department programs, this important initiative promotes “life long learning,” based on the premise that additional education and training can provide a better job and a better life.


Success by Six

St. Joseph realizes the critical window of educational development lies in young children, and actively partners the business community with schools and families to focus on targeted, tangible outcomes to ensure optimum school readiness for tomorrow’s work force. Success by Six is an initiative of the Greater St. Joseph United Way, who receives national accolades for record-breaking campaign and program success.


My Success Event

Area businesses promote career opportunities available to more than 2,100 area sophomore students from 33 Northwest Missouri high schools. Held in October each year at the St. Joseph Civic Arena, 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


St. Joseph Metro Chamber

The St. Joseph Metro Chamber provides year-round local opportunities for developing workforce skills and networking, from New Executives Luncheons to Leaders Engaging and Developing (LEAD) meetings and an engaging, powerful series of speakers.



Heartland Health’s contributions to the local community include a state-of-the-art youth development campus, emPowerU, drawing thousands of regional students and community-focused groups together to solve civic challenges. The multi-million dollar emPowerU campus is built on a restored industrial brownfield in the city’s downtown area, which continues to see exciting revitalizations. EmPowerU is an initiative for youth and civic development from the Heartland Foundation, and the campus and initiative serves as an award-winning national model for youth development. Its purpose is to equip and retain the city’s future leaders.

The data contained in this website is for information purposes. Although steps have been taken to guard its accuracy and up-to-date nature, the St. Joseph Metro Chamber assumes no legal responsibility for the informational content contained herein.