GRO Eldon Sustainable Leadership/Businesses and Workforce Development
To Watch an Interview with Superintend Matt Davis
To retain and attract the talent of our youth, we need to prepare them for the opportunities in our communities. Can your community bring businesses in and prepare the upcoming workforce for the work ahead?
In Eldon, MO, the Growth in the Rural Ozarks team is taking on the challenge of workforce development and attraction full force. Quaker Windows & Doors Products is building a $65 million campus in Eldon. This summer, the company started constructing in its third phase. This third phase involves a new 250,000-square-foot commercial window and door facility. In addition, the city’s biggest employer and a global leader in automotive seating systems and components, Adient Eldon, is also looking to hire new employees. As a result, it is bringing more than 150 jobs to Eldon. This project aims to prepare Eldon to retain and attract workers to the area to work in these new positions.
Under the leadership of GRO leader Matt Davis, Superintendent for the Eldon Schools, the school district works diligently with students to prepare them to enter the workforce after graduation. In addition, Eldon schools work closely with the Eldon Career Center to train students to enter Adient Eldon or@ Quaker Window positions. Seniors at Eldon High School take tours of both facilities. In addition, the students can enroll in training courses on the technical skills needed to work at these companies. The GRO leaders and school district plan to continue working closely with the students to ensure their long-term success. The school district is working closely with both manufacturing companies to ensure that the hands-on training they learn in school is accurate and will give the students the ability to succeed. Every year the school district graduates about 140 students. The manufacturing program goal is to have 15 – 25% of students in either of those facilities. Both Adient and Quaker are helping these students succeed and have raised their opening wages to $18 with benefits.
The Eldon Career Center also provides training in healthcare, automotive technology, criminal justice, business marketing, and agriculture programs. These programs prepare students for the positions already in Eldon, so they will stay and continue to make Eldon a better place to live. As for attracting young families to Eldon, the school district continues these efforts to make sure that the education of students is as desirable as possible. As a result, Eldon’s schools excel in academic scores more than any surrounding area. Davis believes that parents looking to raise families will move to Eldon because its outstanding school district.