This past week I visited St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley Campus. The school operates the Center for Workforce Innovation that specializes in aeronautic engineering and manufacturing training. Boeing has a high-level program in assembly/composite mechanics. Several other programs are available through Florissant Valley including Certified Production Technician and Certified Logistics Technician. These programs allow students to learn basic and advanced skills that place them in the workforce.
Education does pay off as those with a bachelor's degree or higher have an unemployment rate of 3 percent in the St. Louis area compared to 10.3 percent for those with only a high school diploma. These percentages are reflective of the state and the nation as a whole.
Planned Parenthood Doctor No Longer at MU
The continued investigative efforts of committees in the Missouri House and Senate have prompted the University of Missouri to remove privileges from a Planned Parenthood doctor in Columbia. As lawmakers scrutinized Planned Parenthood's activities, they found the doctor who provides abortion services at the Columbia clinic has hospital privileges at the University of Missouri. Both representatives and senators questioned why the publicly funded university was associated with Planned Parenthood. Following the questioning, the executive committee of the medical staff of University of Missouri Health Care removed the doctor's "refer and follow privileges".
The committee's hearing schedule continued Wednesday, October 14 as the two groups of lawmakers heard testimony from a former employee of Planned Parenthood whose experience with the organization led her to become an anti-abortion activist. The two committees also invited the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region to attend, as well as a doctor who provides abortion services at the St. Louis facility, to provide testimony, but both declined to testify at the hearing.
Joint Committee Reviews Proposed Juvenile Standards
The members of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect recently met to discuss new standards proposed for Missouri's juvenile justice system. Presented by members of the Juvenile Officer's Association, the new standards are meant to create a uniform system for child care services and juvenile justice proceedings throughout the state. Currently, standards vary from county to county, and many believe the inconsistency could lead to a federal challenge regarding the way the state handles juvenile cases.
Some of the recommendations in the proposal include a code of ethics for juvenile officers, as well as general practice standards, and a process to audit officers. The proposal also addresses many of the finer details of the process including recommendations for jurisdictional transfers, detention alternatives, and school intervention procedures. The goal the association has with its proposal is to address issues that currently exist throughout the system, but also to improve the overall level of service and responsiveness to children and families throughout the state.
The proposal now goes before a court-appointed committee within the Missouri Supreme Court for consideration.
Ted Jones Inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians
The Missouri House of Representatives recently recognized the achievements and contributions of one of Missouri's most successful businessmen and most dedicated conservation activists. House Speaker Todd Richardson recently inducted Edward "Ted" Jones into the Hall of Famous Missourians during a ceremony at the State Capitol.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Jones recognized an opportunity in the financial services industry to serve individual investors throughout Missouri and across the United States. His vision resulted in a branch office business model that set Edward Jones on the path to become a Fortune 500 firm with more than 12,000 branch offices serving 7 million clients across North America.
Jones also was an activist: he was a generous donor and force behind the creation of the Katy Trail, which is now a segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the American Discovery Trail, and was inducted into the national Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. Because of his efforts, the trail now attracts 400,000 hikers, cyclists and joggers each year.
Jones is the 45th inductee into the Hall of Famous Missourians. The Hall, which is located in the third floor rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol, includes bronze busts of all inductees, including famous Missourians such as Mark Twain, Walt Disney and many others.