Missouri Community Colleges Association awards six legislators

By Michael Layer

BRANSON, Mo. – The Missouri Community Colleges Association (MCCA)’s convention and trade show, four legislators were awarded on Thursday evening for their support of Missouri Community Colleges. Rep. Jean Evans, Rep. John Weimann, Rep. Sandy Crawford, Rep. David Wood, and Sen. John Rizzo were recognized for their work in the General Assembly.  House Minority leader Rep. Gail McCann Beatty was also recognized.

The MCCA represents the 12 community colleges in Missouri and the MCCA holds a convention each year to recognize advocates for community colleges on a number of levels. For advocates in the Missouri Legislature, the association bestows the 2017 Distinguished Legislator Award to only a select few.

“I’ve always been a proponent for community colleges in general,” Rizzo said. “It’s great to be recognized by a great organization that I’m passionate about: working for the community.”

Rizzo served on the Senate Committee on Economic Development. There, he specifically advocated for workforce readiness and development from students at the community college. He wanted to make sure that students would be prepared for their respective profession once they graduate.

“The big thing that I usually do with community colleges is work with them on workforce development and readiness,” Rizzo said. “I think a lot of it is just working through the channels and budget process, listening to their needs and concerns, and trying to work with the business community to match people up with the community colleges that need training or retraining so that [students] can adjust to a new environment. 

Rep. Jean Evans was also an award recipient. She was proud of her work on the House Workforce Development Committee and the Special Committee on Innovation on Technology. Through her work on those committees, she was able to advocate for community colleges.

“It has been an honor to be able to work with the association and to help further their efforts to provide a quality education to Missourians from all walks of life,” Evans said. “It is truly a privilege to be recognized for my efforts and I look forward to our continued collaborative efforts to improve the accessibility and affordability of higher education in our state.”

Rep. Sandy Crawford was also an award recipient. She is the chair of the House Financial Institution Committee, and also serves on the House Committee on Pensions and the Administration and Accounts Committee.

Rep. David Wood was among this year’s winners of the MCCA Distinguished Legislative Award. He has been the vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Education since 2015 and has served on the House Budget Committee, the Fiscal Review Committee, and the House Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education.

In 2017, he sponsored HB 643, an act that would create guidelines and update Missouri schools’ policies on students in summer school. In 2014, he sponsored HB 1249, which prevents school workers from giving preference to themselves or their family members for business transactions and compels them to hold a competitive bidding process. In 2015, he sponsored HB 43, which created guidelines for student evaluations.

Rep. John Wiemann was also recognized. He served on the House Committees of Administrative Oversight, Fiscal Review, Mental Health, and was the Vice-chair of the Committee on Insurance.

House Minority leader Rep. Gail McCann Beatty was also recognized for her accomplishments. In 2017, she served on the Joint Committee on Capitol Security and served on the House Budget committee from 2013-2016.


This story originally appeared on The Missouri Times.

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