Opinion

Border security is important

Saturday, November 16, 2019
Billington

We were all shocked and saddened with the recent news out of northwest Mexico. Nine Americans, including women and children, were brutally murdered. These heinous acts are just another example of the widespread violence and lawlessness that has overspread much of Mexico, including areas along the border with the United States.

This highlights the importance we must place on securing our southern border. In the latest fiscal year, nearly one million (977,509) illegal border crossers were apprehended. Since the U.S. Government estimates only 55-85% of illegal border crossers are caught, this means we may have allowed between approximately 200,000 and 800,000 people to enter our country illegally. Who knows how many of these were the same types of criminals who committed the atrocities earlier this month? This is why I support additional measures to ensure our country maintains its sovereignty, especially the completion of an effective border wall.

This week I will join thousands of fellow Missourians who take to the fields and forests for the annual November firearms portion of deer season. In the Show-Me-State, this time-honored tradition allows us to spend time with friends and family and enjoy our region’s remarkable natural beauty. This year, please join me in following the conservation code to ensure our deer herd is preserved for future generations. Also, be mindful of hunter safety rules, and consider donating your deer to such charitable causes as “Share the Harvest.”

In conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week and in honor of Missouri’s incredible success as one of the nation’s leaders in apprenticeships, Gov. Mike Parson announced the creation of a new office that will expand and promote apprenticeships throughout the state. Parson signed an executive order that creates the Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning within the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

The new office will engage and coordinate with the U.S. Department of Labor to expand federal apprenticeship opportunities in Missouri, specifically targeting emerging industries and diverse populations. It will also work with all state agencies to implement apprenticeship programs and other similar earn-and-learn programs.

The new office will build on Missouri’s already outstanding track record in promoting apprenticeships. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Missouri ranked second in the nation for new apprenticeships with 10,000 new Registered Apprenticeships for Fiscal Year 2019. The state also had 3,614 completed apprenticeships in Fiscal Year 2019, which ranked Missouri second in the nation.

In total, Missouri currently has 15,189 active apprentices with 472 registered programs involving more than 3,600 employers. The newly-created Office of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning will work to increase the number of participants in apprenticeships and other work-based learning experiences with an immediate goal of 20,000 participants by 2025.

Gov. Parson said, “Apprenticeships play a critical role in our efforts to develop a workforce that is prepared to meet the demands of the future. We are proud to be leading the nation in apprenticeships, and we will continue working to increase apprenticeship opportunities, strengthen our workforce, and give Missourians the skills and on-the-job training they need to be successful.”

For more information on Missouri Registered Apprenticeships, visit jobs.mo.gov/content/moapprenticeships.

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Contact Rep. Billington at hardy.billington@house.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-4039.

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