Executive Order 19-03 realigns Missouri’s workforce development agencies by transferring the Division of Workforce Development and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) under the Department of Higher Education.


Governor Parson issues an Executive Order.


In May 2018, the Hawthorn Foundation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Department of Higher Education launched Talent for Tomorrow, an initiative that will fundamentally reset Missouri’s approach to meeting the state’s workforce needs. The Talent for Tomorrow initiative:

  • Produced an assessment of how the state’s current workforce aligns with employer needs;
  • Looked at different economic scenarios to help build a workforce system that can adapt as the economy evolves; and
  • Aligned postsecondary education with the public workforce system and the needs of the private sector.


A set of recommendations outlined during Gov. Mike Parson’s State of the State Address formed a comprehensive workforce strategy for the state. One major component of this strategy is moving the Division of Workforce Development and MERIC under the Department of Higher Education, as well as reorganizing other divisions of the Department of Economic Development.



  • January 17, 2019 - Executive Order 19-03 issued by Gov. Mike Parson
  • March 18, 2019 - Deadline for General Assembly to take action
  • July 1, 2019 - Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Memorandum of Understanding for seamless transfer
  • August 28, 2019 - Executive Order legally takes effect


Download the infographic here.