The Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division exists to meet the needs of current workforce challenges while also planning and preparing for future workforce opportunities for Columbia, Boone County and the region. 

The Show-Me Careers program is designed to expose students to great career opportunities by bringing influential middle school and high school educators, counselors and administrators into advanced manufacturing, technology, health care and other targeted job sites where employers have identified worker shortages and a need to develop a career pipeline for area youth. The initiative assists educators in producing lesson plans that expose youth to career opportunities in the Columbia area.

The inaugural cohort of 20 Columbia Public School educators took place in June of 2022, with reconnector meetings continuing quarterly into Spring 2023.

Planning is now underway for our 2023 cohort! For more information or to find out how your business can become involved in Show-Me Careers, please contact Vice President of Workforce Development Chad Massman at (573) 817-9115.



Show Me Careers Presenting Sponsor

Workforce Development Division Origin 

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Division had its inception in late 2019 after the 2019 Leadership Visit to Tuscaloosa, AL. During the trip, the visiting delegation was exposed to an impactful workforce development program which has served as an inspiration for the Chamber’s Workforce Development division.

The division conducted its first committee meeting in January 2021. In May 2021, a full-time staff person joined the Chamber team to assist the division’s mission.

Workforce Development Divison Goals

  • Determine current and future work needs from the business community
  • Research workforce data and numbers by industry and individuals
  • Grow a skilled workforce driven by local business and industry needs.
  • Connect the dots between education, training and what employers need.
  • Determine the scope of current programs and organizations in the area that prepare the individual to meet local workforce needs.
  • Convene and collaborate with workforce organizations, education, government agencies and others to build a workforce coalition
  • Develop a holistic approach that will include strategic initiatives and tactics under each initiative.
  • Work on state initiatives around the structure of our workforce development region.
  • Develop responsive workforce development programs
  • Assess opportunities for application of funding or grants for workforce-based initiatives benefiting the mid-Missouri area
  • Advocate for policy solutions which impact effective workforce development.

How does the Workforce Development Division benefit Columbia?

The Chamber’s Workforce Development division identifies and creates solutions to the growing need for qualified human capital in the mid-Missouri region, thus strengthening the entire business community. It also assists in business retention and attraction, grows the impact of the education system in the area, and develops a path to prosperity for individuals. 

How does the Workforce Development Division work? 

The Workforce Development division fosters creative collaboration and convenes strategic partners in the community. The division seeks not to duplicate any program, but to unite workforce development efforts across community entities to create a robust and integrated workforce development system. The division meets regularly with federal, state, and local partners.

If you have questions about workforce development or would like to become involved, please contact Chad Massman, Vice President of Workforce Development, at [email protected].

Workforce Development Divison Steering Committee

Chair – Dr. Jeff Lashley, President, Moberly Area Community College

Beth Alpers, Chief Human Resources Officer, MU Health Care

Brian Murphy, President & CEO, American Outdoor Brands

Cole Knudsen, Plant Director, PepsiCo Quaker Oats

C. Scott Yost, SVP, Private Wealth Director, Simmons Bank

David Nichols, Senior Project Manager, Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc.

David Nivens, CEO, Midwest Computech

Ed Scavone, CEO, Central Bank of Boone County

Eric Morrison, Regional Community Bank President, First Mid Bank & Trust

Erica Pefferman, President, COMO Magazine & Columbia Marketing Group

Jeff Hayes, Human Resources Business Partner/EEOC Officer, Capital

Lisa Driskel Hawxby, Business Development Specialist, REDI

Susan Hart, Vice President, Reinhardt Construction LLC

Teresa Maledy, Board Chair, Cradle to Career Alliance

Rob Russell, Director of Labor and Workforce Development, University of Missouri Extension

Chamber Staff Liasion – Vice President of Workforce Development, Chad Massman.
Contact Chad at [email protected] or (573) 817-9115.

Shelter Insurance