HANNIBAL, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson wants to see Missouri be more welcoming to military veterans and their families by cutting through red tape that can be a barrier for some job seekers.
During visits to Fort Leonard Wood and the National Guard Armory in Hannibal on Tuesday, Parson talked about legislation that's moving through the Missouri House and Senate that would help teachers, nurses, emergency personnel and others avoid the cost and delay of having to recertify for certain jobs they already had qualified for in the military or in other states.
"We're making military reciprocity a priority this year," Parson said.
"It would make this just a little more military-friendly state … and would help get these veterans or their spouses into the work force faster," Parson said.
A veteran himself, Parson said there are 480,000 veterans in the state. He wants to make it easier for those people and their family members to locate here.
One woman at Fort Leonard Wood told Parson she had to recertify several times as her family moved across the country to a variety of military bases. Each time she had to wait for testing, paperwork and in some cases had to pay fees to be able to do her job.
"It's one of the struggles for these working families," Parson said.
During a news conference at Hannibal-LaGrange University, Parson echoed themes from his state of the state speech, saying Missouri needs to help train the next generation of workers.
"We've got 42,000 people in training" and those trainees are matched with nearly an equal number of available jobs, he said.
By being business friendly and helping with workforce development, Parson said the state can lay the foundation for its own future.
"We need to stay focused on what we're already doing right," Parson said.