June 2023

Volume 3, Issue 4

A Letter From the President

I would like to begin by saying that it has been a great privilege for me to have been given the opportunity to serve as the President of MAWD.

Looking back over the past two years, it has been so special to have been a part of this association. We have made great strides to bring improvements to our members and make changes that have strengthened our association. Personally, it has been the most eventful period throughout, at times challenging but, on the whole, a most rewarding experience.

My appreciation and sincere thanks go to all of the MAWD Membership and conference attendees. Your engagement over the past two years has brought new members, new ideas, new needs, and new friendships. Each of you is what makes MAWD such an awesome association, and I look forward to seeing the great things we accomplish in the upcoming years.

Most importantly, I would like to thank all of my fellow MAWD board members, ex-officios, and committee members for the confidence and trust that you have placed in me. It has been my privilege and honor for me to have worked closely with all of you throughout the past two years.

Please help me welcome Samantha Terry as the incoming president.

Dana Keller, CWDP

Register to attend the 2023 MAWD Membership Virtual Meeting

2023 MAWD Annual Membership Meeting and Board of Directors Election

Wednesday - June 7, 2023
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Candidates for Election


President-Elect: Donna Brake

Secretary: Tracy Keithley

Public Information Chair: Erica Davis

Professional Development Chair: Stephanie Tam


(Three two-year terms, One one-year term)

Les Johnson

Krystal White

Mia Williams

Rachel Hogrefe

Stephanie Cooper

Cherisa Price-Wells

Mark Embry

Katie Shofle

News From

The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD), Office of Workforce Development (OWD) has partnered with Coursera to provide employers and individuals with a unique and transformative experience that empowers the workforce to gain the skills needed to succeed in their career goals.

Coursera is a virtual learning platform that provides individuals with an educational opportunity. Through this partnership, access to the Missouri Learning Program is made available at NO COST to employers and those who choose to participate. There are over 10,000 courses available, taught by some of the most prestigious universities in the nation such as Yale University, Stanford University and Harvard University. Every course completed will provide a certificate/certification upon completion that can help individuals obtain or maintain employment, increase employability or attain promotional opportunities.

If an employer would like to develop a training plan specifically for their workforce, a customized curation (list of courses) specifically designed for the employer’s needs can be created. The curation can list courses directly related to the employee’s job function or other needs as desired. Coursera has a variety of ways to organize the collections/courses, including job role/category, level (beginner, intermediate, etc.), or by content provider.

OWD also offers Missouri Job Ready Day One (MJRD1) courses through the Coursera platform. Along with the MJRD1 courses, individuals develop cutting edge skills in the areas of interviewing, communication, problem solving, teamwork, professionalism, and more! Upon completion of this program, individuals will receive a Missouri Industry-Recognized Credential (MIRC) that will demonstrate to employers and showcase the employee’s talent along with their job-readiness skills.

Interested employers and individuals can contact OWD’s Virtual Learning Team by completing the online interest form.

MAWD Partners who are interested in additional information, please contact VLSReferral@dhewd.mo.gov.

Link: https://jobs.mo.gov/coursera

MAWD Conference Wrap Up!

It Starts With Us: Empower. Collaborate. Energize.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of the

2023 MAWD Annual Conference!

2023 Award Winners

Keystone Award

Kim Hinkle
Fiscal Manager
Gamm Incorporated

Workforce Rookie of the Year

Megan Kempker
Workforce Development and Training Coordinator
Callaway Chamber of Commerce

Scholarship Recipients

Ava Roderick

Maggie Polk

Jennifer Hinkle

Professional of the Year

Ruth Whitis
WIOA Workforce Director 2021-2023
Northeast Region


Hannibal High School BEST Program

The Basic Employment Skills Training (BEST) Program provides work-based internships for high school seniors with developmental disabilities.

Additional partners include Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, Marion County Services of Development Disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation, Learning Opportunities/Quality Works, Douglass Community Center, Missouri Department of Mental Health and Gamm, Inc.

Since its launch five years ago, 31 students have completed the program with incentives for participation, paid internships, job coaching, case managements, employment, high school counseling, and school district support.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 50/50 raffle and the silent auction! 

You helped us raise $1,205, which will be matched by MAWD to go toward the annual scholarship awards.