A $2.75 Million Department of Labor grant has been awarded to Three Rivers College.

The grant is aimed at helping the unemployed gain work with training through education in Southeast Missouri.

According to a release, the grant is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grants Program (TAACCT), which provides funds to help two-year colleges develop job skills training programs applicable to this region, such as Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Welding, and Precision Agriculture.

Certificates and credentials in these areas can be earned individually, or they can be taken together and applied to one of two new Associate of Applied Sciences degrees that Three Rivers will offer.

"This grant opens up a wealth of opportunities, not only for Three Rivers, but for local residents and manufacturers," said Dr. Devin Stephenson, President of Three Rivers College.

"Manufacturing plays a big part in keeping Southeast Missouri's economy strong.

"With the new funding, we will provide in-depth training in the skills that local employers desperately require."

The Advanced Manufacturing programs will include Certified Production Technician certification and the American Welding Society's Certified Welder certification.

Certificates and credentials can be obtained individually, or taken together as part of a proposed associate degree in Production Welding.

The Precision Agriculture program will include Ag Applicator, Telemetry, and Equipment Operations Certificates.

"We're particularly proud of the Precision Ag programs that we will offer under this grant," said Stephenson.

"We will have the first publicly available program of this kind in the region, and the only one that focusses on the entire breadth of precision agriculture technology."

Coordinator of Media Services Jonathan Atwood said this is the largest grant Three Rivers has received.

The largest previous record grant was a $1.9 million Title III award to revamp what were called its developmental courses.

Those instrumental in obtaining the grant were Missouri Governor Jay Nixon; Dr. Jon Hagler, Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture; U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill; U.S. Representative Jason Smith, and members of the Missouri legislative delegation.

Manufacturing and agriculture represent two of the largest, fastest-growing industries in Southeast Missouri.

For more information about college and workforce programs and upcoming events, visit trcc.edu.