OTC will launch a plumbing program in 2024 with the help of a $1.3 million grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
To meet the workforce needs of local plumbing companies, Ozarks Technical Community College will debut a plumbing program in 2024. To help cover the program’s startup costs, OTC received a $1.3 million grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development for construction, equipment and scholarships.
“OTC developed this program in conjunction with local plumbing companies, and it is designed so a student can receive training while working,” said Dr. Matt Hudson, executive dean of technical education. “The course work will focus on residential installation and maintenance.”
The plumbing classrooms and lab will be located on the southeast corner of the Industry Transportation and Technology Center (ITTC) on the OTC Springfield Campus. The college hopes to begin construction later this spring and open for classes in January 2024.
Plumbing is eligible for the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant, which pays tuition and fees for non-traditional students in high-demand career fields. A portion of the Missouri Department of Economic Development grant is allocated for scholarships for under-resourced or under-employed students.
The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) reports that the average annual salary for a plumber in the Ozarks region is nearly $62,000. MERIC projects that the Ozarks region will have 77 plumbing job openings annually, and it lists plumbing as one of the fastest-growing occupations in the Ozark region.