Post-Dispatch Masthead

Prop R: Great Promise, Unclear Delivery

Scott Dieckgraefe Insight

Letter to the Editor: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (dated December 9, 2021)

Now more than ever the St. Louis region needs the fruits of our community colleges. The recently passed Prop R offers an opportunity to properly educate and train tomorrow’s workforce for our region’s major employers, including well-paying careers in manufacturing and trades.

While an Oct. 21 report from the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees mentioned a possible “manufacturing center,” it was limited to just one campus. The report also suggests a possible case of the “edifice complex,” placing more emphasis on constructing buildings rather than providing tangible training programs to produce the talent pool needed now by the manufacturing sector and other major employers.

The ”Great Resignation” that our economy is experiencing reflects a growing intolerance of long-term work in static, low-paying service sector jobs. Factor in the re-shoring efforts of domestic manufacturing, and we have an opportunity to help people who desire affordable training that can be leveraged into sustainable, good-paying career positions. Meanwhile, most area manufacturers cannot find enough trained workers today to meet their needs.

Our local private trade schools, such as Ranken, do well. But Prop R funding presents our region with a unique opportunity to provide the affordable training workers desire, while providing our region’s employers with the well-trained employees they need. We need the community college to produce a trained workforce for our region’s non-service industries, rather than using our tax dollars to construct more buildings.

Scott Dieckgraefe

President, Studio/D Marketing Communications


Studio/D is a full-service marketing communications firm working with mid-market industrial and manufacturing clients, together with companies that support the manufacturing ecosystem. We’re a team of “makers” who simplify complex communication challenges with messaging that engages and drives results. Learn more about us at, or call our president, Scott Dieckgraefe at 314-200-2630.