Dulany Hall William Woods University

William Woods awarded $258,273 grant from the State of Missouri for new leadership and entrepreneurial initiative

Project CLEAR established to help address the economic and workforce challenges of Missouri and beyond

William Woods University (WWU) President Jeremy Moreland announced today that the University is the recipient of a $258,273 grant from the State of Missouri for its new Project CLEAR initiative, which is being launched to cultivate leadership and entrepreneurial capacity to address the economic and workforce challenges of Missouri and beyond.

“At William Woods, we pride ourselves in being an industry leader in innovative workforce development, producing graduates who are ready to fill the jobs and needs of the 21st Century economy,” said President Moreland. “Through Project CLEAR, we will build upon our institutional strength in developing learners possessing the capacities and skills that Missouri and our world will most need in the future. We are grateful for the support for our efforts demonstrated by Governor Mike Parson’s administration and the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development through this grant funding.”

Find Governor Parson’s release here:


A recent report from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce stated that only 44 percent of Missouri business owners were satisfied with the state’s availability of skilled workers, citing weaknesses in the state’s capacity to prepare, attract and retain workers. The report pointed to the need for the state to improve the education system at all levels while integrating the skills needed by businesses into every curriculum.

WWU’S Project CLEAR (Creating Leadership and Entrepreneurial Action and Response) advances Governor Parson’s top priorities of Workforce and Education, Infrastructure and Stronger Communities, and aligns with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development’s strategic goals to create equity through educational attainment and labor force participation. Project CLEAR will address these priorities through three dynamic pillars:

  • Academic Innovation, consisting of formal and informal learning. The University will establish a 12 credit-hour Entrepreneurial Leadership and Change program, open to all undergraduate students at WWU, while also recruiting at least 15 students annually from underrepresented backgrounds to attend the University on scholarship to participate in the CLEAR Scholars Program, an innovative individualized coaching program to assist students in developing innovations through entrepreneurship aimed at the economic revitalization of their hometowns. The University will also create a Community Leadership and Entrepreneurship Certificate (CLEC), a five-session program offered for community members who have entrepreneurial ideas but lack the focus, leadership or business acumen to launch them.
  • Programmatic Integration, focusing on high-level experiential learning that connects students; local, regional and state business leaders; community members and policy makers to interact and discuss the complex challenges facing our world locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. Collaboration will be attained through Executive in Residence programs, perspective forums, think tanks, conferences, undergraduate research opportunities, community projects, internships, and large-scale events.
  • Outreach and Scale, involving the development of strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as the local and statewide Chambers of Commerce, local businesses, and corporate and community organizations across Missouri. These partnerships will lead to authentic experiences that address complex problems for our student and community learners and allow for the development and presentation of innovative solutions with far-reaching implications for Missouri and beyond.

“Today’s grant award provides us with assistance with building the clear foundation of what will come in the future,” said President Moreland. “During years one through three of Project CLEAR, we are committed to raising enrollment, securing donor support and establishing partnerships that will lead to a self-sustaining funding model to support all three pillars of the program, allowing Project CLEAR to thrive well beyond when these grant funds are exhausted.”