Steve McPheeters, a superintendent for Noranda Aluminum and a moving force behind several community improvement efforts in Southeast Missouri, received the Distinguished Business/Industry Award at the annual MCCA convention on Nov. 3 at Lake of the Ozarks.
McPheeters was nominated for the award by TRCC President Dr. John Cooper. The award recognizes individuals for encouraging worker training and enhancing the relationship between industries and community colleges.
"We have a good, longstanding relationship with TRCC," said McPheeters. "The instructors are good and the service is excellent. Three Rivers delivers what we need."
Long a promoter of cooperation between education and industry, McPheeters helped establish the Sikeston Area Higher Education Center (SAHEC), created as a joint venture between TRCC and Southeast Missouri State University.
As executive director of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1990s, McPheeters helped create and maintain community momentum for the center, where both TRCC and Southeast Missouri State offer classes to area residents. McPheeters was chief fundraiser for conversion and remodeling of a former bank building as a temporary home for SAHEC, which started classes in 1998. McPheeters served as the first president of the SAHEC Advisory Board and continues as a board member. He also helped organize the first annual SAHEC Scholarship Fund Raising Dinner.
During his tenure at the Sikeston Chamber, McPheeters started new programs including the Business/Education EXPO and the Farm Tour and helped establish the Sikeston /Miner Convention and Visitors Bureau. He also provided leadership for creation of Sikeston's Business Education and Technology Park, where SAHEC is located.
McPheeters joined Noranda's plant in New Madrid seven years ago and has continued his efforts to improve worker training and develop relationships between businesses and educational institutions. As Noranda's superintendent of Communication, Training and Development and manager of Continuous Improvement, McPheeters supported an effort to establish a training consortium that would allow companies to pool their training resources.
In 2001, the Bootheel Regional Training Group was formed; McPheeters became Chairman of it a year later and remains in the post. In the past two years, 10 companies have participated in 30 joint training classes of more than 320 employees, for a total of more than 6,000 instruction hours.
McPheeters has always included TRCC as a training partner.
McPheeters serves on the board of directors of the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce. He is manager of the St. Jude Industrial Park near New Madrid and currently is coordinating an effort to form a regional planning and development organization to encourage new industries and expansion of existing plants. He is a past Chairman and current board member of the Sikeston United Way and has served many years as a board member for the Kenny Rogers Children's Center in Sikeston, which provides therapy for children with special needs. The Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce named him Citizen of the Year in 2002.
He attended Southeast Missouri State University and was graduated from the Radio/Television Broadcast Institute in St. Louis. McPheeters and his wife, Patti, live in Sikeston and have three sons and two grandsons. He is active in the First United Methodist Church of Sikeston, where he participates in musical programs.