State of Missouri Backs Gateway Global’s Geospatial Intelligence Training Programs with $5 Million Investment
For immediate release: July 1, 2022
State of Missouri Backs Gateway Global’s Geospatial Intelligence Training
Programs with $5 Million Investment
Funds will train youth for geospatial jobs of today and tomorrow
ST. LOUIS – To help increase job training and employment opportunities for youth in the rapidly growing geospatial technology sector, the State of Missouri plans to make a $5 million
investment in Gateway Global, a workforce development organization headquartered in St.
Louis. The $5 million investment is included 2022-2023 state budget.
“This is a big win for the St. Louis region, and also for the State of Missouri, as we train a
younger workforce to have the skills and abilities necessary to handle some of the most critical
roles in the geospatial workforce,” said Zekita Armstrong Asuquo, Chair and CEO of Gateway
Global. “This win is the result of dedicated and hardworking Missouri legislators like
Representative Lakeysha Bosley and Senator Karla May, who believe in our vision and
understand how critical it is that we have a sense of urgency when it comes to developing
talent right here in our communities by meeting people where they are and understanding the
challenges that create barriers to entry.” Gateway Global will use the investment to ramp up its Geospatial Intelligence Technician training program for youth and young adults 16 and older, increase its staff, and fund operations related to training, curriculum, and instruction.
Gateway Global is the nation’s first, and currently the only, organization accredited by the
United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) to train in geospatial intelligence at
the high school level, including recent high school graduates. This training includes geospatial
intelligence, geographic information systems and has extension programming in human
geography and data analytics. This full suite of stackable skills is designed to satisfy the talent
needs of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency -- which is scheduled to move into its new
$1.7B headquarters in north St. Louis in 2025 -- and the IT companies that support the agency
as St. Louis continues to grow as a national and international hub for geospatial technology,
research, talent, and workforce development. Trainees between the ages of 16-18 -- the majority of whom will be under-resourced job seekers in need of transportation and other related resources -- will receive stipends during their training as well as supportive services.
Gateway Global has already trained cohorts of youth across the St. Louis region and in
southeast and southwest Missouri and has plans to expand its training to the western and
northern parts of the state. A portion of the state’s funding will be allocated to the Hyde Park location of the Geospatial & IT Workforce and Apprenticeship Campus (GIWAC) being developed by Armstrong Asuquo. The GIWAC -- a three-building project where Gateway Global will train and qualify job seekers statewide for jobs related to defense, homeland security, emergency response, disaster relief, utilities management, and critical infrastructure support -- will act as a state and national headquarters for in-person training, online learning, and workforce resources like apprenticeships, internships, and general junior and mid-level employment opportunities. Participants in Gateway Global’s Entry to Executive program also learn how to build mapping applications, conduct research, collect and manage data, and perform basic intelligence reporting. Gateway Global’s courses and programming are designed to act as a bridge between high school graduate diplomas and higher education by offering courses that assist under-resourced youth and young adults in becoming career focused while earning industry recognized credentials. “The vision is to assist trainees with career planning that will take them beyond entry level and into roles with more responsibility and higher pay while they earn a living and pursue more education,” said Armstrong Asuquo. “This model is the future of cultivating a racially and geographically diverse workforce of skilled, viable American talent.”