Since taking office, Gov. Mike Parson has focused heavily on jobs. Earlier this year, he went so far as to sign an executive order to merge the departments of higher education and workforce development. Zora Mulligan, Missouri’s higher education commissioner, helps lead the new department in Jefferson City. She said the change has helped broaden the state’s scope of job preparedness. Previously, she said the education department placed too much emphasis on four-year degree programs as the clear path to a well-paying job.