Career Pathways Initiative

Kansas

LOCAL WORKFORCE AREA(S):

Local Area IV - Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas—Wichita WIB

BRIEF SITE DESCRIPTION:

Kansas is a largely rural state with three major metropolitan areas (Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City) and five local area workforce boards. In Wichita the regional economy was hit harder than any other in the state because of the economic recession that began in late 2008; it devastated the aviation industry, which provides 22 – 25% of the tax base for the state. The second largest industry in Kansas is health care. Aviation is preparing for a recovery beginning in 2012 but there is also a need to replace retiring workers. Many efforts are underway to recruit, assess, train, and place low-income, low-skilled individuals in jobs within these two industries. These efforts include the PACES program of the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas (Preparation for Aviation/Advanced Career Employment System), which has been funded by foundations, corporations, public, and private funders. Also the Kansas Health Profession Opportunity Project, a statewide effort to place TANF and other low-income persons in health care occupations, is a new grant the Kansas Department of Commerce received through the US Department of Health and Human Services. They will work with all five local workforce boards to place 500 individuals in healthcare positions across the state.

GOALS:

  • Development of career ladders for the health care industry, with curricula for each step in the career ladder that enables individuals who complete the training to enter jobs that will support their families
  • Development of true coordination/integration among various partner agencies, each providing a component of the total workforce development solution, with each agency understanding its roles and responsibilities and specific funding investments for the career pathways project
  • Health care businesses engaged in helping to develop, utilize, and improve the curricula for each ladder within the career pathways project
  • Staff will have an understanding of the cultural issues facing the transient and populations with multiple barriers, and will have effective “wrap around” solutions to ensure they continue with the program and do not “drop out”

SECTORS/INDUSTRIES:

Aviation and Health Care.

AREAS OF STRENGTH/PROMISING PRACTICES:

We are working to develop better systems for combining Adult Basic Education and skills-based training programs to provide adult learners with technical skills that make them job-ready. Also we are leveraging the strength of the workforce systems to develop better models for implementing best practices developed in other programs. We can use our training dollars to work with other community-based organizations to reduce duplication and create a more holistic system of providing needed services.

TEAM MEMBERS/PARTNERS

State Team:

  • Kathryn Hund, Director of Workforce Education and Training, Kansas Department of Commerce
  • David Brennan, Director of Employment Services, Kansas Department of Commerce
  • Shelley Thompson, WIA Services Coordinator, Kansas Department of Commerce
  • Michelle Carson, Associate Director Adult Education Services, Kansas Board of Regents

Local Team:

  • Anne Corriston, Community Relations Director, Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas
  • Michelle Rucker, Program, Manager Career Development Office of the City of Wichita
  • Margaret Harris, Associate Vice President – Adult Literacy, Wichita Area Technical College
  • Victoria Corriveau, Director of Curriculum Development, Butler Community College
  • Tim Norton, County Commissioner, Sedgwick County Commission
  • Beth Oaks, Vice President, United Way of the Plains
  • Brian Black, Senior Manager – Corporate Public Affairs, Spirit AeroSystems

WEBSITE:

No URL provided.

CONTACT:

Anne Corriston,
Community Relations Director,
Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas
150 N. Main, Suite 200, Wichita, KS 67202
Email: acorriston@workforce-ks.com
Phone: 316-461-2004 (cell) or 316-771-6615