KS Chamber releases workforce development plan

The Kansas Chamber released a blueprint for upgrading workforce development Wednesday that relies on expanding high school and college students’ preparation for high-demand careers, massive growth of apprenticeship opportunities and investment in recruiting of younger adults leaving the military and former Kansans living in nearby Midwest cities.

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October 22, 2020 - 9:20 AM

Alan Cobb, president of the Kansas Chamber, says a new workforce development report shows businesses need to form stronger bonds with K-12, college and university programs to create a workforce of the future. The state also must work harder to recruit young adults to Kansas for the quality of life offered. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The Kansas Chamber released a blueprint for upgrading workforce development Wednesday that relies on expanding high school and college students’ preparation for high-demand careers, massive growth of apprenticeship opportunities and investment in recruiting of younger adults leaving the military and former Kansans living in nearby Midwest cities.

At the core of the analysis was the belief states successful in building a bigger talent pipeline to educate, train, recruit and retain a qualified workforce would exceed economic progress in states that fell short on that front. The report sponsored by the Kansas Chamber and produced by Economic Leadership, a consulting firm in Raleigh, N.C., focused on how education could better align with staffing needs of industries.

“You’re in competition with the other states in the country and labor is the top issue,” said Ted Abernathy, of Economic Leadership. “You cannot have a state that’s going to be successful that isn’t able to grow its labor and isn’t able to continue to give its labor the skills that they need in a pretty fast changing world.”

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