Workforce

The Kansas Edge Means a Well-Trained, Highly Skilled Workforce
Kansas has implemented numerous programs to ensure that our state’s workforce is equipped to meet the needs of businesses and provide a strategic advantage to employers in a global economy.

Workforce Aligned with Industry Demand (AID)
The Workforce AID initiative allows the Department of Commerce and the Kansas Board of Regents to work with employers to address areas in which there is a shortage of skilled workers. Through the program, businesses drive training programs at colleges, outlining the skills and industry-recognized credentials their employees need for success. Participants meet with employers throughout the process, helping them earn industry-recognized credentials. Participants who graduate from their programs are guaranteed an interview.

Career Technical Education Initiative
In 2012, Kansas introduced the Career Technical Education initiative to encourage high school students to earn postsecondary technical credentials. The program allows high school students to enroll in approved college level technical education courses at no cost. Under the program, high school enrollment in technical education courses has more than doubled. This has helped expand the pool of high school graduates with advanced skills and certifications, making it easier for employers to hire qualified workers.

Keeping Kansas Competitive Engineering Initiative
The Keeping Kansas Competitive Engineering initiative is providing $210 million in funding during a 10 year period to the state’s professional engineering programs at Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University. From 2012-2021, $3.5 million per year in state funds is being provided for each engineering school, with a dollar-for-dollar match provided by the universities.

This investment is being used to increase engineering graduates in the state. The three universities are working to grow the number of students through increases in scholarships, internship opportunities and professional opportunities for engineers in Kansas, and are working to retain engineering graduates in the state. With the new programs, Kansas universities will have 1,365 engineering graduates per year by 2021.

Additional Information
For more information about these Workforce initiatives, contact Zoe Thompson, Director of Workforce Training and Education with the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Board of Regents at 785-296-0205.