Chamber Releases Report Stressing Education, Training

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce has released a blueprint for upgrading workforce development 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.

The Reflector reports that at the core of the analysis was the belief that 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 North Carolina, focused on how education could better align with staffing needs of industries.

The report concluded Kansas businesses were having difficulty finding workers with required skills, employers weren’t sufficiently involved in the education system’s workforce development, and the state’s colleges and universities should more quickly respond to economic shifts.

The report included 20 reform ideas, including a suggestion Kansas labor law be amended to allow people under 18 to get more work experience, and to extend school district liability coverage to protect businesses that take on young employees or interns.