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Business town hall to address workforce issues
Kansas Economic Success Depends on a Skilled Workforce
Great Bend chamber web

 The Governor’s Education Council, the Kansas Chamber and the Brandmeyer Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas School of Business have joined together in a survey-based research project to help better define the term “skills gap” as experienced in the Kansas business community.

To this end, there will be a business town hall conducted in Great Bend from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Spray/Holt Family Board Room , 1125 Williams. This project brings together the Governor’s Council on Education (Dr. Randy Watson, education commissioner and Dr. Blake Flanders, president of the Board of Regents), the Kansas Chamber and the Brandmeyer Center.

“We are seeking detailed input from businesses across the state about their experiences when recruiting and hiring the skilled workforce they need,” said Dr. Art Hall, Director of the Center. “The more businesses participate, the better understanding we will have about their challenges and how Kansas can move forward.”  

The nation and the State of Kansas are facing a “new economy” demanding a new set of skills for success. The state and nation’s economic success depends on people with the right skill sets for the workplace.  

These skill sets are much different than the past and will change in the future.  A strong partnership between business and education is needed to meet these challenges.

“For the Kansas economy to be competitive and grow, and for our kids to be successful, it is critical that we prepare our students with the skills needed in an evolving economy,” Watson said. “Kansas is taking innovative steps to meet this challenge and provide a national model.”

“However, if we are to be successful, it is imperative that education and business sustain a strong partnership,” Flanders said. “The answers to our skilled workforce survey will be instrumental to education and state leaders in preparing our students for success and our businesses the opportunity to grow.”  Kansas Chamber President and CEO Alan Cobb urged all Kansas business owners – no matter the size or focus of their companies – to complete the survey.

“Today, all sectors of the Kansas business community face a critical need for skilled workers,” Cobb said. “To provide a bright future for our students, businesses, and the Kansas economy, the business community needs a strong partnership with education to address the skilled workforce gap.” said Cobb, adding data collected from the skilled workforce survey will help the Kansas Chamber develop its action plan for Vision 2025 workforce needed for the next 20 years. Businesses can complete the survey by going to