The Mid-America Regional Council is involved in several workforce development initiatives in the Kansas City region, including the Walmart Foundation’s America Works Initiative, EnergyWorks KC, and the KC Jobs Accelerator program.
Walmart Foundation/America Works Initiative
MARC was awarded a two-year, $500,000 America Works Initiative grant from the Walmart Foundation in late 2009 to sustain the impact of One KC WIRED. The Kansas City region was one of seven regions chosen to receive the AWI grant. Work is under way with a regional steering committee to develop a Regional Workforce Intelligence System and to continue efforts to strengthen sector-based partnerships.
Regional Workforce Intelligence Network
The Regional Workforce Intelligence Network provides information to local agencies on existing and future jobs in the Kansas City region, skill requirements, skill gaps, training needs and opportunities for economic growth. This work is an extension of MARC’s role in economic and demographic research. A monthly dashboard and electronic newsletter were launched in February 2011. A regional employer survey was also conducted in early 2011 to better understand employer needs for a trained workforce, and key employers were contacted to solicit participation in a monthly online survey to gauge changes in economic conditions. A regional workforce summit took place in June 2011, where the employer survey results were released. A new website, www.kcworkforce.com was launched to share workforce intelligence data and monthly reports. Contact: Jeff Pinkerton, Senior Researcher, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-701-8231.
The sector-based partnerships are intended to promote a greater understanding of existing partnerships and workforce needs in the Kansas City region. These partnerships gather qualitative input from employers in a collaborative effort to identify sector-wide issues, and support the development of new relationships between workforce investment boards and community colleges to benefit firms in respective sectors. The key sectors being targeted include Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and Supply Chain Logistics. Contact: Victoria Ogier, Workforce Development Manager, at email@example.com or 816-701-8308.
Walmart Foundation workforce grant, 4/6/10
KC Jobs Accelerator
In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the Small Business Administration (SBA) selected the Greater Kansas City region to receive funds from the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. The region received $1,891,338 for its project to increase employment opportunities at the intersection of two industry clusters — advanced manufacturing and information technology.
The two-year grant will allow the region to:
- strengthen global competitiveness
- reduce the need for foreign workers using H1B visas
- make Kansas City known as a hub for innovation by creating opportunities for commercialization of new products and services from university and industry research
- provide business acceleration services to small and mid-sized businesses to grow through supply-chain connections, market intelligence, and technical services.
For more information about program partners, please check out the Fact Sheet regarding the KC Regional Jobs Accelerator Project. The grant ends September 2013.
Contact: Victoria Ogier, Workforce Development Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-701-8308.
MARC Green Jobs Program
MARC has a number of programs related to green jobs through EnergyWorks KC, the Green Impact Zone®, and MARC’s Environmental Services division. A regional Green Jobs Task Force meets on a quarterly basis to discuss green workforce development projects in the region.
MARC is a subcontractor to the city of Kansas City, Missouri, to support energy conservation efforts in the city and throughout the metro area by helping to transform the building retrofit market. MARC is helping the city educate property owners and assist them in securing resources to make energy conservation improvements to their properties; strengthen the workforce development system for energy conservation work; and promote innovative practices in energy conservation. MARC is supporting six organizations in the Kansas City region to provide workforce development training programs in energy efficiency, water conservation and deconstruction through the EnergyWorks KC program.
Metropolitan Energy Center
Metropolitan Energy Center will directly train or augment training workers in energy conservation including: Commercial Energy Auditors, Weatherization Installation Contractors and Weatherization Installation Workers. In addition, MEC will train Deconstruction Workers, Recycling and Reclamation Workers, Hazardous Materials Removal Workers, Asbestos Abatement Workers, Lead Abatement Workers, and Environmental Compliance Inspectors.
Johnson County Community College
Johnson County Community College will provide green job training to JCCC students and help establish a green jobs pipeline in the metro area’s hospitality industry through the Sustainable Hospitality Internship program. Program interns will help increase restaurants’ energy efficiency and water conservation.
Kansas City Kansas Community College
Kansas City Kansas Community College will provide a Construction Green-Up training program to prepare unskilled and low-income individuals for employment in a construction “green job”, with a focus on deconstruction training, which is defined as the selective dismantlement or removal of materials from buildings before, or instead of, demolition. The curriculum has been designed around six modules or skill areas: Occupational Safety and Health certification; Lead Renovator, Repair and Painting certification; Forklift Operation certification; Deconstruction and Salvageable Material Training; Business and Entrepreneurship Workshop; and Essential Employability Skills and Career Placement.
University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri will provide two training programs that are a part of the National Energy Retrofit Institute program — Retrofit Brokers (RB) training and Residential Energy Client Service Coordinators (RECSC) training. The Retrofit Broker training will focus on underemployed real estate professionals who will provide direct energy awareness education to property owners. RECSC training will target unemployed individuals who can provide customer service for property owners who want to explore energy efficiency.
Metropolitan Community College
MCC will train individual contractors/laborers in abatement and deconstruction and offer small business development training to 12 new and small businesses. The program will implement an On-the-Job Training program to place residents trained in abatement and deconstruction into jobs with contractors for the KCMOPD East Patrol Division and Regional Crime Lab’s $57 million development project on a 20-acre campus between 26–27th Streets and Brooklyn–Prospect Avenues. Sixty-six structures, mostly residential, will be demolished and the city hopes to employ local companies hiring local residents to abate the properties and deconstruct using principles of materials remediation to reduce the amount of waste deposited in landfills.
Full Employment Council
FEC will develop a Green KC Careers Training Initiative to increase the number of individuals trained and placed in deconstruction, water conservation and building energy efficiency. The program model will provide “green-jobs” certifications based on work experience and energy-efficiency classroom training combined with internships. FEC will also develop a Web page designed as a one-stop “green” career employment and training resource guide, providing information to customers on the Green KC Careers Initiative. It will function as a “hot spot” for job seekers to obtain information on jobs and training and will provide employers with on-the-job training information, program guidelines, steps to submitting job listings and contact information.
Contacts: Victoria Ogier, Workforce Development Program Manager, 816-701-8308, email@example.com
Green Impact Zone
The Green Impact Zone has developed a jobs pipeline to provide workplace readiness training for zone residents who want to attain long-term employment. Applicants accepted into the jobs pipeline will receive free training for the skills employers seek most, and those who successfully complete the training will also receive assistance in connecting those skills to employment opportunities.
The Green Impact Zone initiative is an effort to concentrate resources — with funding, coordination, and public and private partnerships — in one specific area to demonstrate that a targeted effort can literally transform a community. This national model for place-based investment is now underway in the heart of Kansas City's urban core. The project, proposed by U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, is putting people and dollars to work to strengthen neighborhoods, create jobs and improve energy efficiency. The initiative includes housing rehab and weatherization programs, community policing and services, job training and placement, and health and wellness programs, all built around a comprehensive neighborhood outreach program and using sustainability as a catalyst for this transformation.
The Green Impact Zone is a 150-square block area of Kansas City, Mo., that has experienced severe abandonment and economic decline. About 25 percent of its properties are vacant lots and another one-sixth are vacant structures. Unemployment in Kansas City, Mo., is now 11.7 percent citywide and estimated to be as much as 50 percent in parts of this zone. The Green Impact Zone’s strategy is to transform this community into a thriving, sustainable neighborhood — not just to hold the decline at bay. To do this, the zone has assembled a core team of leaders within the neighborhood and community development organizations in the zone, as well as the programmatic, nonprofit, private, and civic leadership necessary to support a comprehensive strategy that will transform the entire zone. www.greenimpactzone.org.
Contacts: Anita Maltbia, Director, 816-936-8801; firstname.lastname@example.org
Twana Hall-Scott, Assistant Director/Outreach Manager, 816-936-8802; email@example.com