KC region selected for GEAR award

Sep 16, 2019
| Posted in
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On Sept. 10, the U.S. General Services Administration announced a $300,000 GEAR award for a Data Academy proposal submitted by the Volcker Alliance, MARC and Johns Hopkins University Centers for Civic Impact.

The project is one of three selected nationwide as grand prize winners of GSA’s Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center challenge. The award will support training at least 250 federal workers in the Kansas City region to make better use of data to drive decision-making, policy development and innovation.

Project partners will be able to hit the ground running on this 12-month project by building on skills development efforts already underway:

  • In March, the Volcker Alliance named Kansas City as a pilot site for its new Government-to-University (G2U) initiative, and MARC convened a regional coalition to guide efforts around three key objectives: recruitment of a talented workforce, skills development, and research. G2U coalition partners identified the development of a data academy as an early priority to skill up public sector workers at all levels.
  • Through its GovEx Academy, founded in April 2015, Johns Hopkins’ Centers for Civic Impact offers certified online courses that range from basic data literacy to advanced data science. Since its launch in April 2015, GovEx has worked with 140 governments and thousands of public sector employees around the world to build data skills.

The GEAR grant will combine the expertise of all three partners to tailor a replicable, scalable curriculum to meet public sector data skills needs in Greater Kansas City. While the GEAR grant focuses on federal workers, MARC’s G2U Data Academy will include all levels of government — federal, state and local.