State, community leaders think up ways to get more workers in Kansas

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – There are more than 50,000 job openings in Kansas right now. Leaders across the state are meeting at a conference in Topeka to work to get those positions filled.

Kansas Economic Development Alliance and Chamber of Commerce Executives Conference are bringing local leaders and state leaders together.

Department of Commerce and Labor officials met with representatives from the Board of Regents and Department of Education to discuss the lagging number of workers in Kansas.

They thought of ways of how to shrink the number of young people leaving the state.

“They traditionally go to metros almost immediately after high school or after junior college, and we’re looking at a way that we can show them that rural Kansas is a place that they want to be,” said Matthew Godinez, executive director for the Chanute Regional Development Authority.

Economic leaders are learning about the changing workforce, young professionals, how to get pro-business elected officials and developing partnerships with local companies.

“The more that we can help them behind the scenes to create strategies and partnerships that can help provide the talent and the programs that help them sustain and grow their businesses, then I think that’s where we will succeed,” said Tiffany Stovall, CEO for Kansas Manufacturing Solutions.

The goal of the conference is to get state resources to communities in need of them.

“The Kelly administration is focused on how we can take some of that pressure off and make sure that we’re connecting job seekers to those employers who need to hire today,” said Secretary of Commerce David Toland.

The conference will continue on Tuesday. Leaders will learn what legislative issues could impact their communities.

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