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Creative Workforce Development Solutions in Kansas City

by Mary Rooney | Apr 03, 2018

Various estimates say there are six million manufacturing jobs going unfilled today. As manufacturers across the country struggle to fill jobs with qualified workers with the right skills, many companies in the Kansas City area are finding new and creative ways to fill the skills gap. Here are a few examples of the ongoing workforce development efforts in the region:

  • LMV Automotive Systems added a state-of-the-art Innovation and Training Center that occupies approximately 2,500-sq.-ft. of space in the company's facility in Liberty, Mo.  The center includes all of the assembly technologies currently in use at LMV, such as robotic spot and MIG welding, and will be used to develop the weld technicians, tooling technicians and maintenance personnel required for LMV's operations. In addition to offering hands-on experience, the center features classroom and innovation areas where employees can learn the principles and practices of lean manufacturing. (Source)

  • A local manufacturer, Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technology used to place ads and wait for prospects to apply for manufacturing jobs. Now, it's courting area high school students with tours, scholarships and promises of employment. Read the full article here.

  • Metropolitan Community College-Business & Technology has developed a modern apprenticeship program designed to address the growing skills gap and meet the needs of changing industries. The apprenticeships at MCC-Business & Technology allow businesses to customize their employees' training while the college manages the program.  The program also allows companies to focus on employee success while the campus handles the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) paperwork and requirements. (Source)

  • The KC Animal Health Corridor introduced the MT1 Certification to the Kansas City market in August 2015. Launched by the Manufacturing Skills Institute in 2009, the MT1 Certification is endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers and included in its National Skills Certification system.

  • Many of the manufacturers are helping with training and education, even before the potential employee is available to be hired. One example is the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) program that immerses high school students in a profession-based learning approach. CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high skill, high demand jobs. Learn more about Blue Valley CAPS and Northland CAPS.

  • Another example of profession-based learning is in Olathe, where high school students have the opportunity to enroll in 21st Century Academies and the Olathe Area Technical Center, leaving high school with dual college credit, endorsements, industry-recognized credentials, robust job shadowing, internships and real-world projects tied to job expectations.

Workforce is a core focus for KC SmartPort and KCADC.  We will continue to support and share information on initiatives that are leading the way. 


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