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Posted on: November 21, 2011

Department of Commerce awards training grant funding to community and technical colleges

The Kansas Department of Commerce announced today that it has awarded $500,000 in funding to six community and technical colleges under the Jobs and Innovative Industry Skills Training (JIIST) grant. The institutions will use the money to develop innovative programs with private companies that need workers with specific jobs skills or to meet other industry training needs.

“There are good companies in Kansas looking for workers, but those individuals must have the right training and skill set,” said Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George. “This grant will focus funding on workforce training to fit the specific needs of companies looking to expand their business activities and create jobs.”

The target for JIIST funds is high-growth, high-wage, and highly skilled occupations with higher than average job vacancy rates or projected growth rates.

The institutions receiving funds have created a plan that includes a strong partnership and alignment with industry and the public workforce system, and integrates the workforce priorities of the state.

“It’s critically important to the economic recovery of Kansas that companies are able to find workers with the required skills, and this grant provides another way for individuals to acquire training and re-enter the workforce or advance in their careers,” George said.

For more information, contact Kathy Hund, director of workforce training and education for the Department of Commerce, at (785) 296-0205 or

Institutions sharing the grant, with company partners, are:

Coffeyville Community College, Coffeyville
CVR Energy
The college will use the grant to train workers in the petroleum industry, which is showing a strong demand for workers in this region of the state.

Neosho County Community College, Chanute
Spirit AeroSystems
Spirit recently announced a new facility in Chanute. JIIST funds will be used in conjunction with other training funds to provide additional support for the company’s local workforce.

North Central Kansas Technical College, Beloit
K&W Underground; Bear Communications; and Associated Builders and Contractors (Heartland Midwest)
Directional drilling training offered for high-demand, high-wage jobs in the broadband and line construction sectors.

Northwest Kansas Technical College, Goodland
Apple Inc.; Eagle Communication; Sparrow Development; Quark Studios; and New Age Wireless
Workers will receive training to become full-time mobile app developers. Individuals may train on-line and access training remotely, leading to IT jobs in rural Kansas.

Washburn Institute of Technology, Topeka
Training provided for high-demand, high-wage jobs in advanced systems technology and industrial maintenance.

Wichita Area Technical College, Wichita
Via Christi
JIIST funds will support existing initiatives to train workers for a variety of entry level and advanced health career pathways.

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