In response to a graying energy workforce and expected retirements, the Kansas Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) invested in the KANSASEnergyWORKS (formerly EnergyNET) initiative. This innovative collaboration was developed among energy sector employers, Kansas community and technical colleges, Commerce and KBOR. The goals are to establish a statewide system responsive to the training needs of energy sector employers; define the skills, competencies, and credentials required by employers in the energy industry; deliver industry-approved curriculum validated by employers and ensure standard outcomes are achieved; enhance the delivery system for energy programs to include hybrid and on-line education and increase accessibility and flexibility to better meet the needs of working adult learners; utilize the public community and technical college partners to supply training in a cooperative model; provide energy education and training throughout the state using the partnership to reduce duplication and maximize investment of public funds; and conduct outreach efforts to deliver more training to incumbent and emerging workers in the energy industry.
The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR), in collaboration with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), was awarded a Rigorous Program s of Study (RPOS) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Entitled, “Career Ready Kansas” (CRK), the grant initiative showcases four secondary and five postsecondary partners delivering rigorous programs of study (POS) to improve student learning outcomes and respond to changing workforce and economic development needs in Kansas. Focused on Manufacturing, Kansas will develop and implement a rigorous POS for the Manufacturing-Production Career Cluster. Utilizing state-approved pathways, Kansas students will attain the advanced academic and technical skills needed for the high demand, high wage, knowledge based jobs these occupations require.