At no time in history has workforce development been more important. Education and skills are the keys not only to individual prosperity but also the economic vitality and quality of life for Kansas. Technical training focused on workforce demand offers a value proposition to students, employers, and communities. Technical education and training prepares individuals with high skills for better careers and personal enrichment, provides employers with on-demand availability of skilled workers, and supplies industry with a steady pipeline of talent development for higher quality of life for Kansans.

The Workforce Development unit focuses efforts and resources to prepare workers for careers in Kansas’ highest-priority fields, such as health care, advanced manufacturing/aviation, energy, and health sciences. Education and training in these critical industries will help ensure a strong Kansas economy long into the future. Successful workforce development programs improve our learners’ employability and earnings potential and continued profitability for employers. The Workforce Development unit

  • serves as the link between higher education and the workforce and economic needs vital to local communities and the state;
  • fosters economic development in the state by providing leadership in defining and advocating statewide economic development initiatives;
  • partners with the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas Department of Labor to develop an integrated education and workforce training system that unifies efforts, produces highly skilled workers, and leverages resources to aligned priority needs and maximize benefits;
  • supports college partners as they provide high-quality, cost effective, short-term, career-relevant training solutions, as well as academic programs and certifications aligned with the needs of today's employers.

Workforce Link is a newsletter created especially for business and industry partners highlighting current workforce development activities and initiatives supporting a skilled Kansas workforce.

Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority

Created by the Kansas Legislature in 2007, the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA), under the auspices of the Kansas Board of Regents, makes recommendations to the Regents regarding the coordination, statewide planning and improvements/enhancements to the postsecondary technical education system. The TEA is composed of 12 appointed members.

A listing of the current TEA members, the Strategic Plan and additional information regarding the TEA can be found through the following link: Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority

Kansas Department of Commerce Partnership

Agency leadership at the Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kansas Board of Regents recognized the interrelated goals and mutual dependency of economic development and workforce development. In 2005, the agencies created a shared position between the two agencies to ensure the education and training efforts of the state are working efficiently together to support individuals, businesses, and communities in achieving economic prosperity.

The Director of Workforce Training and Education Services serves as the liaison between the two agencies and connects Commerce workforce development programs and services to the postsecondary training system through special projects and leverages the postsecondary education system as a solution to current and future workforce needs. The Director maintains systematic communication between the agencies, the KANSASWORKS State Board, the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority, and the Workforce Investment Act program operators and vendors. The position serves both agencies as the lead communication manager working with Business and Industry committees and postsecondary program alignment in support of industry credentials.

Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCT)

Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCT) power point presentation (pdf) from February 21, 2011. The slides provide a Commerce overview on Trade Adjustment Assistance and some suggestions for Kansas frameworks and current initiatives to help college consortia with their grant applications. For more information, contact Kathy Hund at (785) 296-0205 or by email.

Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-270)

Reauthorized in 2006, the purpose of this Act is to develop more fully the academic and career technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students enrolled in career technical education programs by:

  • Building on the efforts of states and localities to develop challenging academic and technical standards and to assist students in meeting these standards, including preparation for high-skill, high-wage or high-demand occupations in current or emerging professions;
  • Integrating rigorous and challenging academic and career technical instruction;
  • Linking secondary and postsecondary career technical education;
  • Increasing flexibility in providing services designed to develop, implement, and improve career technical education;
  • Collecting and disseminating national research and information on best practices that improve career technical education programs, services, and activities;
  • Providing technical assistance that promotes leadership, initial preparation, and professional development and improves the quality of career technical education teachers, faculty, administrators and counselors;
  • Supporting partnerships among diverse stakeholders; and
  • Providing individuals with opportunities throughout their lifetimes to develop the knowledge and skills needed to keep the U.S. competitive.

Each year the U.S. Congress appropriates federal funds, distributed through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education, to states with approved state plans for the purpose of carrying out the activities outlined in this legislation. The Kansas Board of Regents serves as the “sole state agency” for the Carl D. Perkins funds allocated to Kansas. These funds are shared equally between the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas State Department of Education with each receiving approximately $6,000,000, to support approved career technical education programs and initiatives within the state. The Regents office administers the postsecondary portion of these funds, works closely with the Kansas State Department of Education for administration of the secondary portion of these funds, and submits all required accountability reports for the state. A complete copy of the Kansas State Plan for Career and Technical Education (2008-2013) approved by the U.S. Department of Education may be found at the following link: Approved Carl D. Perkins State Plan for Career and Technical Education.

State Technology Innovation and Internship Program

K.S.A. 72-4467 established the Kansas Technology Innovation and Internship grant program which is administered by the Board through Workforce Development unit. State funds are appropriated on an annual basis and awarded to institutions on a competitive basis. Grant funds provide start-up support for the development of innovative technical courses or programs in emerging technologies, manufacturing or areas of skill shortages as well as paid internships for technical faculty to work in business and industry, or enable individuals from business and industry to work in a technical program at a postsecondary institution. Conditions for participation in this program require support from private business (financial and/or in-kind) equaling 100% of the amount requested in the grant application, that the technical course is new to Kansas or not offered within 100 miles of the institution, and that the technical course or program is related to a business or industry located within the service area of the institution.
State Innovative Technology Grant Information and Forms
State Technology Internship Grant Information and forms 

Keeping Kansas Competitive

Over 100 policy makers, thought leaders and stakeholders attended the Governor’s Forum on “Keeping Kansas Competitive: Increasing Postsecondary Credentials,” on September 17, 2010, at the National Center for Aviation Training at Wichita Area Technical College. The Forum provided awareness of the growing need for a Kansas workforce with high skills and postsecondary credentials (certificates, associate degrees and higher) to support the economy. Dr. James Applegate, Senior Vice President of the Lumina Foundation, provided a keynote address explaining the critical need to increase college attainment rates by recruiting and educating adults age 25 and older with higher skills and competencies as required by employers. He stressed the importance of college completion (including technical certificates, associate degrees and higher) as even more critical than college access. Data from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce indicates 64% of Kansas jobs will require some level of postsecondary education by the year 2018. Currently 40.5% of Kansans have achieved an associate degree or higher and 25% have some college but no degree. To reach the 64% goal, the state must increase postsecondary attainment by about 1,500 citizens per year. Download the brochure (PDF) here.

Other Resources

For access to additional resources please use the following links: