This year, the Mid-America Regional Council’s fifth annual Greater KC Workforce and Education Summit focused on efforts to foster a talented and highly educated workforce through post-secondary attainment in high-demand fields.
During the summit, regional education and workforce leaders shared information about strategies to improve college and career readiness, college retention and adult learning programs. They also talked about sharing data and creating stronger partnerships between industry and education.
Metropolitan Community College Chancellor Mark James also talked about the relationship between business leaders and educators in his keynote address. He explained collaboration is vital to student success.
“It is not just a conversation amongst educators; the conversation has to include employers. At the end of the day, education needs to focus on driving workforce and meeting workforce needs for current employers and future employers,” said James.
James mentioned the great work already happening in the area and hopes the community can provide even more options for students to succeed.
“As a region, we have some of the most innovative programs and partnerships in the country. I would put what is going on in Kansas City up against any other city in the country. We are providing our students with access to cutting edge organizations like Prep KC, KC STEM Alliance, Project Lead the Way, Skills USA, the Missouri Innovation Campus, Blue Valley CAPS and Northland CAPS. If I have left someone out I apologize, there are just so many great innovations going on in the city. Our challenge now, how do we take these initiatives to a broader scale,” said James.
At the summit, leaders also shared information about a new regional post-secondary attainment initiative supported by the Lumina Foundation’s Community Partnership for Attainment program. MARC also released an in-depth report on education and workforce metrics in the Kansas City region.