Kansas Veteran Programs Maintain Strong Relationships, Bright Future

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A meeting was held on Monday between the Kansas Department of Commerce and representatives from the United States armed forces to discuss successes and future plans in the partnership between KANSASWorks and the military.

The Department of Commerce works with Kansas’ military installations, which include Fort Leavenworth, McConnell Air Force Base, and Fort Riley, to help transition outgoing soldiers to steady and successful careers in Kansas. New programs such as “Hero’s Make America”, Corporate America Fellowship, and Career Skills are at the forefront of this effort.

These programs work in conjunction with Kansas Workforce centers near the military installations, helping to provide soft skill workshops, including customized resumé assistance, interviewing techniques, and other basic employment skills.

“There are several programs that the Kansas Department of Commerce, KANSASWorks, and our Local Area Partners currently have,” said Gary Westerman, State Manager of Veteran Employment Services for KDC. “We are the ‘One-Stop’ shop when it comes to all the local workforce centers across Kansas. We have to educate our service members either transitioning or veteran status and their families of the great opportunities in Kansas, both for employment and continuing to be part of our Kansas communities.”

BG Douglas Sims (left), Deputy Director J35 at the Pentagon, speaking with collaborative team members from the Ft. Riley expanded community as part of the “Meet Your Army” initiative

Another program is in the works with Fort Riley and 6 local technical colleges, 2 community colleges, and Fort Hayes State. The program will provide a semester of technical certifications to those transitioning from the military with 180 days of separation, based on the needs of Kansas employers.

Since this program parallels what the Veterans and Apprenticeship program does, Fort Riley will cover transportation to-and-from, with KDC, in turn, working with local employers to advocate the program. This is intended to offset any additional costs that apprenticeship cannot cover.

More on this new initiative will be revealed at a later date, as the program is still being finalized.

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