(Sept. 30, 2022) – Yesterday, the Special Committee on Workforce Development, chaired by Representative Sean Tarwater (R-Stillwell), heard from Legislative Research staff on the current state of workforce. Patrick Baker, Midwest Region, Western Governors University, updated the committee on reducing workforce barriers.
Andrew Schlapp, Wichita State University, and Kevin Walker, senior vice president of public policy for Overland Park Chamber joined the committee to discuss Kansas-based solutions. The committee also heard from the following on higher education perspectives:
- Heather Morgan, Kansas Association of Community College Trustees
- Alyisa Johnston, Fort Scott Community College
- Elisa Waldman, Johnson County Community College
Jeff Maxon, Kansas Information Security Office, provided a presentation on the Governor's Cybersecurity Taskforce Recommendations for Workforce Development.
Randy Reinhart, CEO, Zephyr Products, Inc. testified on its partnerships with Lansing Correctional Facility for a program that trains inmates to return to the labor force.
Emily Lopez, senior director of human resources, Spirit Aerosystems, updated the committee on the challenges and possible solutions in the aviation sector and highlighted the use of the Aviation Tax Credit. The committee inquired about the partnership with Wichita State University Tech that brought the National Institute for Aviation Research Works programs.
Committee members also inquired about childcare as a future topic and suggested loosening regulations through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and making ages match between centers and home centers. The committee requested information on the status of those regulations. Childcare will be a priority at the next meeting.
The committee will have more discussion around possible suggestions at the next meeting, scheduled for the last week in October.