Workforce

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Download the helpful resource: Databook 2017: Workforce

Kansas workers are a driving factor in the expansion of our state’s economy. With outstanding schools and good partnerships between industry and education, Kansas businesses have access to a workforce that is prepared to meet the needs of companies in a highly competitive global economy. Though much of the state’s population is concentrated in metropolitan areas, firms locating in any region of the state will find a motivated and skilled workforce ready to put its talent to work.

Unlike most states, Kansas combines economic development and workforce services in its Department of Commerce.  This combination creates a seamless experience for employers as they seek assistance in addressing their employment needs.  It also helps to assure that workforce services programs are employer demand-driven and focused on providing the skilled workforce sought by Kansas employers.

Commerce’s Workforce Services Division programs of special note to employers include:

  • KANSASWORKS.com is a website for both jobseekers and employers.  Companies can list their job vacancies on this site at no cost and can also search resumes posted by jobseekers. 
  • By taking the KanVet pledge, KANSASWORKS staff will work with companies to link qualified veterans to job openings.
  • Recruitment and screening assistance is available at no cost through KANSASWORKS Workforce Centers across the state.  A list of these locations can be found at KANSASWORKS.com.
  • The Kansas WORKReady! Certificate is awarded to job seekers taking the ACT WORK Keys tests (reading for information, applied mathematics, locating information).  Many Kansas employers utilize this tool as a key measure of work readiness and prefer candidates scoring at specific levels of performance.  A map reflecting the number of Kansas WORKReady! Certificates attained by level in each county can be found at KANSASWORKS.com.
  • Workforce Aligned with Industry Demand (Workforce AID) is a partnership between Commerce and the Board of Regents implementing pilot projects to align workforce training and education with industry opportunities and demand.
  • The Governor’s Career Technical Education Initiative through the Kansas Board of Regents is a highly unique program focused on developing the pipeline of future employees in Kansas.  This program allows Kansas high school juniors and seniors to take technical education courses through a community or technical college and have the tuition paid for by the state. 
  • The Engineering Skills OJT Grant can provide up to $25,000 in on-the-job training assistance to employers hiring recent college graduates or laid-off engineers.

LABOR ENVIRONMENT


Kansas is a right-to-work state guaranteed by a 1958 constitutional amendment. There are 28 states that prohibit compulsory union membership.  Some are enacted by state statute, some by amendments to their state constitutions which and are vulnerable to change by state legislatures. Kansas’ right-to-work status can only be changed by a vote of the people.  

Union Membership in Selected States

Right to work map

SKILLED WORKFORCE


The state’s education system is a powerful factor contributing to the success of Kansas businesses. Kansas has a long history of investing in the education of our youth to provide a quality workforce for the jobs created by firms choosing to do business in this state. Both the public high school graduation rate and the percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree are above the national average.

In certain areas of the state we are well-above the national average, such as in Johnson County, Kansas (Kansas City metropolitan area), where over 50% of the adults, 25 and older, have a college degree. The progressive business climate, coupled with a top-notch educational system, has resulted in an adept, well-skilled workforce.

2015-2016 high school graduates

Adults with High School Diplomas

In addition, Kansas has 26 technical and community colleges and seven universities throughout the state to provide a well-trained workforce for Kansas companies.

Kansas ranks 15th overall for business competitiveness based on 10 key economic factors, including workforce, education and transportation. In addition, through our workforce development initiatives, companies are receiving more value than ever from our workforce training and performance support.

Companies new to Kansas, or Kansas businesses needing to expand or restructure, may qualify for assistance under one of our workforce training programs. Our Workforce Services Division is customizing a growing reservoir of business-relevant training expertise within educational institutions tailored to help your company find the skilled labor you need to achieve results.

Our state ranks 15th overall for business competitiveness based on ten key economic factors, including workforce, education and transportation. In addition, through our workforce development initiatives, companies are receiving more value than ever from our workforce training and performance support. Companies new to Kansas, or Kansas businesses needing to expand or restructure, may qualify for assistance under one of our workforce training programs.

Our Workforce Services Division is customizing a growing reservoir of business-relevant training expertise within educational institutions tailored to help your company find the skilled labor you need to achieve results. Please see the Training and Workforce Services section for more information on these programs. 

Kansas Employment by Sector


WORKFORCE DATA RESOURCES 



The Kansas Department of Labor (DOL) compiles a significant amount of information related to the workforce in Kansas that can be very useful for employers and prospective business considering Kansas.

Click here to find information on the labor force participation rate, unemployment rate, wage surveys by region and occupational code, monthly labor report as well as other data compiled on labor in Kansas.

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MORE INFO

  1. View Business Incentive Brochures
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    See Available Building Sites
    Learn About Taxes & Incentives
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