Workforce Alliance Receives $5,995,327 America’s Promise Grant

Workforce Alliance Receives $5,995,327 America’s Promise Grant

Wichita, KS  –  The Workforce Alliance of South Central (WA) Kansas has been awarded a $5,995,327 four year America’s Promise grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The America’s Promise grant, or Kansas Advanced Manufacturing Program (KAMP), will support tuition free skills training, develop work-based learning opportunities and on-the-job training to prepare participants for careers in the aviation and advanced manufacturing industries. KAMP is designed to move low-wage and underemployed workers to high-paying manufacturing careers. “The Workforce Alliance is pleased to be awarded the America’s Promise grant,” said Keith Lawing, president and CEO Workforce Alliance of South Central KS. “The need for skilled manufacturing workers exists among employers across the region and this project can help close a skills gap for many job seekers.”

The WA will partner with Spirit AeroSystems, Wichita Area Technical College (WATC), Wichita State University, Hutchinson Community College, The Greater Wichita Partnership, Textron Aviation, XLT Ovens, JR Custom Metals, Flint Hill Industries, the Lowen Corporation, the Bradbury Group, the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas WorkforceOne to administer the grant throughout Butler, Cowley, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Marion, McPherson, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner Counties.

“Wichita Area Technical College is proud to be a collaborative educational partner in the America’s Promise grant,” said Sheree Utash, president Wichita Area Technical College.  “We look forward to working with the advanced manufacturing industry, Workforce Alliance and others to provide tuition assistance and training for students with an earn and learn component that will connect well-paying manufacturing jobs to employers.”

“The economic vitality of Spirit depends on our ability to hire skilled workers,” said Justin Welner, Spirit AeroSystems vice president, human resources and EH&S. “A major challenge the aircraft industry faces is a significant shortage of workers with technical skills. Manufacturing plays a key role in helping to drive the region’s business success, for continued economic growth of our communities.”

The local 10 county region is one of 23 regional partnerships across the United States to receive funding through the America’s Promise grant which totals more than $111 million and will connect more than 21,000 Americans to education and in-demand jobs. More information on the grant can be found at

WA staff will be working with officials from the USDOL over the next few weeks on the details to implement KAMP. It is anticipated the project will be operating in early 2017.

The Workforce Alliance is the Administrative Entity, One Stop Operator, and Program Administrator for Local Area IV in Kansas, which includes the counties of Butler, Cowley, Harper, Kingman, Sedgwick and Sumner.  Operations for Local Area IV are directed by the Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB). The daily operations of the LWIB are carried out by a professional staff, led by a President and Chief Executive Officer. For additional information on the Workforce Alliance please visit



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Kansas Local Area IV Releases Request for Proposals for One Stop Operator

The Kansas Local Workforce Development Board for Local Area IV is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purpose of selecting a qualified contractor as a One-Stop Operator under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) for the Kansas Local Area IV Workforce Development Area.  The RFP is available at for download.  A mandatory Pre Conference is scheduled for December 7, 2016 at 9 a.m. at the Wichita Workforce Center at 2021 N Amidon, Wichita, KS 67202.  Proposals are due on January 11, 2017 at 9 a.m. as directed in the RFP. 

To view the RFP click here.

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Soft Skills – Week 1: Effective Listening

One of the most important soft skills to master is the ability to listen effectively.


Effective listening is the ability to understand and display interest in the information or topic being discussed. It can also include asking a question and providing feedback to show you understand.

Most of us believe we already know how to do this, but do we really? Studies have shown that that the average person listens at only about 25% efficiency1. So, if you want to master this soft skill, start paying attention to how well you listen. Here are some tips that might help:

  • Face the person you’re talking to and make good eye contact
  • Make sure your facial expression is appropriate and shows interest
  • Monitor your body language – relax!
  • Ask clarifying questions, don’t just assume you know
  • Paraphrase the speaker to clarify and show understanding
  • Display a positive attitude
  • Don’t interrupt and ignore distractions

Need more?  Here’s a great article by Forbes

10 Steps To Effective Listening

  1. Husman, R. C., Lahiff, J. M., & Penrose, J. M.  (1988). Business Communication: Strategies and skills.  Chicago: Dryden Press.
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