Helping Youth Prepare for Employment (HYPE) Media Advisory

In 2019, the Helping Youth Prepare for Employment (HYPE), a Youth Employment Network, was formally established through collaboration of community partners including the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, the City of Wichita, the Greater Wichita YMCA, USD 259 and Wichita State University. These partners are joining forces to leverage resources and align services to achieve significant community impact.

On September 12, 2019, Mayor Jeff Longwell announced the 2019 HYPE outcomes at his weekly media briefing. The video can be found at

The purpose of HYPE is exactly what the acronym stands for, to help teens and young adult prepare for employment, finding a first job or work experience opportunity. Services through HYPE partner programs include assistance in resume creation, job search, preparing for interviews as well as education on soft skills, customer service and financial literacy. By creating partnerships with business and, HYPE sponsored 10 job fairs in the spring and early summer, where employers specifically hiring part-time, temporary or seasonal positions for young adults, were able to connect with and hire teens.

“Helping young adults earn a first job is vital to their individual success and crates a positive impact on the quality of the workforce” said Jennifer Hughes, Chair of the Workforce Alliance Board of Directors.

The 2019 HYPE outcomes include 3,252 young adults served; 1,210 gained employment with 221 employers. Outreach sessions were conducted with area high schools and community partners. In total, 47 outreach sessions to promote HYPE were held at 25 high schools in 15 school districts across 7 counties.

In addition, a pilot project, Camp HYPE, was held for young adults ages 14-15, which included workshops, career exploration and tours of many local business representing multiple industries. The project was created to support younger teens, as there are limited opportunities for students under 16 years old to gain employment. The project was based at Wichita North High School and 40 students participated. A report on Camp HYPE is attached.

The HYPE partners have already started planning for 2020. “We are all pleased by the outcomes for this year and hope we can build on those in 2020” said Keith Lawing, President and CEO of the Workforce Alliance of South Central KansasA full report on the HYPE Initiative, including summary of participant demographics will be release by WSU later this month.


Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas (WA) The Workforce Alliance is the Local Workforce Development Board, Administrative Entity and Program Administrator for US Department of Labor Education and Training programs in Local Area IV of Kansas, which includes Butler, Cowley, Harper, Kingman, Sedgwick and Sumner counties. It is a proud partner of the America’s Job Center Network and KANSASWORKS.COM. For additional information on the Workforce Alliance please visit