Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas awarded $210,000 through Workforce Development Board Digital Skills Pilot Initiative from Jobs For the Future
Digital Skills Tiers

Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas awarded $210,000 through Workforce Development Board Digital Skills Pilot Initiative from Jobs For the Future

The Digital Skills Initiative will provide opportunity to prepare and upskill

Kansans for competitive and high-demand technology careers in the region.



WICHITA, KS (January 25, 2023) The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas was selected as one of five recipients nationwide by Jobs for the Future (JFF) for the Public Sector Digital Jobs Innovation Project, aimed at expanding access to digital skills, leading to IT employment within the local community. The five communities selected for the project include the Workforce Alliance of South-Central Kansas in Wichita, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, Workforce Solutions Capital Area in Austin, Workforce Solutions in Greater Dallas, and Worksource Georgia serving East Central Georgia.


The Initiative will allow participating Workforce Boards to develop or expand work with a focus on creating equitable pathways into high-quality tech careers, through either developing comprehensive digital jobs strategies for their region or implementing training solutions to upskill and/or reskill local residents. The project is directly supported by JFF, and IBM. Within the grant, the WA will work with JFF and leverage these opportunities to develop an inclusive and comprehensive digital jobs strategy, which specifically supports on-ramps to high-quality technology careers for underrepresented individuals. This includes women of all racial backgrounds, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx workers, and those from other racial backgrounds.


The WA was awarded $210,000 capacity funding to implement both Google Career Certificates and IBM SkillsBuild learning platforms and will operate a Digital Skills eLearning Lab to assist individuals to enroll, and provide digital access and staff support.


Google Career Certificates provide job seekers with access to more than 1.3 million in-demand jobs through rapid reskilling without the need for a college degree or prior experience in the fields of data analytics, IT support, project management, user experience (UX) design, and IT automation. These certificates are taught and developed by Google employees with decades of experience in these fields; they are hands-on, practical, and rigorous. The certificates are 100 percent virtual, can be completed in 3 to 6 months part-time, and are offered on the Coursera learning platform.


IBM SkillsBuild is a free, digital training program that helps adults develop valuable new skills and find jobs, regardless of their background or education. IBM SkillsBuild offers over 1,000 courses in technical disciplines such as cybersecurity, AI, quantum computing, or data analysis, and workplace skills such as Design Thinking. Most learners start with no experience and can be ready to apply for IT jobs within six months through participation. Learners are able to earn badges and other industry-recognized credentials and explore the fundamentals of a variety of different tech jobs to better understand their career options and required skills and credentials to land jobs in those fields. All learning is self-paced and 100 percent online.


CEO Keith Lawing explained WA is "eager to partner with JFF to pilot technology that advances digital jobs training within South Central Kansas as the economy recovers from the loss of 10,000+ jobs from the Boeing 737 MAX grounding in 2019, and COVID in 2020 and 2021. This project creates a tremendous opportunity for job seekers who complete training to move into well-paying tech careers, an area of need for Wichita."


Kansans who are interested in signing up with Google Career Certificates or IBM SkillsBuild should inquire in person at the Workforce Center or register online through our website. The Digital Skills eLearning Lab will be open to the community every Wednesday from 1pm-4pm at the Workforce Center beginning February 1st.To reserve a seat, register here:


Individuals from South Central Kansas who have been impacted by layoff and are interested in retraining through this grant should inquire in person at any Workforce Center of South-Central Kansas location, including Wichita, El Dorado, Wellington, or Winfield, or call 316-771-6800 or 877-509-6757.