Wichita will assist local employers in changing their business practices to improve hiring, retention and engagement of frontline workers

WICHITA, KS (July 19, 2018) – The National Fund for Workforce Solutions announced it is awarding a $50,000 grant to Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas to advance job quality strategies in the manufacturing and construction industries. This is the second job quality grant the Workforce Alliance has received from the National Fund and builds upon $50,000 grant received in 2017.  The grant will enable local employers to incorporate new skill development strategies and /or business practices that will improve their competitiveness and result in better jobs for workers.  The Workforce Alliance was chosen from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions network of more than 30 communities to lead this innovative program.  Selected communities will develop and share successful approaches to improving the quality of frontline positions.

The National Fund’s Job Quality Initiative is focused on expanding the number of good jobs for American workers by promoting business practices and community investments that support workers and businesses.  National Fund collaborates will partner with companies to implement new hiring and training strategies that will enhance productivity and growth while improving key conditions for workers such as learning new skills, higher wages, better benefits, improved supervision, incentive bonuses, and opportunities for advancement.

“From our work with thousands of employers, we understand that a ‘good job’ is key for workers, companies and communities to succeed,” said Fred Dedrick, President and CEO of the National Fund. “By effectively hiring, training, engaging and empowering entry-level staff, companies create a competitive advantage.

Keith Lawing, President and CEO of the Workforce Alliance said, “Our staff are very diligent to provide opportunities to convene employers and local partners creating an environment for understanding what job seekers deem as valuable employment and how to institute practices that sustain them. We are excited to receive support and resources that further our work.”

A total of five cities were the most recent recipients selected to participate in the National Fund’s Job Quality Initiative.  The National Fund is now funding 10 communities across the country to participate in its Job Quality Initiative.  Each collaborative will be developing strategies tailored to their labor market, workface system, employer partners and unique challenges.

The Workforce Alliance (WA) formed PACES in 2008 when invited to join the National Fund as a regional collaborative site grantee.  Through PACES, the WA is building on strong relationships with local employers to elevate living-wage jobs with cross training and financial literacy tools for frontline employers and supervisor training for managers.

Under the management of the WA, PACES has developed into a mature, employer led system, securing investments totaling more than $3.5 million for the region, including over $2.3 million in direct grant funds competitively awarded since 2008.  Founding members and local funders of PACES include the United Way of the Plains, TECT Aerospace, Spirit AeroSystems, the Knight Foundation, and the City of Wichita.  Currently, Cox Machine, Mahaney Roofing and XLT Ovens are partners in the program.

The Workforce Alliance Local Workforce Development Board (WA) operates employment and training programs through the Workforce Center of South Central Kansas in Butler, Cowley, Sedgwick and Sumner Counties. For additional information on the Workforce Alliance please visit www.workforce-ks.com or call 316-771-6800.