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Wed Jan 18, 2017
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Source: Announcement from the Kansas Department of Commerce webpage

The Kansas Department of Commerce today announced a program to assist Military Spouses and local businesses. Up to $500,000 from federal Workforce Investment Act funds will be granted to Heartland Works Inc. to increase the skills of military spouses in the communities surrounding Fort Riley, Junction City and Manhattan.

"This partnership will help interested military spouses broaden their skills and connect with employers, community colleges and technical colleges that offer training in demand occupations," said Governor Kathleen Sebelius. "Businesses located in the Fort Riley area will benefit from this partnership, as will the individuals who choose to take advantage of this program."

Counties surrounding Fort Riley, Junction City and Manhattan will see a large influx of military spouses who have been dislocated from their jobs in Germany or elsewhere. Approximately 5,000 spouses will relocate to Fort Riley in the next five years due to the Base Realignment and Closing (BRAC) orders enacted by Congress.

"Military spouses bring with them a culture of dedication and excellence, and because of this, many already have skills that are high in demand," said Kris Kitchen, Executive Director of Heartland Works, Inc. "The Workforce Centers will use this investment to make sure they're finding the right jobs, that employers are finding the right workers, and that we are helping fill any skills gaps that might exist by working with area educational institutions to provide the training."

Workforce Centers offer a variety of services to connect job seekers with employers who are looking to hire new workers. Located in 26 communities throughout the state, Workforce Centers serve as a single point of entry to a free-of-charge network of employment, training and educational programs and providers.

"I am pleased that our Workforce Centers are connecting job seekers to training that addresses the skills needed by local employers," said Eldon Hoyle, Geary County Commissioner and Chair of the Chief Elected Officials Board. "These centers are instrumental in providing workforce solutions for local economic growth."

Heartland Works is a non-profit company that operates Workforce Centers for Commerce in Atchison, Junction City, Lawrence, Manhattan and Topeka and helps deliver Human Resource services to employers and career and job training services to job seekers. For more information, contact the Junction City Workforce Center at (785) 762-8870 or the Manhattan Workforce Center at (785) 539-5691. 

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