homepage | UMKC TalentLink Announces Partnership With South Kansas City Workforce Development Center

October 4, 2022

UMKC TalentLink Announces Partnership With South Kansas City Workforce Development Center

by Pete Dulin

UMKC TalentLink announces partnership with South Kansas City Workforce Development Center

Finding skills-focused workforce training to strengthen businesses and career-advancing skills development for workers just became easier in South Kansas City.

UMKC TalentLink and the South Kansas City Workforce Development Center (WDC) agreed to partner recently to provide employee training programs. The WDC is based in the Blue River Commerce Center, the former site of the Bannister Federal Complex at 95th and Troost Avenue.

NorthPoint Development acquired the property and dedicated 5,000 square feet of the Commerce Center’s 225-acre site to the community. The South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce will lead a coalition of community organizations operating at the WDC. The Chamber’s role is to “create and operate” a facility that provides workforce development services for area businesses and residents.

“We’re a good partner for businesses,” says Vickie Wolgast, president of the Chamber and the Workforce Development Center. “We moved into the space in March of 2022.”

Wolgast has identified three primary objectives of the WDC to support the community. “As businesses move into the Blue River Commerce Center, we will support those companies with hiring needs and job interviews.”

The WDC will provide training for companies located elsewhere across Greater Kansas City. “We will also help people find jobs through the Full Employment Council,” says Wolgast.

As a partner, TalentLink offers skills-building courses and programs at the WDC, offsite, and online. For example, the Essential Skills for First Time Supervisors Series is scheduled for November 7, 9, 14, and 16 from 2-4 pm at the Center. Participants who complete all four sessions earn a certificate and gain valuable leadership skills applicable to their career.

“TalentLink’s professional development includes valued skills for those recently promoted to leadership roles and in-demand technical skills,” says TalentLink Executive Director Jake Akehurst. “We are here to connect with businesses seeking to upskill employees and help people advance their career potential.”  

UMKC TalentLink Executive Director Jake Akehurst

Starting October 13, TalentLink hosts office hours at the WDC on the 2nd and 4th Thursday, 12-4pm, every month. TalentLink will consult with businesses to determine professional development needs. They will register and coordinate TalentLink-led training programs offered at the site, online, and off-site for custom training.

“Companies are having a hard time finding employees with the skills companies need,” says Wolgast. “There’s nothing like the WDC providing workforce development in this area.”

Akehurst says, “We’re excited to work with the WDC and South Kansas City Chamber. TalentLink specializes in training that can develop workers, assist job seekers, and help companies achieve their goals.”

Approximately $350,000 in funding from the Missouri state budget will help offset the training center’s startup costs. The WDC is currently running a capital campaign to obtain matching funds that will be allocated to equipment and technology costs for the Center.

UMKC TalentLink
at South Kansas City Workforce Development Center
Blue River Commerce Center
1300 E. 94th Street, Suite 100, Kansas City, MO 64131
TalentLink Hours: 2nd and 4th Thursday, 12-4pm every month. Email Candice Haines chaines@umkc.edu to schedule an appointment.

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