Workforce Development Pushed in Kansas Regardless of Governor’s Party

Kansas Governor-Elect Laura Kelly

Kansas will have a Democrat Governor when Governor-Elect Laura Kelly is sworn in, and it seems like a workforce development project started under outgoing Governor Jeff Colyer (R-Kansas) will continue under the new administration:

The Hays Daily News reports

When he lost his bid to secure the Republican nomination for governor, those invested in the council’s work — including some who were part of a similar, unrewarded effort 10 years ago — realized they would need to complete their assessment by the end of this year. Now, as Gov.-elect Laura Kelly prepares to take office, council members are bolstered by the thought of delivering their recommendations to a longtime education ally.

“We’re happy,” said Diane DeBacker, a former Kansas education commissioner who oversees the council, “and I guess I have confidence that Laura Kelly will continue something like this.”
DeBacker, director of business and education innovation in the state commerce department, outlined suggestions she anticipates the council will offer.

They include giving thought to training in soft skills, like communication and collaboration, and navigating liability concerns to allow students to experience what the work world is like before they graduate.

One idea is to create a road map for private businesses that want to work with technical schools to develop skills the employers need. DeBacker said the gold standard is at Topeka’s Washburn Institute of Technology, where students learn to handle heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

When it comes to taking action over K-12 education at the state level, there, unfortunately, isn’t much difference between Republicans and Democrats even when there are significant differences in terms of rhetoric.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.