The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas (WA) has been awarded $50,000 from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) to support the PACES project.
The grant award will allow WA to work with local employers on incorporating job quality elements into their business strategies. Three other partner communities –Cincinnati, OH; Baltimore, MD; and Wisconsin Rapids, WI; also received $50,000 grants. National Fund collaboratives will focus on incorporating new hiring and training strategies that will enhance productivity and growth while providing better jobs for workers – including, for example, new skills, higher wages, better benefits, improved supervision, opportunities for advancement and incentive bonuses.
Employer partners XLT Ovens and Cox Machine will utilize the grant through PACES to elevate living-wage jobs with cross training and financial literacy tools for frontline employees and supervisor training for managers.
“We are pleased to be a part of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions,” said Keith Lawing, president and CEO of WA. “Opportunities such as this allow us to advance the workforce in our region.”
The WA formed PACES in 2008 when invited to join the National Fund for Workforce Solutions as one of the regional collaborative grantees. The mission of PACES is to create a more accessible and flexible employment and training system to move unemployed and underemployed workers into high-demand and high-skill careers into both the aviation/advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology industries. Under the management of the WA, PACES has developed into a mature, employer led system with more than $3.3 million in funding toward the mission to date, including $1.95 million in direct grant funds competitively awarded to the WA.
PACES outcomes to date include services provided to 3,662 job seekers, with 1,487 individuals trained and 2,761 job placements recorded. Over 100 employers have participated in PACES programs; founding partners include Spirit AeroSystems Inc., the City of Wichita and the United Way of the Plains.