Pre-Conference Meetings (as organized by individual committees)
KBOR Technical Education Authority
Kansas Advisory Counsel on Career and Technical Education
Kansas Workforce I
Post-Conference Meetings (as organized by individual committees)
KansasWORKS State Board

(Updated 12/21/2018)
Stay tuned as the agenda is continually updated.

Printable 2019 Agenda (pdf)

Energizing Education, Economic Development and Employment
DAY 1 (January 23)
9:00 Registration Begins
11:00 Exhibits Open
12:00 Opening Plenary Luncheon
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (Invited) and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue (Invited).
12:45 Break and Exhibit Visitation
1:00 The Rural Dimensions of Workforce Development
Brian Dabson, Research Fellow at the School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will explore how rural areas are subject to the same broad economic forces that are radically reshaping sectors, industries, and occupations for the nation as a whole. This reshaping includes the very structure of employment, the untethering of employment from specific location, increased labor market volatility and changing hiring practices.

Dabson’s presentation is based on his essay published in the Federal Reserve System’s new publication Investing in America’s Workforce: Improving Outcomes for Workers and Employers available at

2:15 KACCTE Business Panel
Deb Grunst, Vice President of Information Technology, Westar Energy; Jack Frederick, Foley Equipment; Jack Allston, Executive Director, Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corp.; and Jina Kugler, School Counselor, Wamego USD 320, will participate in this business panel discussion.
3:15 Break and Exhibit Visitation
3:30 Roadmap for Employing those with Disabilities
Jim Porter, Chair, State Board of Education; Michael Wasmer, Director of State Government Affairs, Autism Speaks; and Rocky Nichols, Executive Director, Disability Rights Center of Kansas, will discuss the work being done by Transition Work Group. The Work Group is a large cross-agency, cross-disability group whose sole goal is to improve the transition from school to work, with a focus on competitive, integrated employment.

The panel will be facilitated by Steve Gieber, Executive Director, Council on Developmental Disabilities.

4:15 Regional Labor Market Update
Tyler Tenbrink, Labor Economist, Department of Labor, will present the latest statistics measuring the health of the regional labor market, including job growth and industry performance.
5:00 Break and Exhibit Visitation
5:15 Prepare Youth for College, Career, and Future Success (Sponsored by Kansas Enrichment Network)
Martha McCabe, Executive Director, KC STEM Alliance; Ann Zimmerman, Ecosystem Coordinator, KC STEM Alliance; and Jackie Shufelberger, Operation Support Manager, Bartlett & West, will discuss how KC Rising has helped the Kansas City Region to build capacity, bring existing businesses to scale, and fully realize the KC region’s potential. Ways in which the Alliance engages area industries through financial support, associate engagement, event hosting, and strategic thought leadership will be showcased.

How the workforce initiative can be applied to other communities will also be examined.

6:00 Reception, Cash Bar and Exhibit Visitation
6:30 Celebration Banquet sponsored by the Kansas Department of Commerce
Midwestern Higher Education Compact Presentation
Susan Heegaard, President, Midwestern Higher Education Compact
SDA Performance Awards
Kansas Department of Commerce
KACCTE Award of Merit Presentation
Kansas Department of Education
DAY 2 (January 24)
7:15 Continental Breakfast and Exhibit Visitation
8:00 The 2019 Legislative Update
Pat Roberts, U.S. Senate (Invited); Julia Lynn, Kansas Senate; Bud Estes, Kansas Senate; Ed Berger, Kansas Senate; Barbara Ballard, Kansas House of Representatives; Ken Rahjes, Kansas House of Representatives; and Brad Ralph, Kansas House of Representatives.
8:45 Resources that Support Financial Education and Workforce Programs
Carla Tillmon, Community Affairs Specialist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), will discuss FDIC’s free resources that support financial education and access to safe, affordable insured accounts for youth participating in workforce programs.
9:30 Break & Exhibit Visitation
9:45 U.S. Department of Labor Update
Theo Coney, Director of Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), will provide an overview of the VETS mission (Prepare, Provide, Protect and Promote) and the services/resources offered. Theo will also briefly discuss the HIRE Veteran Medallion Program.
10:30 Workforce Development Challenges and Opportunities
Lynne Hinrichsen, USDA Rural Development State Director, will moderate a panel discussion investigating workforce development challenges and opportunities from the perspective of representatives of organizations involved in response efforts in their respective states. Panelists include Michelle Bish, Executive Director, Northeast Workforce Development Board; Johnny Moffitt, Associate Director, Little Dixie Company Action Agency; Diana Arn, Vice Chancellor for Academic Services, University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton; Imagene Harris, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Impact Investment, Network Kansas; and Brian Fogle, President, Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
11:55 Key Strategies and Commitment – Eddie Estes
12:00 Hit the Hill for Workforce Development
** Speakers/Presentations subject to change**

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