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Archive for Friday, July 9, 2004

Governor announces workforce development system

July 9, 2004

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— Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today announced a new workforce development system but candidly admitted that the administration is still trying to get a handle on how many different workforce training programs exist in the state.

"Right now there are pockets of money in a variety of places," Sebelius said.

Directors of the new "Kansas 1st" said they didn't know how much was being spent through the various state agencies on workforce development.

Sebelius compared the situation to when she took office and it took months to determine how many vehicles were owned by the state. Sebelius eventually ordered an overhaul of the state vehicle system, and auctioned off numerous cars and trucks.

Sebelius said barriers have evolved over the years between various agencies that have workforce development programs. She blamed the patchwork approach to federal regulations and bureaucracy.

"It's not that good people weren't working hard doing what they were doing," she said.

But she said "Kansas 1st" was a step toward developing a seamless system of matching up employers with job seekers.

Under Kansas 1st, 240 employees of the employment and training division of the Kansas Department of Human Resources have been transferred to the Kansas Department of Commerce.

This means workforce development officials will be more closely linked with economic development initiatives, Sebelius said.

"These changes are a strategic part of our economic revitalization plan," she said.

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