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Governor Laura Kelly Announces Kansas Local Workforce Area II West Receives Prestigious Award for Veteran Service

Aug 13, 2021

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) recently awarded Kansas’ Local Workforce Area II West with the Mark Sanders Award for Exceptional Service to Veterans.

“Kansas veterans deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity, and helping them find meaningful careers as they transition into civilian life is the right thing to do,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Congratulations to Kansas’ Local Workforce Area II West for receiving this prestigious award. I know you will continue your outstanding work to support our veteran community, workforce, and economy.” 

This award recognizes a local office or one-stop center that has demonstrated services to disabled veterans seeking employment assistance. The workforce centers receiving recognition include those at Fort Riley, Junction City and Manhattan.

The prestigious Mark Sanders Award is named in honor of Mark Sanders, who during his career with the California Employment Development Department and in leadership positions with NASWA, promoted excellence in services to disabled veterans. 

“The relationship between KANSASWORKS and Fort Riley has led to thousands of veterans continuing to live and work in Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “By making sure Kansas veterans are able to take advantage of these services, we’re helping our military heroes build meaningful careers and helping our state keep courageous and skilled servicemembers in our workforce.”

According to NASWA, Local Area II West was awarded in part due to its creative approach to social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed employment professionals to stay connected with their clients. Local Area II West also developed internships with various employers to provide veterans and transitioning service members with job experience outside of the military.

“Local Area II West has a superb relationship with Fort Riley and the surrounding communities,” Kansas Department of Commerce Workforce Services Director Mike Beene said. “Our partnership has led to key projects targeting our Veterans, service members and military spouses, and the duplication of those practices to the other military installations in turn increased overall state retention rates.”

“We applaud the work being done by the Kansas Local Area II West Workforce Centers as they assist our nation’s heroes in transitioning to civilian life and jobs,” Scott B. Sanders, NASWA President and CEO, said. “The Mark Sanders Award for Exceptional Service to Veterans recognizes those who have provided outstanding service to the men and women protecting our freedom.”

Click here to see a video feature celebrating Local Workforce Area II West’s efforts for Kansas veterans.


KANSASWORKS links businesses, job candidates and educational institutions to ensure that employers can find skilled workers. Services are provided to employers and job candidates through the state’s 27 workforce centers, online or virtual services KANSASWORKS is completely free for all Kansans to use.  Learn more at