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Department of Commerce Awards Nearly $10 Million in High-Demand Workforce Development Grants

Jun 20, 2023

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TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced today that nearly $10 million has been awarded to 26 recipients for training and workforce development initiatives in high-demand and high-wage industries. Funding was made available through the Delivering Residents and Workforce (DRAW) program, which was launched by Commerce earlier this year. The Department of Commerce received 50 applications, with requests totaling over $24 million.

“As Kansas continues to attract transformative economic development projects,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said, “it is vital our state’s talent pipeline receives the right training to build out the skillsets needed to enjoy successful careers in these targeted sectors. The DRAW program is laser-focused on the state’s most critical positions.”

The funds were designated by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Executive Committee and approved by the State Finance Council to provide impactful capital projects that spur regional economic development in high-demand and high-wage industries, such as healthcare, education and technology-based businesses.

“It is a priority for the Legislature that these vacant high-demand, high-wage jobs are filled by Kansans whenever possible,” Senate President Ty Masterson said.

DRAW applications included investments in mobile workforce training providers, healthcare providers, education providers, technology-based businesses and employers working with the blind, visually or hearing impaired, or persons with disabilities. Additional applications were accepted by those employers designated by the Kansas Department of Labor as hiring high-demand and high-wage positions, such as accountants, welders, sales managers and computer systems analysts.

Recipients will use funds towards construction of on-site training facilities and service expansions, third-party and vendor training costs on machinery and equipment, machinery and equipment used for training, salaries directly related to training, course development costs and services for development of in-house training, marketing, communication and activities to attract talent from out-of-state. Awardees will have two years to complete their projects and utilize all awarded funds.

“The SPARK Committee wanted to prioritize Kansas workers who could fill the jobs not only of today but in the future,” House Speaker Daniel Hawkins said. “The DRAW program uniquely supports our vision.”

For a list of DRAW grant recipients and more information about the program, click here.