Great Jobs KC

The KC Scholars 9th grade College Savings Match and 11th grade College Scholarship applications are OPEN NOW!

Students can CLICK HERE to learn more and apply through February 23, 2024.
The 9th grade College Savings Match program provides eligible students with a 1:1 match and incentives up to $1,400 to use toward college.
The 11th grade College Scholarship provides up to $50,000 paid directly to the college, over the course of up to six years.

A Message From Our CEO

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr’s Legacy: A Message from Earl Martin Phalen, CEO of Great Jobs KC

As we approached Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15th, I was deeply inspired to reflect upon the legacy of a great leader who not only influenced the course of history but also had a profound impact on my life and the mission of Great Jobs KC.

My middle name, “Martin,” serves as a constant reminder of the extraordinary legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His tireless dedication to justice, equality, and social change has been a guiding light in my journey as the CEO of Great Jobs KC. It’s a reminder that we are all called to be agents of change, working to build a better, more inclusive society.

Dr. King’s dream of a world where individuals are judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin aligns perfectly with our mission at Great Jobs KC. We believe in creating opportunities for all, regardless of their backgrounds, to achieve meaningful education and employment and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our community.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we are committed to taking meaningful action in honor of his legacy. Here’s what we, as an organization, are doing for our community:

• Community Engagement – We are partnering with local K-12 schools, colleges, community organizations, and businesses to provide job training, career development, and mentorship programs aimed at empowering underserved individuals.

• Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives – We are actively working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of our hiring practices and organizational culture.

• Education and Awareness – We are dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of equal opportunities and advocating for social justice at colleges and universities, within the workplace, and in the broader community.

• Youth Empowerment – We are investing in the future by supporting initiatives that promote leadership, education, and personal growth, echoing Dr. King’s belief in the potential of young minds to effect change.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream lives on in each of us, and I am humbled by the opportunity to continue his work through the mission of Great Jobs KC. Together, we can strive for a more just, equitable, and inclusive society where opportunities are available to all who seek them.

I invite you to honor Dr. King by taking action in your own communities. Let us remember the values he stood for and work together to create a brighter future for all.

Thank you for your continued support, and together, let us inspire positive change.

– Earl

We believe in creating opportunities for all

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream lives on in each of us

We believe in investing in the future.

This year we’ve already awarded over $13 million in scholarships

On Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, through our newest Post-Secondary Network partner, Missouri State University, we were able to award 267 scholarships worth $50,000 to local high school students. Most of these awardees will be the first in their families to attend college.

“We are so grateful to welcome our newest post-secondary partner, Missouri State University. Their demonstrated commitment and investment are helping us change the lives of over 600 brilliant students that otherwise would go unawarded each year during our scholarship process,” said Great Jobs KC COO Natalie Lewis. “These 267 newly awarded students are a testament to the excellence in the Kansas City community, and it is only right that we do our part to help them reach their full potential. Our community and workforce need these scholars and can’t afford to leave their talent undeveloped.”

The partnership between Great Jobs KC and Missouri State will allow our KC Scholars program to meet the needs of more of its applicants than ever before. Year over year, applications have been increasing, and the goal of meeting the needs of all applicants has led Great Jobs KC to form these Post-Secondary Network partnerships.

“Missouri State and Great Jobs KC share a dedication to advancing higher education access and affordability. Together, we further our goals toward that end,” said Dr. Ryan Reed, Director of Access and Success Programs at Missouri State. “This partnership empowers hundreds of students with access to educational opportunities. Opportunities like this are transformative for students, their families, and their communities.”

We are a Kansas City-based nonprofit that provides access to college scholarships and tuition-free job training, along with job placement assistance for individuals from low- and modest-income families in the metropolitan area, providing a pipeline of talent for a strong regional workforce. Please join us on our mission for economic independence for all. For more information about any of our programs, visit

Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive university system with a mission in public affairs. Our purpose is to develop fully educated people with a focus on ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement.

For more information about MSU, visit


Our first Core Value is the one that drives our mission and inspires us every day is SCHOLARS FIRST. Here is what our scholars have to say:

“Taken an immeasurable amount of financial stress off me! Provided me with confidence in knowing others understand the impact I want to make.”

Conner Berens

UMKC – Bachelors of Science, Public Health

Emergency Preparedness & Response Coordinator

Our KC Scholars High School Scholarship Team

Recently, Avila University hosted members of our team (COO – Natalie Lewis, VP of Scholarship Programs – Manomay Kidd, Director of Traditional Adult Learner Programs – Tom Clark, and Scholar Advocate – Henry Ortega Hernandez) who were on hand to congratulate our KC Scholars for finishing their first semester and wished them well on their upcoming finals.

KC Scholars hosts multiple Q&A virtual application workshops to assist scholarship applicants. Join us at any of the workshops to learn more about the scholarship, income eligibility requirements, overall application process, and to get your specific questions answered. You can see the list of available dates and times at

If you have any questions about the application, please reach out to us at We’re happy to help!

Scholarship Application workshops

With the College Savings Match and College Scholarship applications now open, the high school team has been hosting virtual and in-person application workshops at many high schools in the area to share more about the programs and assist students with the application process. Pictured is Mary Kate Kelly presenting at Frontier STEM High School on Thursday, January 11. She spoke with 53 11th grade potential applicants for the KC Scholars College Scholarship. They covered how to complete the financial eligibility calculator, who could be a great recommender, and how to start a personal statement when you have writer’s block! If you’re a high school educator who would like to schedule an in-person application workshop, please email Mary Kate Kelly at

FAFSA Updates

The 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has undergone significant changes from previous years, including opening nearly 3 months later than normal. The FAFSA is now open and we encourage eligible students to complete the FAFSA at Colleges have FAFSA priority dates as early as February 1, and Kansas and Missouri’s FAFSA priority date is April 1. KC Scholars staff have attended multiple training sessions and are staying up to date on how to best assist Scholars in completing the FAFSA. In January, we partnered with The Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund to host two FAFSA workshops entirely in Spanish and had great attendance. You can view a list of resources and upcoming FAFSA workshops HERE.

Adult Learner scholarship

The Adult Learner Scholarship application was open from November 14 – December 14. We had a record-breaking number of Adult Learner Scholarship applications! Community reviewers are currently looking over personal statements and recommendations for these applications. We will award 150 Adult Learner Scholarships valued at $50,000 each on February 29th.

Good luck to all who applied, and THANK YOU to our amazing volunteer reviewers for giving each one the time it deserves.

black & white image of scholars celebrating graduation.



Currently in Training


Currently in Workshops



What is

Access to a short-term, flexible, skills-based career training program that is TUITION-FREE, if you qualify.

  • It’s short-term because you can complete the program in less than a year.
  • It’s flexible because our training partners offer programs that include virtual, online, on-campus, hands-on, or even hybrid training.
  • It’s skills-based because you master high-demand skills that employers are seeking in the following careers: healthcare, construction, information technology, logistics/warehouse, or manufacturing. 

It’s a career training program because it trains you for a career, not just a job. A career with a salary that helps you secure your future.

How Does Great Jobs KC Work? Program Model: Five Elements of the Great Jobs KC Model

1. Intake

  • Identify Career Interests/Goals
  • Schedule interested participants for career specific orientation
  • Introduction to Scholar Advocate


  • Life Skills: Time, Money, and Stress Management
  • Career Skills: Resume, Interviewing, Building your Brand
  • Workplace Skills: Working as a Team, Effective Communication, Managing Change


  • Scholar Advocate Support
  • Scholar Support Resources
  • Complete Training
  • Support National/State Certifications

4. Employer Network Team: EMPLOYMENT

  • Introduction to Career Resource Manager
  • Update and complete resume
  • Introductions to Employers


  • Frequent communication from Scholar Advocate during first year of employment
  • Assistance with additional certifications
  • Alumni Support

What programs does Great Jobs KC offer?


  • Clinical Medical Assistant
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Certified Nursing Assistant Enhanced
  • EKG Technician
  • ICD-10 Medical Billing and Coding
  • Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • Sterile Processing
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Certified Medical Technician
  • Certified Medication Aide


  • Certified Manufacturing Associate
  • Welder
  • Assembler
  • Machine Operator
  • Operations Clerk

Information Technology

  • Project+
  • Network+
  • Computer User Support
  • Digital Marketing
  • Business Analytics
  • Sales Development
  • Sales Operations
  • “Bridge to Technology (IT Prep Course)”
  • UX Design
  • IT Support Specialist
  • IT Automation with Python
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Security Consultant
  • Data Analytics
  • Enterprise Computing
  • Linux System Administrator


  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
  • Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL-A)
  • Warehouse Supervisor
  • Warehouse Manager
  • Warehouse Associate


  • Construction fundamentals
  • CAD (Computer Aided Drafting and Design)
  • Revit BIM (Revit for Building Information Modeling)
  • Pre-Apprenticeships and apprenticeships in iron work
  • Carpenters
  • General labor
  • Painters/glaziers
  • Operating engineers

Service Careers

  • Dog Grooming
  • Insurance Agent
  • Insurance Specialist
  • Claims Adjuster 

Want to find out if you qualify?

Fill out the form and find out. Or, if this is the perfect opportunity for someone you know, please share the link with them.

Click Here For Link

Have questions or want to find out more?
Join us online EVERY Wednesday 12:00pm-1:00pm
for a virtual information session.
Join on your computer, mobile app, or device.
Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 221 112 442 485
Passcode: 37VfG6
Or call in (audio only)
+1 816-406-3910 618051675# United States, Kansas City
Phone Conference ID: 618 051 675#

Our Job-Training Partners

Our Great Jobs KC training program team visited the Mid-America College of Health Sciences and met three of our scholars who are studying EKG. We were also able to tour some of their current classrooms and watch their students in action!

Mid-America College Logo

Our Donors, Our Heroes


Help us SCORE THE MOST FOR OUR SCHOLARS! Between Monday, February 5th, and Midnight PST, Sunday, February 11th, please donate by texting SUPER to 24365 or visiting

Help us BEAT our rival, Students Rising Above from San Francisco. Here are the stakes:

    • If the Chiefs win, Students Rising Above’s Chief Program Officer will wear a Chiefs jersey and dance to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” in front of the 49ers Stadium.
    • If the 49ers win, Jess Rhodes, our Chief Development Officer, will wear a 49ers jersey and walk around Arrowhead with a sign that says, “Who’s Irrelevant Now?”

Our Community Engagement Team

Great Jobs KC’s Community Engagement Team’s presence at the Black Women Making Friends’ first annual Breakfast with Santa event was a heartwarming example of community solidarity and the importance of diverse male role models in children’s lives. These men brought an atmosphere of joy and support to the event, connecting with the children through activities and sharing laughter. Seeing men engage in nurturing, supportive roles and taking active parts in community events like this was profoundly impactful. It sent a powerful message about inclusivity, community responsibility, and the beauty of diverse representation. The team’s dedication and genuine affection for the children was evident, leaving a lasting impression on both the kids and the women of the Black Women Making Friends organization, fostering a sense of unity and hope.

Scholar Support Resources Available

As temperatures drop far below freezing, Great Jobs KC is extremely thankful for the tireless efforts of those who make extreme weather shelters available to the community. Warming Center locations are published and updated regularly by the Greater Kansas City Coalition to End Homelessness, Jackson County, Zero KC, and of course the United Way. This type of community resource information is made available to our Scholars to share or use as necessary.

In need of identification for services as a Kansas City, Missouri resident, but don’t have a driver’s license?

KCMO Fountain cards now available.

Click the card to see if one is right for you.

If your business or non-profit would like to become a scholar support resource partner, helping to provide support for our scholars, please reach out to us at

Employer Partner Program

We’d like to welcome and THANK our newest Employer Partners who have signed on with us to gain access to our exceptional pool of qualified Scholars to fill their much-needed open positions.

Our Employer Partnership Program has three options that will allow you to increase the skill level and diversity of your current workforce while impacting the entire Kansas City workforce of tomorrow.

If we can help you find the staff you need, contact us at

How does the partnership work?

What's your Investment?


Annual membership for a set number of hires.


Per hire fee based on industry and number of hires.


Partnership where you cover 50% of training funds to upskill current staff to better paying jobs.

What's your Return?


Access to our qualified Scholar candidate pool on an ongoing basis to fulfill yearly hiring needs.


Access to our qualified Scholar candidate pool to fulfill immediate staffing needs.


Great Jobs KC financial investment covering 50% of training funds to upskill your current employees to better paying jobs.

What are the three program options and how do they work?



Access to our qualified scholar candidate pool.


Annual membership of $20,000 with up to 10 trained hires guaranteed.

Annual membership of $28,000 with up to 20 trained hires guaranteed.

Annual membership of $40,000 with up to 40 trained hires guaranteed.


New hire follow-up and support:

GJKC Advocates

One-on-one personal support through training and the first year of employment.

Workforce Development

We offer online training courses to support each new hire’s soft-skills development during their first consecutive six months of employment.

Scholar Support Resources

Access to community resources that aid in the managing of responsibilities while scholars adapt to work schedules and job expectations during the first twelve months of employment.



Access to our qualified scholar candidate pool.


$1,200 per hire in manufacturing and construction

$2,500 per hire in the medical or IT field.


New hire follow-up and support:

GJKC Advocates

One-on-one personal support through training and the first year of employment.

Workforce Development

We offer online training courses to support each new hire’s soft-skills development during their first consecutive six months of employment.

Scholar Support Resources

Access to community resources that aid in the managing of responsibilities while scholars adapt to work schedules and job expectations during the first twelve months of employment.



Great Jobs KC provides you with up to 50% of training funds to support your identified training needs. Per Scholar maximum contribution:

$5,000 (Health Industry)

3,500 (IT Industry)

$2,000 (Manufacturing Industry)

$1,250 (Construction Industry)


You are partnering with us to cover the remaining cost of training, 50%.


Follow-up and support:

GJKC Advocates

Not applicable.

Workforce Development

Additional training funds could be facilitated if applicable.

Scholar Support Resources

Access to community based resources available if needed.

What makes our Scholars different?

1. Great Jobs KC candidates come from our six county areas (Cass, Clay, Platte, and Jackson in Missouri; Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas), so they are local talent, meaning they are invested in the community and in staying at your organization.

2. Great Jobs KC invests thousands of dollars per candidate in soft skills workshops and life skills workshops to develop a more stable individual.

In The Media

Our CEO, Earl Martin Phalen, and one of our Great Jobs KC success stories, Jeniffer Rojas, were interviewed on the local NPR station, KCUR. Click to listen to the impact our programs are making on the lives of Kansas Citians.


We thrive on feedback. Let us know what you think, review us on Google. It provides us feedback, and the review helps us rank higher on Google, which means more people find us, and we can CHANGE MORE LIVES. Click Here For The Link

Notice Our Email Addresses Have Changed?

To go along with the recent expansion of our name to Great Jobs KC, our organization’s email addresses are changing. Please reach out to your contact(s) here to get an updated email address. Our previous emails will continue to work for a few months, but please make sure to update them soon. Staff emails will be based on first and last name, but email addresses referenced on our website will remain the same before the @, but after the @, it will now be