Great Jobs KC

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We are CELEBRATING our newest class of Scholars with our Make Your Mark event designed for our newest Awardees to celebrate with their friends, family, and community. Learn more about the KC Scholars scholarship program, meet the team that will support them throughout their high school and college journey, connect with other scholarship recipients, and more!

But, while we are excited to take a moment to celebrate our awardees, we won’t stop working hard to raise the money needed to provide scholarships for the over 1,000 students still on our waitlist. Join us in creating the IMPACT we need in Kansas City by donating.

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A Message From Our CEO

We are so incredibly proud of every one of our scholars and are so grateful to you for supporting them in realizing their dreams of a college education.

As we spring forward into the season of renewal and growth, I am thrilled to share some AMAZING news from the heart of our community. It’s our favorite time of year—the KC Scholars Scholarship Awards Season!

This May, we celebrated an unprecedented milestone in our journey to support incredible young adults and adults through education. Together, with the unwavering support of our partners and donors and the relentless dedication of our team, KC Scholars is awarding college scholarships to 1,210 deserving young adults – this is nearly $48 million in scholarship support for many of our future leaders.

Our commitment to making higher education accessible and affordable has never been stronger. This year marks a significant evolution in our approach: for the first time, we are bringing all our new awardees together in one space, surrounded by the proud support of their families, friends, and the community. This change reflects our belief in the collective celebration of individual achievements.

Our 2024 class of scholarship awardees is built from:

• February 29th: 159 Adult Learners were awarded $50,000 scholarships to achieve their college dreams.

• May 1st: We announced our first round of high school awardees — 516 lives impacted in one day because of you. This round of awardees included 252 College Savings Match awards (9th graders), and 264 Traditional $50,000 scholarships (11th graders).

• May 30th: In our second round of awarded scholarships, 530 University-Sponsored $50,000 scholarships will be awarded to 11th grade students in the Kansas City area.

• June 22nd: Our Make Your Mark event will gather all 2024 awardees at the Kansas City Convention Center to celebrate their accomplishments. This celebration will not only honor their hard work and aspirations, but also the collective effort and belief that we have in their potential.

Finally, this fall, we are excited to introduce partnerships with three new universities, which will enable us to award an additional 48 scholarships of $50,000 each to our incredible high school students.

We are so incredibly proud of every one of our scholars and are so grateful to you for supporting them in realizing their dreams of a college education. We could not support these amazing scholars without you.

Thank you for your continued support. Let’s keep making dreams possible through education.

-Earl

159 Adult Learners were awarded $50,000 scholarships!

We announced our first round of high school awardees — 516 lives impacted in one day because of you!

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High-Fives INDEED
As a beneficiary of the SAVES program with the KC Mavericks, they donate $10 per at-home save made by their stellar goalkeeper, which amounted to 1,666 saves equaling $16,660!

SCHOLARS FIRST

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

From childhood to college and beyond!

Paige Zieman graduated 2023 from Mizzou summa cum laude with a degree in Health Science.  She applied for entrance to several other colleges to complete her master’s degree as a Physician Assistant.  She chose Wichita State University. She will start her studies in May 2024. Paige worked for Mizzou’s University Hospital And St. Luke’s East while attending college.

Savanna Trivers started at Mizzou the same time as Paige but graduated 2024 with dual bachelor degrees in Journalism and Education & Human Development. She also graduated summa cum laude.  Savanna has been offered a position with Rock Bridge High School as their English And Social Studies Teacher for the upcoming school year. Savanna plans to also pursue a master’s degree. Savanna worked for Apple, Inc and was instrumental in helping low income students receive free Apple computers while attending Mizzou.

Both girls were recipients of the KC Scholars Scholarship and acknowledge the fact that the scholarship gave them the opportunity to pursue their future dreams.

Skills For Success Expo

Join us for the Skills for Success Expo: Community Resources that Support YOUR Future!

Learn about TUITION-FREE job training in HIGH-DEMAND careers that lead to GREAT JOBS!

Services and Resouces Available On-Site Include:

  • Over 20 of the top career training providers in Kansas City including: Johnson County Community College – University of Central Missouri – Centriq – Per Scholas – Metropolitan Community College – Zeta Driving School – Mid-America College of Health Sciences
  • Great Jobs KC Staff to help determine if you qualify for TUITION-FREE TRAINING
  • Kansas City Public Library
  • Free Tablet/Phone Organization
  • Free sport physicals, blood pressure checks, and COVID vaccinations provided on-site by Care Beyond the Boulevard
  • Division of Family Services providing child support assistance

Great Jobs KC COO, Natalie Lewis was invited to take part in the 2024 Collaborative Diversity Conference at Missouri State University

Inclusive Engagement: Uplifting the Power of Community

“Recognizing and embracing diversity, and promoting a welcoming environment, are essential to the Missouri State University Inclusivity Principles. Promoting a welcoming environment is a crucial step towards fostering inclusivity and support for all members of the university and the broader communities.”

Inclusivity and diversity are principles we value here at Great Jobs KC and we are proud to have Natalie Lewis on the forefront of these initiatives on the campuses of our Postsecondary Network partners.

High School Scholarship Team

1,210 lives IMPACTED

On May 30, KC Scholars awarded Round 2 Institutional-Only scholarships to 535 11th graders to use at specific institutions within our current Postsecondary Network partners. Congrats to these students and their families! They will join the other 264 Traditional Scholarship recipients, 252 College Savings Match Awardees, and 159 Adult Learners from this year’s scholarship cycle to bring our total of awardees to 1,210.

Ruskin High School Visit

On May 20, Ruskin High School hosted Great Jobs KC for a Lunch and Learn. High school students got to hear from a panel of KC Scholars who are currently in college, three at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and one at Park University. We love it when our current Scholars have the opportunity to talk about their college experience with KC Scholars at their former high school!

CAC College Decision Day

K-State College Advising Corps held a Decision Day event to celebrate KC Scholars awardees graduating from high school! The graduates received raffle prizes ranging from residential living necessities to new electronics. Scholars mingled with each other and networked with staff members from the Postsecondary Network college they will attend in the fall. Congratulations to the KC Scholars high school graduates!

Wyandotte High School Decision Day

On May 1, high school seniors at Wyandotte High School celebrated Senior Decision Day. Students met with the college reps from the institution they plan to attend in the fall. They were also able to enjoy the day with their classmates, play lawn games, and win door prizes. Katlynn Templeton, High School Scholar Advocate, was able to join in the festivities!

Annie Zheng- 2018 Traditional Scholarship Recipient

“As a KC Scholar, attending UMKC to pursue Finance has been an incredible journey. The support provided by KC Scholars has enabled me to pursue my educational aspirations and unlock new opportunities for success. My advice to fellow KC Scholars, if your current major feels overwhelming, you always have the option to explore other academic paths. My original major was Electrical Engineering but after encountering some challenges, I realized it wasn’t the right fit for me. Transitioning to Finance was daunting, but it allowed me to explore a new direction and find a better match for my interests and strengths. Embrace the opportunity to discover what truly inspires you, even if it means taking a different path than you originally planned.”

NSPA Virtual Summit

The Scholarship Team attended National Scholarship Providers Association’s (NSPA) 2-day virtual summit, Focus on Students: Student-Centered Approaches to Strengthen Outcomes. They learned about holistic support strategies, enhancing student outcomes, and prioritizing mental health for scholarship recipients. The team is always finding ways to explore innovative approaches to enhance their work with Scholars, with the ultimate goal of putting Scholars first!

KC Scholars Ambassador Program

The KC Scholars Ambassador Program has officially launched! This program is an opportunity for Scholars to become more involved with the organization, create a culture of belonging among Scholars on their college campuses, and further develop their leadership skills. Ambassadors will assist KC Scholars with planning events for Scholars on their college campus, engage in exclusive leadership development opportunities, assist with special organization projects, and be the face of the KC Scholars programs! For the 2024-2025 academic year, we selected 36 amazing Ambassadors representing the four pilot institutions: Kansas City Kansas Community College, Rockhurst University, University of Kansas, and University of Missouri- Kansas City. The KC Scholars Ambassador Program will expand to all institutions in the Postsecondary Network for the 2025-26 academic year. We can’t wait to see the impact KC Scholars Ambassadors will make!

Presented By:

All of our 2024 scholarship recipients, along with their families, are invited to Make Your Mark on Saturday, June 22, 2024 at the Kansas City Convention Center. This event is designed for Scholars to learn more about the KC Scholars scholarship program, meet the team that will support them throughout their high school and college journey, connect with other scholarship recipients, and more!

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

Thank you to our Gold level sponsors

Thank you to our Silver level sponsors

Thank you to our Bronze level sponsors

Thank you to our In-Kind level sponsors

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Enrolled

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Currently in Training

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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 the Great Jobs KC Program Model 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

2. PROFESSIONAL CAREER SKILLS WORKSHOPS

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

3. OCCUPATIONAL SKILLS TRAINING

  • Scholar Advocate Support
  • Scholar Support Resources
  • Complete Training
  • Assistance National/State Certifications
  • Introduction to Career Resource Manager

4. Employer Network Team: EMPLOYMENT

  • Update and complete resume
  • Introductions to Employers
  • Interviewing Preparation 

5. ONE YEAR COACHING & MENTORING POST-EMPLOYMENT

  • Frequent communication from Scholar Advocate during first year of employment
  • Alumni Support

What programs does Great Jobs KC offer?

Healthcare

  • Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Dental Assistant
  • EKG/ECG Technician
  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Administrative Medical Assistant
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Phlebotomy Technician
  • Sterile Processing
  • Certified Medication Technician (CMT)
  • Certified Medication Aide
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
  • Firefighter/ Fire Science

Manufacturing

  • Certified Manufacturing Associate
    • Assembler
    • Machine Operator
    • Operations Clerk
  • Welding Technician
  • Environmental Remediation/ Hazmat
  • FANUC Handling Tool Operation and Programming

Information Technology

  • Networking Technician
  • Computer User Support
  • IT Support Specialist
  • Digital/ Social Media Marketing
  • Data and Business Analytics
  • Sales Development and Operations
  • UX Design
  • Software Development
  • IT Apprenticeships (separate application process)
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Web Development and Design

Logistics/Warehousing

  • Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
  • Warehousing Specialist/ Materials Handler

Construction

  • Construction Fundamentals
  • CAD (Computer Aided Drafting and Design)
  • Revit BIM (Revit for Building Information Modeling)
  • Pre-Apprenticeships and apprenticeships:
    • Iron workers
    • Electricians
    • Carpentry
    • General labor
    • Painters/glaziers
    • Operating engineers

Service Careers

  • Dog Grooming
  • Insurance Agent
  • Insurance Specialist
  • Claims Adjuster
  • Culinary Arts
  • Community Interpreter
  • Medical Interpreter
  • ESL Courses

*Subject to change

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?
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Join on your computer, mobile app, or device.
Click here to join the meeting
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JOIN US AS WE RAISE A GLASS TO RAISE FUNDS

Our Donors, Our Heroes

We remember Ralph (1925-2021) and Marilyn Janet “Jan” Cohen (1933-2024) for their remarkable generosity and lasting impact on our community. Their substantial donation to Great Jobs KC exemplifies their commitment to fostering opportunities for individuals to achieve better careers through education and training. Ralph’s rich life as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, coupled with Jan’s passion for learning, advocacy, and nurturing relationships, serves as a testament to their values.

Their devotion extended beyond philanthropy, touching countless individuals through personal acts of kindness and mentorship. As we honor their memory, we celebrate the lives they transformed and the hope they instilled in many. Their legacy will continue to inspire and uplift countless lives, reflecting their deep kindness and dedication to making a difference.

Employer Partner Program

Great Jobs KC’s mission advances knowledge and education while assisting socio-economic advancement for its scholars, employer partners and community.

Our Employer Partnership Program supports your workforce needs by providing you access to skilled, motivated, knowledgeable scholars ready to work and start their career.

Our scholars are college graduates, interns, certified or trained professionals.

Contact us at employerengagement@greatjobskc.org to partner with us.

 

Here Are Some Of Our Current Employer Partners

How does the partnership work?

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 EmployerNetwork@greatjobskc.org.

What's your Investment?

TALENT SUPPLY

Annual membership for a set number of hires.

TALENT ACQUISITION

Per hire fee based on industry and number of hires.

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

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

What's your Return?

TALENT SUPPLY

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

TALENT ACQUISITION

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

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

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?

TALENT SUPPLY

OUR CONTRIBUTION:

Access to our qualified scholar candidate pool.

EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION:

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.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT:

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.

TALENT ACQUISITION

OUR CONTRIBUTION:

Access to our qualified scholar candidate pool.

EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION:

$1,200 per hire in manufacturing and construction

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

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT:

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.

TALENT DEVELOPMENT

OUR CONTRIBUTION:

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)

EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION:

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

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT:

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.

OUR TRAINING PARTNERS

Leaders from the Great Jobs KC team attended the National Association of Workforce Development conference where they were able to attend workshops and network with some of the best workforce teams in the country.

The Education Partner team visited Per Scholas’ Welcome Breakfast. George Hudson, Education Partner Director, was asked to speak at the event, where he commended Per Scholas on this innovative IT training approach.

We are excited to announce the first day of classes with our newest training partner, Per Scholas.

Our Great Jobs KC training program Scholar Advocates, Career Resource Managers, and the Education Partner department all came together for a day of training and team building.

We currently have 10 IC Stars scholars who have been connected with Microsoft Executive, Michael Stephens, Senior Director of Network Acceleration based in KC and members of his team, both in KC and out of state, to provide mentorship throughout their program and internship. This will ultimately be a 2 year mentorship. Stephens reached out to us for the opportunity and we identified the IC Stars cohort as the match for his offering. IC Stars does embed a mentorship component into every one of the cohorts, so this was an ideal opportunity.

Below are topics the mentorship will build upon.

  • AI / API
  • Job Shadowing
  • Mentors coach the cohort on the day-to-day responsibilities of the following: Scrum Master / Business Analyst / Technical Analyst / Quality Analyst / Client Engagement Manager / or other tech-related or tech-adjacent jobs.
  • There are opportunities to discuss business and leadership skills they may need to develop for the specific roles listed above.
  • There are also opportunities to coach on email etiquette, professionalism, time management, the importance of balancing multiple tasks with different deadlines and/or stakeholders.

Introducing your mentors...

Patrick Ecord

Senior Software Developer

Software engineer based in Kansas City, Kansas. With a background in Web development and proficiency in programming, including C#, Java, node JS, and JavaScript, currently working at Microsoft, he brings a hackers curiosity to his work, always eager to dissect and understand complex systems.

Nitin Akarte

Principle Tech. Program Mgr AI Network Delivery

Extensive 24+ years of experience in network and cybersecurity engineering and programming management. Currently, delivering networks for AI data centers. Love helping people succeed in their careers.

Natalie Seaton

Principle Tech. Program Manager AI Delivery

Technical program manager, focussing on data intelligence and process optimization in cloud network build out space. Worked for 20+ years as a program manager in technical and academic fields.

Marc Bowser

Director of Construction - Data Center Operations

Program manager currently leading all construction online data center campuses. Mark has 15 years of design and construction experience spanning the mission, critical and sports/venue market sectors.

Michael Stephens

Sr. Dir. Network Acceleration - AI Delivery

Program manager working in Microsoft cloud network deployment area for last eight years. Over 25 years in program management, most of it in wireless smart phones. Lead a global team of PMs focussed on cloud network.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

The Great Job KC Community Engagement Team recently demonstrated their commitment to community service by serving freshly made popcorn at two local school field days. At Holy Cross Catholic School, the students expressed immense gratitude for the delicious snack, creating a fun atmosphere and enhancing their field day experience. The sight of happy children enjoying their treats speaks to the positive impact of even the smallest gestures. The team’s presence and engagement significantly boosted the spirits of everyone involved, highlighting the importance of community involvement in creating memorable experiences for our little ones.

Similarly, at Ervin Elementary, approximately 200 staff and parents were pleasantly surprised to receive snacks during their field day festivities. The unexpected treat generated excitement and fostered a sense of camaraderie among the adult attendees. The enthusiasm and appreciation from the Ervin Elementary community underscored the significance of the Great Job KC Community Engagement Team’s efforts. These small contributions are making a big impact, demonstrating how dedicated community service can bring joy and strengthen community bonds.

HELP US HELP MORE

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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 @greatjobskc.org.

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