Find out more about our first annual KC Scholars Engage Conference!

"Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be able to receive a college education. I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise...”

What programs does Great Jobs KC offer? Want to find out if you qualify?



A Message From Our CEO

“As we stand at the threshold of another academic year, I am filled with excitement and anticipation.” -Earl Phalen

Where Excellence Meets Opportunity

“All of the money in the world cannot solve problems, unless we work together and (when we) work together there is no problem in the world that can stop us as we seek to develop people to the highest and best potential.”

– Ewing Marion Kauffman

As we stand at the threshold of another academic year, I am filled with excitement and anticipation. The start of this journey marks not just the beginning of classes and training programs, but the unfolding of a new chapter in your life – one that holds endless opportunities for growth, discovery and achievement.

Our unwavering commitment is to honor the vision and legacy of Ewing Marion Kauffman by helping individuals access the education and credentials needed to secure family-sustaining jobs.

We understand that the journey toward a family-sustaining job through obtaining a college degree or earning a job training credential is multifaceted. Therefore, you will hear more about paid internship programs with potential partners focusing on our high school scholars, and college freshmen, sophomores’ juniors in the coming months. The goal is to support you, from the start, in securing paid internships in our local businesses, ensure you experience corporate culture over the summers, build up your resumes, broaden your professional connections, and ensure that you have multiple career experiences and opportunities.

Our degree-seeking and credential programs and all our community partnerships are designed to provide scholars with the skills, knowledge, and qualifications necessary to access and secure high-quality job opportunities ($45,000-$85,000 per year plus benefits) and forge a path toward a prosperous future.

Just as Ewing Kauffman believed in the power of collaboration, we acknowledge that our mission can only thrive through collective effort. By uniting scholars, educators, community partners, donors, and mentors we celebrate progress, enable dreams, and carry forward the visionary spirit that will enable Kansas Citians and Kansas City to thrive.

We look forward to witnessing your progress, celebrating your successes, and supporting you in your journey.

– Earl

Ewing Kauffman believed in the power of collaboration

Our mission can only thrive through collective effort

We look forward to witnessing your progress

Scholars First

Our first Core Value is the one that drives our mission and inspires us everyday is SCHOLARS FIRST, here is what our scholars have to say.

“That is amazing news! Thank you for all your help. I am so grateful to KC Scholars. This has been a wonderful opportunity, and I have benefited in so many ways. I am better at my job, I am earning more money, and I have better prospects for my future. And with all that being said, I am just proud of myself for reaching the finish line!!

Cheryl Edwards – An Adult Learner Scholarship Scholar at UCM who had stopped out for awhile but when she returned, found out she only had one class left to finish her degree.

Our Traditional Scholars The Future Is Bright

KC Scholars Engage

Saturday, August 19th was our first annual KC Scholars Engage Conference. The event was a big success and everyone left feeling proud, hopeful, and energized.

Our COO, Natalie Lewis captured the feeling incredibly well, here:
“The energy of the conference was electrifying, and it was all thanks to the leadership of Khara Reed and Amy Polen and their superstar planning team (Laura Cooke, Kate Crockett, Deekay Fox, Mary Kate Kelly, Coley Mattison, Amy Shapiro, and Kaylee Sundeen). Thank you also to all our amazing KC Scholar Staff members who showed up in forces to volunteer this weekend. The atmosphere was charged with positivity, and I can’t help but feel immense pride in the remarkable impact we made on the KC Scholars community.”

The conference not only inspired our Scholars but it ignited a fire within them. Witnessing the enthusiasm, curiosity, and hunger for knowledge in their eyes reaffirmed the importance of our mission.

Moreover, having Dr. DeAngela Burns-Wallace, the new President and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, present to share her inspiring journey and connect with our Scholars provided a real-life example of the heights they can reach with determination and resilience. Her story will undoubtedly resonate for years to come and inspire our Scholars to dream big.”

To see the excitement watch a video capturing the day:

Adult Learners it’s never too late to learn

KC Scholars Connect

We recently started monthly “KC Scholars Connect” virtual meetings for our Adult Learners. We began in June, and with each month, they’ve continued to grow in attendance. Our August version had 21 Scholars!

Our Scholar Advocates; Andrea, Carrie, & Tiana host KC Scholars Connect for our Adult Learners every first Wednesday of the month on Zoom. This is a virtual session during which Adult Learners share their experiences with one another, share resources, and build connections. Typically, we have a topic that we focus on, Tiana will share a related community resource, and finally, we have a facilitated discussion. In August, Tiana and Carrie hosted on the topic of having a “Growth Mindset.”

Great Jobs KC




currently in programs


in workshops



What is Great Jobs KC?

Access to 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? 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

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 Training Partners

Number of training partners to date:

  • Number of training partners: 29
  • Number of training programs: 147
  • Healthcare: 43
  • Construction: 6
  • Information Technology: 76
  • Manufacturing: 5
  • Logistics & Warehousing: 13

On July 28th, George Hudson, DeLano Sheffield, and Jamie Kellogg had the opportunity to attend IC Star’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. IC Star is one of our newest training partners. They offer training in information technology as well as an apprenticeship for their students. Above is a picture of the ceremony which includes their Executive Director for Kansas City, Shamika Hogan (left); co-founder and president, Sandee Kastrul (middle); and national board member, Will Shields.

Other new training partners:

  • Apprenti KC: IT Apprenticeship Provides Scholars with job placement before training begins. Partners with local and national companies to provide apprenticeships in 15 tech focus areas.
  • Park University: Clinical Medical Assistant Provides remote and live instruction during training, clinical training is provided in person and on campus.
  • Career Circle: IT Using Grow with Google platform, Scholars can pursue self paced certifications in nine different technical areas.
  • Warehouseman Training Inc: Warehouseman & Materials Handler Offering two certifications: Certified Warehouseman and Materials Handler Administrative Assistant and Supply Chain Tech.

NEW PARTNER!!! Pawsperity

Pawsperity, is devoted to helping impoverished families become self-reliant through job training in the high-demand, high-pay trade of pet grooming. Pawsperity’s education-based approach not only financially empowers single parents in poverty by equipping them with credentials in a competitive market, but it also ensures that they focus on improving their family’s future as a whole through parenting and budgeting classes, mental health support, life skills courses, and other needed medical services coordinated with many local organizations. Upon completing the 6-month grooming training, students can work in one of the area’s 200 pet salons or even start their own grooming business.

Our Donors, Our Heroes

"Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be able to receive a college education. I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. It’s amazing how many lives you touch every year with this program." Josephine - 2023 Awardee

Will you help change a life? Every gift makes a difference.

Thank you to everyone who came out to support us at GIVE BACK NIGHT on August 8th at Chicken N Pickle. We were able to raise nearly $1,000 towards scholarships.

We Are Honored

On July 29th KC Scholars had the honor of co-sponsoring a private movie screening event of “Till” for local teens and their parents/guardians. The event included a powerful 45-minute panel discussion hosted by Dia Wall. Esteemed panelists included Alana Mayo, President of Orion Pictures – Preston Holmes, Executive Producer – Tricia Bushnell of the Midwest Innocence Project. It was an open and honest discussion of the challenges that face our community every day and the historical significance of Emmett Till’s story.

Pictured with the panelist is our very own KC Scholar, Hadiyah Bayan, who asked of the panelist the simple question, “Do you all feel like America will ever achieve 100% equality?” During the event, we announced that we have created a $50,000 college scholarship that will be awarded yearly in honor of Ralph Yarl. Yarl and his family were in attendance to receive the announcement of the named scholarship.

We Are Proud

KC Scholars was honored recently at the August 28th KC Royals game. Along with our on-field honor KC Scholars CEO, Earl Martin Phalen was recognized by being selected for the Buck O’Neil seat. Watch the Buck O’Neil seat announcement here.

Also at the game one of our recently awarded traditional scholars, Michel Mugisha, a senior at J.C. Harmon High, got to meet Earl and share his story. He was so moved to be able to meet Earl and receive a signed copy of Earl’s book. We are so very proud of Michel and his accomplishments.

Our Great Jobs KC Scholars had a great time and even shared some photos with us. We love being able to spend time with our team members and Scholars away from our computers. Pictured here is Jodi Smith and her grandkids.

August 5, 2023 KC Scholars was honored as the Community Champion of the Match at the KC Current home game.

Scholars Support Resources

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

Employer Partner Program

Our mission is to increase postsecondary education and credential attainment of low - and moderate-income adults.

Additionally, we seek to expand the number of adults who secure family-sustaining careers. If you are an employer in need of staffing support, that second part is where you come in:
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.


KC Scholars 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.



KC Scholars 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. KC Scholars candidates come from our six county area (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. KC Scholars invests thousands of dollars per candidate in soft skills workplace and life skills workshops to develop a more stable individual.

See Our Impact

KC Scholars, I don’t have the words to express my gratitude for this organization or the extraordinary people that work there. As I start my senior year at the University of Central Missouri, and can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just want to say thank you to everyone associated with KC Scholars that has been a part of the amazing journey. Without the generosity of those who provide funding for my scholarship, I would never have been able to complete my degree or had the experience of a lifetime studying in France as part of my major in World Languages and Cultures. I have learned more than I could have possibly imagined, not just in my classes, buy through so many experiences that I can’t even name them all. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This is truly an amazing organization. I would encourage you to find out more and spread the word about the transformative work they do.

– Melissa Longo, KC Scholar at UCM

Help Us Change More Lives

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