Fall is almost here and with that brings and the beginning of school for thousands of students in South Kansas City and across the metropolitan area. Although this may look different than ever before for students, it is still important that we help them prepare for their future in the workforce, no matter what that may be.

The South KC Chamber is partnering with the Kauffman Foundation and South KC area area school districts (Center, Grandview and Hickman Mills) to continue to grow the Real World Learning Program in each district.

The Real World Learning program started forming in 2017 when the Kauffman Foundation conducted a landscape analysis across our region to look at K-12 education opportunities in the context of workforce development and alignment. What was discovered was that great things were happening in nearly every school district in the region. However, while these efforts were inspiring, they are fragmented and isolated making it difficult for the business community to engage and support at scale. Another key finding was that an overwhelming majority of graduates were not leaving high school with the experiences that would prepare them for what comes next, either college or joining the workforce.

To make the Real World Learning program successful the South KC Chamber is looking for at least five companies to sign on as a partner and provide Client-Connected Projects that will help provide students with those “Real World” experiences. Projects can cover a wide variety of things and here are a few examples of past projects:

  • A Cyber Security class built a website for Buckner Chamber of Commerce
  • Summer students created a youth-centered product for Community America Bank
  • A Class provided focus group data for an energy drink for VML
  • Health students took vitals and conducted intake survey for a heart clinic at St. Lukes

Other ideas could include making a promotional video or designing promotional materials for your company or perhaps presenting them with a challenge you are having that needs a solution. The possibilities are endless. Learn more about client-connected projects

So many things may be different during and following this pandemic crisis, but one of the things that will stay the same is the need for diverse, skilled talent – now and in the future. Please considering helping us as we strive to develop our future workforce and prepare them for endless possibilities. For questions or to get involved, please contact Vickie Wolgast at 816-761-7660 or vwolgast@southkcchamber.com.