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Midwestern Urban Strategies Shines Spotlight on KC Partnerships


Midwestern Urban Strategies hosted a roundtable in April, spotlighting the partnerships between the Full Employment Council and local businesses and training institutions.


“The work that has been happening through the Full Employment Council is referred to as ‘just-in-time’ training,” said Tracey Carey, executive director of MUS. “It’s a model or approach to training that looks at the current needs of employers in a given industry, and brings together and brings together the resources of the public system, philanthropy, corporate donations, and the institution itself to address the challenges or barriers to bringing in a pipeline of workers along a career pathway.”


The approach has been a deliberate, thoughtful one. Rohina Berhmann, director of employer services and special projects at the FEC, presented at the roundtable, along with Trisha Pepper, manager of recruitment from John Knox Village, Lynette Wheeler, chief operating officer at TMC Lakewood, and Scott Boyce, program director at the University of Central Missouri, pictured below, left to right. They represent a group of local educators and employers the FEC has partnered with in response to a local need in the Kansas City area for healthcare workers.


“We decided employers needed to be at the center of anything we did,” Behrmann stated, explaining that the purpose of the partnership was to really provide the wraparound services FEC members need. “They needed to have a voice in how we developed our training programs.” The employers dictate the curriculum, which is then developed and delivered by the training partners, Behrmann explained. This allows for a seamless delivery, as well as consistency in training.


Wheeler explained that Truman Medical Center partnered up with the Full Employment Council when they realized that many people who wanted to become CNAs, which was one of their greatest employment needs, were often unable to afford the training. Additionally, even if they were provided access to training, people needed additional support in areas like childcare and transportation.