Accordingly, developing and retaining a “homegrown” workforce of talented and educated workers will be vitally important to the community’s future success and prosperity. Fortunately, Topeka-Shawnee County has many strong educational and training assets and organizations dedicated to improving educational outcomes. Public input revealed a need for better alignment among these various organizations to ensure that they are working cooperatively and collaboratively toward broad community goals.
1.1 Align the "Talent Pipeline"
1.1.1 Create a "Cradle Through Career" (CTC) collective impact partnership dedicated to raising talent levels in Topeka- Shawnee County
1.1.2 Utilize student-level data to gauge the effectiveness of programs and guide partnership decision-making
1.2 Ensure that All Children are Ready for Kindergarten
1.2.1 Develop a comprehensive approach to preparing Topeka-Shawnee County's youngest residents for kindergarten
1.3 Prepare Students for College and Careers
1.3.1 Introduce students to college and career opportunities at a young age and develop "career pathways" for students to identify entrance points into promising and in-demand fields
1.3.2 Align new and existing programs to engage at-risk students, dropouts, and parents
1.3.3 Connect businesses with education providers to identify opportunities for new degree programs and curricula that support business growth
1.3.4 Create a community-wide internship initiative to help employers identify emerging talent and to attach young professionals to Topeka-Shawnee County
1.4 Expand Continuing Education and Training Options for Adults
1.4.1 Incentivize adults without college degrees to further their education and gain new skills
1.4.2 Establish a physical center for workforce development and training in East Topeka