Project 17
A Regional Economic Development Initiative

Workforce Needs Survey

Area community colleges and business partners are distributing a survey to specific industries in order to better understand and meet the needs of local employers. The results of this survey will provide valuable information to assist colleges to improve the preparedness of area employees. Please provide this much-needed information by completing the survey found at the link below.

Respondents are asked to complete the survey as soon as possible, preferably no later than Friday, April 25th.

If you wish to distribute this survey further to your industry contacts, please keep in mind that focus is on high demand, high wage industry clusters. Respondents selecting one of these industries will be directed to questions about specific occupations within their industry cluster. To optimize the value of the survey, please distribute within these industry clusters:

-Information Technology
-Engineering Technology
-Food and Agricultural Services (excluding the hospitality industry)
-Transportation and Logistics

If you wish to receive the results of the survey, you must provide your contact information as part of the survey process.

To participate in the survey click here

Thank you for your assistance!


TM Track Opens Railcar Repair and Tamper Manufacturing Facility in Parsons: Company Plans to Create 75 New Jobs in Kansas

The Kansas Department of Commerce announced today that TM Track Machines LLC has opened a railcar repair shop and tamper manufacturing facility in Parsons. At the facility, TM Track plans to create 75 jobs during the next five years.
Find the full press release here

College of Business Administration Seeks Innovative Startup Ideas for New Launch a Business Program

MANHATTAN — Kansas State University’s College of Business Administration is now accepting applications for its inaugural Launch a Business, or LAB, program, powered by KS State Bank. The program will deliver courses, research and mentorship to new ventures.

Up to 10 high-potential startup ventures or concepts will be selected for participation in the five-session summer program, receiving much-needed resources, including faculty-led courses, hands-on student research teams and access to the university’s world-class alumni mentor network. The Launch a Business program is specifically intended for early stage companies, designed to provide the building blocks for turning a concept into a successful venture.

“The LAB program allows us to share our expertise with the community,” said Ali Malekzadeh, Edgerley family dean of the College of Business Administration. “Our faculty, alumni and students are incredible resources, and we are excited to ask them to volunteer to support the next great startup ventures. We are grateful to KS State Bank for making this possible.”

Kansas-based startup founders with scalable, for-profit businesses or ideas are invited to apply until 5 p.m. Monday, April 28. Criteria for selection include identifying a real problem and an innovative solution, demonstrating the drive to succeed and ability to incorporate feedback, and showing commitment to the idea and the Launch a Business program.

The program will take place from July 10-Aug. 8. Program organizers invite all alumni and supporters of Kansas State University and the regional startup ecosystem to a closing celebration on Aug. 12. The event will feature presentations from all Launch a Business participants, with one selected to receive a cash and in-kind prize package valued at over $50,000 to help move his or her venture forward.

There is no charge to apply or participate. More details, including the online application form, can be found at

Project 17 Looks at Bringing Circles to Neosho County

At a meeting with Chanute community leaders, Project 17 Executive Director Heather Morgan outlined a program that could help bring people out of poverty in Chanute and Neosho County.

“What does poverty have to do with economic development? Everything,” Morgan said.

Morgan said one of the biggest issues facing southeast Kansas is that open jobs are available, but qualified applicants aren’t available to fill the jobs.

“Moving people out of poverty into open jobs is crucial,” she said.

Click here for the full article by the Chanute Tribune

Jericho Oil to Commence Drilling Program at Assets in Kansas

Jericho Oil has announced initial development drilling and capital program for its recently acquired assets in Kansas, US.

Jericho plans to deploy four active rigs for initial shallow drilling program, which will include around 35 vertically producing wells and 35 water injection wells, located in Douglas Linn and Miami counties.

The wells will be completed into known producing formations during 2Q-2014 on its EKan-1 and EKan-2 properties, according to the company.

The wells are planning to be drilled to depths between 600 and 800 vertical ft in two to three days, noted Jericho.

Jericho Oil CEO Allen Wilson said the company is excited to begin initial development drilling program on recently acquired leases.

“The initial drilling program should provide Jericho with increased cash-flow from added production, as well as valuable drilling information to help the Company further evaluate potential step-out locations,” Wilson added.

The company is well capitalized following its recent $6.547m private placement and this initial development drilling program is fully funded by existing cash on hand and cash-flow from existing production.

To view the official release click here

Project 17 Hosts Meeting on Circles

Tuesday, Project 17 leaders hosted a meeting to introduce local leaders to the idea and concept of Circles, a program that has been used in other communities to help break through a number of generational poverty barriers.

Project 17 executive director Heather Morgan gave attendees an update on efforts, as well as introduced the concept of Circles, which is an evidence-based program that has been done in other cities with proven success, she said.

To describe the program in short, Circles involves both those in poverty and a group of people who will help provide support to them. Both those in poverty and the “allies” go through a training program.

“They come out ready to make a change. They meet with the group of allies one time a week, and the person in poverty makes a plan to get out, and the allies help them reach that plan,” Morgan said.

To read the entire article in the Pittsburg Morning Sun, please click here


KDOC Registered Apprenticeship Presentation 4/10

Your attendance is requested today Thursday, April 10th, at the KDOC Registered Apprenticeship presentation at 1:00 PM in the basement conference room of Humboldt City Hall.

Loretta Shelley will be present to explain how employers can participate to help youth obtain the job skills needed for your business.

If you have any questions, please contact Larry Tucker at 620-473-3232.



The 10 Best Places To Retire To In Kansas

A blog for, an on-line real estate brokerage, posted their top ten places to retire in Kansas that has Pittsburg in first place and Parsons tied with Derby for 8th place.  According to staff writer Natalie Grigson, measurable criteria was utilized in developing the list that included cost of living, crime rate, average summer temperature and air quality, distance to nearest international airport and retiree amenities like healthcare, adult education, dining, shopping, libraries, arts & entertainment.

Please click here to see the post with Movoto’s entire list


2014 Kansas Innovation Summit

The goal of the 2014 Kansas Innovation Summit (formerly known as the SEK Innovation Summit) is to bring together those that can inspire all of us to think about innovation and what it would mean to our regional and Kansas economy if innovation and entrepreneurship were part of the culture in our businesses and schools.

The 2014 Summit will be held Friday, April 25th from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM at Independence Community College West Campus (2615 West Main in Independence, KS).

Speakers Scheduled to Present -

Keynote Speaker: Todd Gentry, President  of Inno Labs, Arkansas City. ( As a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Pipeline Program, Todd has successfully grown his company through numerous marketplace  innovations.  Todd will share his insights and experience with regard to being an innovation leader and his inspiring entrepreneurial journey.

Kathy Ankerson, Department Head of Interior Architecture and Product Design at Kansas State University. Kathy will talk of the intersection between creativity, design, and collaboration in generating competitive advantage. She will also share how she and her colleagues are cultivating this skills intersection in tomorrow’s designers.

Nathan Pritchett, Fab Lab Tulsa and  John Davolt, inventor of Magmodzwill share perspectives on rapid prototyping options that are available to help inventors and entrepreneurs accelerate their innovation process.

Jonathan Robinson, Manager in Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City. Jonathan will share what the Kauffman Foundation is doing to connect founders to financial, human, intellectual, and social capital through a number of innovative programs and initiatives.

Trish Brasted, CEO Wichita Technology Corporation. Trish will speak to the importance of creating and cultivating entrepreneurial ecosystems to help both new and existing entrepreneurs accelerate company growth.

Mark Remmert, CEO, Green Dot Holdings LLC, named by Bloomberg Business Week as one of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2012 (bio-degradable plastic).

Bret Chilcott, inventor of the AgEagle Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Bret will speak to the ideas of global collaboration and open innovation.

and a special video presentation by Donna Deeds, head of the CAPS Program in the Blue Valley School System of the Kansas City region. Donna will share an innovative model for education and how we can inspire the next generation of innovators.

*Event fees include catered hot lunch

Registration Cost: * $59 Early Registration * $69 General * $29 Students/Faculty/Staff
Proceeds benefit the region’s entrepreneurs via IBRC.

Click here to register now

For more information about the event please visit the event web page at

For questions feel free to contact Jim Correll at or 620-332-5470.

Labette County’s Health Rating Improves

Click here for an article from the Parsons Sun about Labette County and regional efforts that are helping to improve its status from being among the unhealthiest counties in the state.