Project 17
A Regional Economic Development Initiative

KANSASWORKS Holding Statewide Virtual Career Fair TODAY, Aug. 14

KANSASWORKS will host a statewide virtual career fair on Thursday, Aug. 14, in conjunction with Convergys Corp., a global leader in relationship management. The company plans to hire 500 home agents this month and up to 800 during the fall to service new client needs.

WHAT: Home agent career fair for Convergys Corp., sponsored by KANSASWORKS.

WHEN/WHERE: The Aug. 14 virtual career fair will have sessions at 10 a.m. and noon available via webinar and conference call. Job seekers can participate in the career fair remotely, or may join from a Workforce Center. Workforce Center locations can be found by visiting and clicking “Contact.”

To view the entire Kansas Department of Commerce news release, please click here.

NCCC to Provide AID Welding Training Program

The Workforce AID (Aligned with Industry Demand) training program, a cooperative effort between Neosho County Community College, local industry, and the Kansas Department of Commerce, will provide 8-week welding training linking participants to potential jobs with industry partners seeking to hire welders.

Entry-level jobs are possible with great companies such as Chanute Manufacturing, B&W Trailer Hitches, Tank Connection, and Renewable Concepts.

Check here for more information! 

Grant Funds Solar Energy System for PSU’s Plaster Center

Thanks to a major grant from Westar Energy, solar panels will provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

Westar announced Thursday that PSU was one of 15 Kansas entities selected for its Solar Photovoltaic Project, done in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The company said the projects will “showcase innovative plans to test the merits of solar energy under Kansas conditions and to educate students and engage the public.”

To view the entire release via Pittsburg State University, please click here.

Garnett Ethanol Plant Expansion into Renewable Diesel Production is Expected to Mean 12 to 15 New Jobs in 2015

GARNETT — An expansion into renewable diesel production is expected to mean 12 to 15 new jobs in 2015 at East Kansas Agri-Energy LLC’s Garnett ethanol plant, the company’s top executive said this week.

The company recently announced its plans to integrate renewable diesel production into its product mix by building a new facility capable of generating 3 million gallons of the hydrocarbon fuel per year, with the ability to double that capacity in the future.

Construction is expected to begin in the next eight to 12 weeks and should take about 12 to 14 months to complete, Jeff Oestmann, East Kansas Agri-Energy’s president and chief executive officer, said.

Check out the complete article here via the Ottawa Herald


Project 17 Quality of Life Video Contest

What is this about?

The QoL video contest is part of a coordinated effort by Project 17 to improve the social and economic health in the region. The intent of this contest is to strengthen a sense of belonging and in particular to encourage young people to stay, work and live in the region. We will be looking for videos that show your personal attachment to the area and communicate to others why living here makes for a satisfying life. For details of the desired video, see the Quality of Life Video Contest Judging Criteria.

Who can enter?

The contest is open to individuals, businesses, clubs, and organizations located in the Project 17 counties. Students and youth organizations are encouraged to enter. Winning entries will be recognized in three categories:

  1. Student K-12,
  2. Student Post-secondary,
  3. Professional/Amateur (non-student).

How do I participate?

To enter, complete the Contest Submission Form and post a video (no longer than five minutes in length) by the deadline. You are encouraged to complete a Contestant Information Form to receive communications regarding the contest and to have access to support during the contest period. The full contest rules can be found here.

When do I need to submit my video?

Your video should be submitted by December 15th, 2014. You can post the video to any site that can be viewed by the judges, but you must provide details of how to access it.

What can I win?

Winners will be chosen in all three categories. A Grand Prize winner will be selected and will receive a 3-D printer to be given to an accredited educational institution within the Project 17 counties. All winners will receive recognition and publicity for their entry, including a press release, a recognition ceremony, and an article in SEK Living magazine.


Pittsburg Experiencing Tourism Increase in 2014

Southeast Kansas Tourism Impacts Local Economy

With Southeast Kansas events like the Shrine Bowl and Four States Farm Show coming up soon, the city of Pittsburg has already seen the biggest tourism year the area has ever experienced, according to Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director B.J. Harris. Harris also says for travel and tourism, 80 cents of every dollar spent in a community gets re-spent.

To view the entire article from Four States Home Page and corresponding video please click here.

Pittsburg Trauma Training Today 7/8

Today in Pittsburg, more than 150 people are joining Project 17 and the NYULMC & KVC Midwest Trauma Training Center to learn about trauma and its effect on children and families. The professional workshop is titled “Creating Trauma Informed Systems in Child Welfare and Mental Health”.

Poverty causes trauma which effects the region. Trauma impacts the productivity of employees and the stability of families.


(Above left: Training attendees. Above right: KVC’s Kelly McCauley helping people understand how trauma effects every person everyday.)

Area Radio Coverage

We made a map that lets you see radio stations in the area. Be sure to click on the links to find out more about the station, or in some cases, to stream live content.

Miami County Job Fair 8/7

The first day of summer may have only just passed, but it is already time to start planning for the Thursday, August 7th job fair at Osawatomie High School from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Last year, this event featured more than a dozen employers trying to fill more than 200 positions. About 300 people altogether attended the fair.

The event has moved to Osawatomie High School to allow more space for on-site participants. Discussions with the Miami County Trolley are also currently taking place to help provide transportation for job seekers.

To participate, please complete the registration form and return it to or fax it to (913) 294-9163.


Participation Requested: Project 17 Stakeholder Survey

Project 17 has partnered with the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEK-CAP) to conduct a comprehensive regional assessment of the Project’s seventeen counties.

The survey results will be used to make informed decisions about what the preferred future of the region should look like, rather than guessing what citizens want.

To help achieve this worthwhile goal, please take a few moments to complete the survey, (the link is provided below) and offer honest feedback to the questions posed.

PLEASE ALSO SHARE THIS WITH FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS IN THE REGION.  The more answers that are received will result in better quality information to work with. After the answers are compiled, results will be discussed by the Project 17 Core Team, brought to the attention of County Commissioners and other elected officials, and used to strategically plan for the future.

-Responses are needed no later than JUNE 30, 2014-

Thank you in advance for all you do for the region!