Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus were among the outstanding programs recently featured in a Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council Advisory Board meeting. The Feb. 3 event focused on workforce development and was hosted by the Economic Development Council with support from the Lee’s Summit R-7 Business Roundtable.
The meeting included a panel of workforce development experts including Dr. Chuck Ambrose, University of Central Missouri (UCM) president; Bill Brown, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council chairperson; Stan Elliott, Missouri Innovation Campus director; Dr. David McGehee, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District superintendent; Elaine Metcalf, Summit Technology Academy director; and Dr. Kirk Nooks, Metropolitan Community College-Longview president.
Dr. McGehee discussed the R-7 School District’s new Summit Technology Academy / Missouri Innovation Campus, currently under construction and scheduled to open in August 2017. A partnership with the University of Missouri, the 140,000-square-foot facility is located near Ward and Tudor Road. It will provide both Lee’s Summit R-7 and UCM with the opportunity to expand their successful programs already operating in Lee’s Summit.
Mrs. Metcalf shared information about the R-7 School District’s approach to workforce development, which begins in kindergarten and continues through high school. Students are able to explore various career paths, selecting an area of focus in high school. In addition, students may participate in a variety of workforce internships through programs operating at the three high schools as well as Summit Tech and the Missouri Innovation Campus.
Dr. Nooks discussed the Metropolitan Community College (MCC) program which includes five campuses throughout the Kansas City area. He shared the college’s completion rate, its many internship and work/study programs and MCC career fairs. In addition, Dr. Nooks talked about the Institute for Workforce Innovation, Metropolitan Community College’s customized training programs, which partners with area employers to enhance economic development.
Dr. Ambrose talked about the importance of a well-trained, quality talent pool for area employers. A successful example of this type of workforce development is the Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC), a partnership program involving the R-7 School District, UCM and MCC. Goals of the MIC include lowering the cost of higher education, accelerating the time to degree completion, providing applied learning experiences for students and graduating students with little or no debt and a direct access to career.
Mr. Elliott focused on the unique three-year internship offered through the Missouri Innovation Campus. Students involved in this program are highly motivated and sought-after by employers with skills that the businesses value. In fact, the student competencies at the Missouri Innovation Campus are developed with assistance from the business partners.
Following each presentation, the meeting included a question-and-answer session involving the audience. For more information about the workforce development program and local efforts in this area, visit http://www.leessummit.org/site-location-services/workforce/.
Dr. Nooks, Dr. Ambrose and Dr. McGehee (pictured from left) at the Economic Development Council meeting.
Panel members included (from left) Dr. Nooks, Dr. McGehee, Mrs. Metcalf, Dr. Ambrose and Mr. Elliott.