Economic Growth

Bob Stowell: Ord, NE Lawyer and Economic Development Leader | What If – Innovator Insights

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NOTE: Spanish version is captions only.

Bob Stowell has been an economic development leader in the rural town of Ord, NE. He helped start Ord’s innovative leadership program.

Innovation Insights features short video interviews with innovators and creators answering questions about things like influences, passions, and mistakes, and offering advice for the next generation of innovators.

Nancy Williams: President/CEO of No More Empty Pots | What If – Innovator Insights

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NOTE: Spanish version is captions only.

Meet Nancy Williams, the president/CEO of No More Empty Pots, an Omaha, Nebraska non-profit that focuses on improving self-sufficiency, food security, and economic resilience. Its programs include culinary workforce training, entrepreneurship, and community gardens.

Innovation Insights features short video interviews with innovators and creators answering questions about things like influences, passions, and mistakes, and offering advice for the next generation of innovators.

The Time Value of Money

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Understanding saving, investments and retirement can sometimes be a challenge to young people when their immediate needs and wants easily outweigh long-term financial planning. Riza Laudin, an economics teacher at Herricks High School in Long Island, New York, helps students make personal connections to the benefits of saving early through a lesson on the time value of money. In this lesson, Ana begins saving at age 22 for twelve years, while Shawn saves from ages 34 to 65. Students are challenged to predict who was the better saver. Understanding and applying the principles of compound interest, students learn a new strategy for saving and begin to contemplate their own financial futures.

How the Deck Is Stacked: Why the Middle Class Matters

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Learn how the percentage of Americans who belong to the middle class is shrinking and why this matters to the U.S. economy, in this video from FRONTLINE’s “How the Deck Is Stacked,” produced in collaboration with Marketplace and PBS NewsHour. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal presents statistics that support the idea that far fewer people today than in 1971 are defined as middle class; this not only impacts whether and how individuals spend their money but also overall economic growth in the country. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

What is the DOW? | Two Cents

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Do your eyes glaze over when you ever hear about the DOW? Are you still confused about what the DOW is?

How Much is Too Much? | American Graduate

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“Our students are not widgets!” 

Certainly that is the sentiment of educators who see business involvement in schools as “putting in orders” for workers. Yet that refrain might be less common in an era when the whole notion of career and technical education is evolving way beyond shop class. 

Maybe that’s because each side understands its boundaries. Businesspeople and educators both say the same thing: Industry lays out the workforce needs; schools develop the curriculum. 

The video above, the final one in our opening series for American Graduate: Getting to Work, includes voices from a major regional employer as well as from K-12 and higher education.

Quick Ways to Good Money | American Graduate

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What would you say to making $18 per hour after less than half a year of post-secondary training? Or $35 an hour in a union job? Those aren’t hypotheticals. Workforce experts say those jobs exist in the Kansas City area, and workers are in demand. One of the biggest hurdles in matching people with those positions, observers said, is overcoming the stigma that has developed around blue collar professions like manufacturing and construction. 

How is it that such good jobs can have such a bad reputation?

Workforce Challenges in KC and Beyond: Videos | American Graduate

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This collection of videos accompanies the Workforce Challenges in KC and Beyond lesson plan featuring KCPT's American Graduate: Getting to Work series.

How Do Schools Prepare Students for the Digital Economy? | American Graduate

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Jeremy Bonneson, vice principal of Summit Technology Academy in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, asked curiousKC: “How do schools adapt to the ever-changing and disruptive nature of the workforce landscape for today’s digital economy?” 

The question was right in our wheelhouse because Kansas City PBS is examining local workforce development efforts through its participation in the national American Graduate project. It was also a big win for us because at curiousKC, we like to get the question asker involved in answering the inquiry, and Bonneson was on board with that. 

It all came together with a Facebook Live broadcast from Summit Tech., where Bonneson took part in a panel discussion with two other participants: Chayanne Sandoval-Williams is a Grandview High School senior, leader in her school’s robotics team, student at Summit Tech., and has plans to pursue a computer science degree. Amy Gum is a lead software engineer at Cerner Corp., and has mentored for FIRST Robotics, Girls in Tech and the Society of Women and Engineers. 

The panel’s discussion included how to create “two-way conversations” between high school students and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals and advice for students thinking about a career in STEM.

Kansas City vs. Peer Cities | American Graduate

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Creating an Austin, Texas-type buzz in the Kansas City area means establishing the 21st century workforce that can succeed in the 21st century workplace, said Sheri Gonzales Warren, an economic development official with the Mid-America Regional Council. 

“If we do a good job of this,” Gonzales Warren said, “ this would be one of those hotbed places where people come. Where young people, in particular, go, ‘I am going to go there, because I know I won’t have any problem finding work.’ We want to be that place.” 

To spur that along, the business community in 2014 launched KC Rising. This road map to long-term prosperity, the group says, “is regional in focus, but global in perspective, targeting high growth in trade, people and ideas.” 

This data-heavy effort benchmarks our region against 30 other peer metros, and the people part is where workforce development fits in. 

Watch the video above to see where the Kansas City region is losing the race and to discover what people are doing to build up its human capital.

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