A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held September 14 to officially open the Workforce Development Center at Strother Field. Even after a terrible tragedy, Cowley’s Workforce Development Center still found a way to celebrate. Just three days following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., college officials officially opened the doors to its Workforce Development Center at Strother Field.
The Sept. 14 celebration began with a moment of silence, a prayer, and the pledge of allegiance for the victims in New York City and Washington D.C. Many people who support or are involved in the Workforce Development Center came to listen to the three featured speakers. Gene Cole, associate dean of business and industry, introduced each speaker. Cowley President Dr. Pat McAtee, Secretary of the Department of Human Resources Richard Beyer, and Chairman of the Workforce Alliance David Norris all spoke during the afternoon open house.
All expressed support for the present and future development of the Workforce Development Center. The center, located at Strother Field Airport and Industrial Park, was designed to be a one-stop shop for the workforce of Cowley County. Among the agencies located in the center is the Kansas Employment Office. Workers can search the Internet for jobs, undergo testing for a certain occupation, and also receive training for an existing job.
The center also has placed Internet-ready computers in the Arkansas City, Winfield, and Wellington chambers of commerce to also assist workers in their job search. Rebecca Scott is director of the center. She said the center’s agencies have come together to serve Cowley County’s labor force in a unique way. "People have looked at our center as a model in the state of Kansas," she said. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held prior to a tour of the facility. Cole has been instrumental in getting the partners within the center working together. "It has taken time to get all of the details worked out, but I think the center will be a great benefit to Cowley County," Cole said. "I’m real pleased with the number of agencies we have out here and the services we can offer." Persons needing to reach the center can call (620) 442-1494 or (620) 221-7790.