Governor Kelly Ceremonially Signs Bill Creating Higher Education Partnership in Western Kansas

~~Affiliation Between Three Institutions Increases Opportunities for Students and Meets Local Workforce Development Needs~~ 

HAYS – Governor Laura Kelly today traveled to Fort Hays State University to participate in a ceremonial signing of House Bill 2290, which creates a strategic affiliation between Fort Hays State University, Northwest Kansas Technical College, and North Central Kansas Technical College. The bill enables the institutions to partner to make educational programs and student services more accessible by breaking down bureaucratic barriers to those services, and to expand opportunities around apprenticeships, internships, and employment with local businesses.  

“Connecting young people to good jobs right out of college is a critical way to keep local businesses vibrant and strong, and to keep graduates living and working in Kansas,” Governor Kelly said. “This affiliation will do exactly that, helping rural Kansas meet the needs of critical industries including agriculture and technology.” 

The strategic affiliation institutional partnership initiative was created by the three college presidents as a way to address workforce challenges in rural Kansas. 

“Presidents Ben Schears, Eric Burks, and I believe this is a powerful, unified, and essential step forward in our efforts to help rural students, businesses, and communities prosper in the face of daunting economic and demographic challenges,” said President Dr. Tisa Mason, President of Fort Hays State University. 

Learn more about the strategic affiliation initiative here. Photos from today’s ceremonial signing are available below for media use: