January 23, 2019
Story by Brandon Steinert
The Barton Community College Board of Trustees gathered Tuesday evening for its regular meeting and discussed one of its nine overarching goals, known as ENDs, one of which is “Regional Workforce Needs.”
This END states, “The college will address regional workforce needs,” which is supported by four indicators. The College will:
- Develop strategies to identify and address on-going needs.
- Organize area resources in addressing needs.
- Build effective partnerships in addressing workforce needs.
- Be recognized as a leader in economic development.
The main emphasis of the report was on the importance of advisory boards, which are made up of industry professionals. They play a pivotal role in the success of Barton’s workforce training programs. Agriculture Advisory Board member Stan Kaiser of Golden Belt Feeders, Criminal Justice Advisory Board member Steve Billinger of the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and Welding Advisory Board member Dave Cox of Maico Industries in Ellsworth were present to comment on the success of the boards and the partnerships they support. Many of the advisory board members also contribute to the programs through their businesses. Maico Industries, for example, recently provided steel for the welding program.
The report also included comments from Barton’s Dean of Fort Riley Technical Education and Military Outreach Training Kurt Teal. Teal highlighted Barton’s status as an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Training Institute Education Center, the success of Barton’s hazardous materials programs, the Military Onsite Training Program and hazardous waste worker training offered to transitioning soldiers, their family members and veterans at no cost through a grant.
Highlights from the ENDs report include:
- Barton has more than 600 partnerships with business, industry, community organizations and other educational institutions.
- Barton has 20 advisory boards to guide their workforce training programs.