Virtual job fair to be Wednesday and Thursday

A statewide virtual job fair will take place Wednesday and Thursday.

It begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29, and ends at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30.

Job seekers will have the opportunity to meet virtually with multiple businesses, with the ability to live chat and conduct interviews through computers, tablets and mobile devices. Job candidates also will be able to upload their resumes to their virtual job fair account for employers statewide.

Gov. Laura Kelly is encouraging Kansans looking for employment to participate in the KansasWorks Statewide Virtual Job Fair.

“KansasWorks has done an exceptional job of adapting to the circumstances and continuing to connect Kansas employers with qualified job seekers,” Gov. Kelly said. “Our workforce plays a key role in attracting people and businesses to our state, and I applaud KansasWorks for emphasizing safety in helping Kansans seek employment and helping Kansas businesses fill open positions.”

In 2020, the Department of Commerce partnered with the Local Workforce Development Boards to offer virtual statewide job fairs as a way to continue to provide job opportunities and maintain a ready workforce for Kansas businesses. That led to 10 virtual job fairs, with the 10th in March 2021 attracting 159 employers and 538 registered job seekers. There currently are over 130 employers participating in the upcoming fair with hundreds of open positions.

“These statewide virtual job fairs offer a tremendous opportunity to help Kansans find meaningful employment opportunities in our state,” Lt. Gov. David Toland said. “The previous 10 virtual job fairs all succeeded in connecting job seekers with employers, and the virtual job fair to come will do the same in achieving more real results.”

The Virtual Statewide Job Fair portal features a Job Seeker Training video, a list of participating employers, and channels for attendees to register and login.

Open positions are listed on the registration page. Registration is required for each individual virtual event, regardless of previous attendance. As employers may request to engage in a video interview during the virtual job fair, job seekers are encouraged to dress professionally.

The registration page is available from a link on the the KansasWorks page at

Any individual with a disability may request accommodations by contacting their nearest workforce center at 877-509-6757 prior to the event.

Kansas kicks 7,000 off unemployment benefits for failing to meet new work search requirement

Unemployment modernization council prepares for interim report

by Noah Taborda, Kansas Reflector

Topeka — About 7,000 Kansans lost unemployment benefits this week because they did not meet a deadline to sign up for a new state program designed to help people find a job.

Legislators inserted the work search requirement into House Bill 2196 earlier this year. Mike Beene, director of workforce development at the Department of Commerce, told legislators Thursday many people who receive unemployment benefits were still adjusting to the policy.

The Kansas Department of Labor issued referrals to the online My Reemployment Plan program for weeks in advance of the deadline.

“The activity of a work search requirement is almost a cultural shift for people right now because they have gone so long during the pandemic without that requirement,” Beene told the Kansas Unemployment Compensation Modernization and Improvement Council.

The council met in anticipation of a preliminary report to the Legislative Coordinating Council updating leading lawmakers on progress made modernizing the state’s 40-year-old unemployment system. Updates on why some claims were being denied and modernization vendor search were provided, in addition to a look at My Reemployment.

Gov. Laura Kelly expressed concern with the requirements keeping so many from receiving their benefits.

“We tried as much as we could to get information out to people, and we’ll continue to work with those 7,000 people to rectify their situation so that they can continue receiving the benefits,” Gov. Kelly said.

Using the week of July 10 as a baseline, KDOL deputy secretary Peter Brady said 87.7% of all pandemic unemployment program claims were paid. The remaining 12.3% either encountered a mainframe error, an eligibility issue with their claim, a requirement of additional information, or most prominently, triggered a fraud flag.

Brady was hopeful this snapshot would help the council better understand how claims were being processed in Kansas and how the system modernization project could improve these numbers for the upcoming council report.

“Different presenters we’ve had before this council have all made a lot of similar points of what the core requirements and functions of a modern UI system are. This is what it needs to do,” Brady said, urging the council to consider these presentations in the report when choosing a vendor for the modernization project. “These are all the criteria that will need to be looked at for a modernized system vendor.”

HB2196, which took effect May 13, created the council, initiated the needed modernization effort, and required a report recommending a vendor to be issued within 60 days.

With vendor selection taking longer than initially anticipated, Brady and others urged a more forward-looking report when the council takes that up on Friday. Rep. Kyle Hoffman, R-Coldwater, said while the initial 60-day window appeared ample enough time, once in the process he saw that wasn’t as feasible as previously thought.

“We don’t want to hold it up, but we also don’t want to rush it just for a report,” Hoffman said. “If the LCC understands that this report is preliminary I think that covers the statutory requirement of sending a report.”

Kansas Reflector stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.
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Job opportunities offered for youth

Several local nonprofit organizations are helping youth get a job this summer in Wyandotte County.

In the past few years, one summer employment program has changed into a more diverse youth development and mentoring initiative.

Supported by funding from the Board of Public Utilities, the youth program helps youth acquire skills necessary for college or their first job.

The emphasis is on helping at-risk and lower income youth in the community, coordinating with Unified Government Neighborhood Business Revitalization groups.

In 2021, BPU is helping nine area nonprofits assist hundreds of youth in the community, a spokesman stated. The organizations include:

• The Argentine Betterment Corporation
• The Armourdale Renewal Association
• The Central Avenue Betterment Association
• Downtown Shareholders of KCK, Inc.
• Groundwork Northeast Revitalization Group, Inc.
• The Leavenworth Road Association
• The Rosedale Development Association
• Turner Community Connection, Inc.
• The Northeast Optimist Club

These organizations have created a number of unique training and educational initiatives to help young persons, including a learn-to-earn program, leadership development-mentoring programs, business mentorship, art camp and a young ambassador’s program and programs focusing on learning life skills, according to the spokesman.

Many of these programs are geared toward helping young people learn more about business etiquette, time management, crisis resolution, financial responsibility, while becoming stewards of their community as they grow and mature, the spokesman stated.