State officials visit Lenexa for the Kansas Skills Tour

Lenexa, KS, December 13, 2012 – Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George, along with officials from the Department of Labor and the Kansas Board of Regents visited Lenexa on Wednesday as part of the Kansas Skills Tour to promote the state’s effort to build a certified, highly qualified workforce for business and industry in Kansas.

The Kansas Skills Tour visited six communities across Kansas and ended the tour Wednesday morning with a media event at the Trane facility in Lenexa. State officials spoke about the positive benefits of industry credentials to our workforce, company performance, and state economy. The tour was an extension of the Kansas Skills Summit led by Governor Sam Brownback on Oct. 29 in Wichita.

Deputy Labor Secretary Michael Copeland was proud to share a piece of good news for Kansas. He said the labor market in Kansas is improving with unemployment at 5.7%, down from 6.7% a year ago. As of October, there were about 43,000 job openings in Kansas. The industries most in need of qualified workers are nursing, truck driving, and computer specialists.

Commerce Secretary Pat George said it is important to help companies in Kansas grow and prosper. This is accomplished in part by providing those companies with a skilled workforce. The companies can use a system of industry endorsed credentials to standardize the skills and knowledge their workers bring to the labor market while businesses are encouraged to reward, request or recognize industry credentials. By enhancing and strengthening the Kansas workforce in this way, the state can expand economic activity and increase job growth.

A ceremonial signing of the Governor’s skills pledge took place during the event. Representatives from Trane, Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Henderson Engineers, HTK Architects, Washburn Tech, and Fagan all signed the pledge agreeing to ask for industry credentials where appropriate as part of their screening and selection process.

“Trane recognizes the need for a technically strong work force and prioritizes partnerships with organizations that demonstrate strong leadership and develop the skills and certification workforce programs needed for 21st century technical careers,” said Keven Ward, public sector consultant for Trane. “We are very excited to collaborate with key stakeholders in Kansas to advance the mutually shared goals and objectives achieved through workforce certification programs.”

To sign the pledge to support a certified, highly qualified workforce in Kansas visit: www.KansasCommerce.com/skillspledge

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About Ingersoll Rand Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands—including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Schlage®, Thermo King® and Trane® —work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; secure homes and commercial properties; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. Trane solutions optimize indoor environments with a broad portfolio of energy efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, building and contracting services, parts support and advanced control. Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit ingersollrand.com or trane.com.

Reporters can contact: Angie Gensler Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand 913-599-4664, Angie.Gensler@Trane.com

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