Education, Workforce Training Topics for June 25 Meeting

Education and workforce training for long-term economic development will be featured in the third Clay County Strategic Planning Initiative meeting Tuesday, June 25. The free public meeting will be in the Cerner Headquarters building located at 2800 Rockcreek Parkway, Kansas City, Mo. The meeting will start at 3 p.m. and end no later than 5 p.m.

Two of the featured speakers will be William Thornton and Donna Deeds.

Thornton serves as general counsel for the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the department’s liaison with the Missouri Department of Economic Development. He also served on the Kansas Board of Regents, the governing body for higher education in Kansas. Appointed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, he served as chair for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and as a member of the Executive Committee for almost 10 years. The chamber is the prominent advocate for business in Kansas. He also served as Secretary of Commerce for the State of Kansas under former Governor Mark Parkinson.

Deeds is the executive director of the Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). Designed to inspire students in areas such as bioscience, business engineering and human services, CAPS programs are increasing nationally through cooperation between education and industry. The Blue Valley program is a leading example and last year was recognized with the national Thomas Edison Award.

An additional speaker and discussion panel will be announced shortly.

Sponsored by the Clay County Economic Development Council, the Strategic Planning Initiative is co-chaired by Greg Canuteson and Jerry Nolte. With the goal of developing a world-class economic strategy for Clay County, the group has begun holding meetings throughout the county.

The meeting is open to anyone interested in area development, community building and the local economy. For additional information or to RSVP for the free event, call 816.468.4989 or e-mail

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