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2017 Think Ahead Forum: A Success Ready Workforce

(e2) education emPowers® initiative remains a priority for the continued improvement of the region’s health and economic vitality

Individuals from northwest Missouri and bordering counties in Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa participated in the 2017 Think Ahead Forum on Friday, September 29, 2017 at Heartland Foundation’s emPowerU Campus in downtown St. Joseph, Mo. The theme for this year’s event was “A Success Ready Workforce.”

Forum participants took part in “test driving” a new immersion experience focused on creating “a success ready workforce.” Potential future participants include high school and college students, new employees, human resources specialists and anyone who has a stake in the future of this region.

“This unique Forum will focus on finding solutions to address issues related to understanding the importance of hard and soft skills – skills that employers feel need more attention in today’s workforce. The innovative approach may not be possible for a single organization, business, or educational institution to do on its own. Over the years, we’ve learned that when people who care from diverse backgrounds come together, we can accomplish so much more,” said Judith Sabbert, president of Heartland Foundation.

This Forum is a call for individuals representing business, education, government – all sectors – to collaborate and take action in developing a new initiative to prepare our young people for successin the workforce.

Since 1994, Heartland Foundation has held regional planning forums and informative and celebratory summits focused on improving the health, economic vitality, and quality of life for our region. The Think Ahead Forum takes the best elements from the regional gatherings previously held and highlights the importance of thinking ahead.

The Forum was coordinated by Heartland Foundation’s (e2) education emPowers® Bridging Team. An initiative of the Healthy Communities movement, (e2) education emPowers® recognizes the importance of educational attainment and lifelong learning. A cross-section of individuals and organizations have formed a number of volunteer teams addressing strategic leadership, pathways to early learning, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art/design, and math) education, and pathways to prosperity (success ready workforce development) to find new, collaborative solutions that lead to better jobs, better wages, healthier people and thriving communities. Healthy Communities Regional Investor Partners include Heartland Foundation, managing partner; Missouri Western State University; Mosaic Life Care; North Central Missouri College; Northwest Missouri State University; and SSM Health St. Francis Hospital. Learn more about the (e2) education emPowers® initiative by calling 816.271.7200 (800.447.1083) or visiting www.heartlandfoundation.org/e2.

Serving as a catalyst, convener, innovator and connector, Heartland Foundation is a public charity dedicated to championing education and empowering people to build healthy and thriving communities. Founded in 1982 and leading the region’s Healthy Communities Movement since 1994.