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2018 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Conference

Hosted by the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Department for Children and Families

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Conference will feature a series of presentations and workshops aimed at enhancing and improving workforce solutions in the State of Kansas.

Building Partnerships to Address the Future of Work

October 8 - 9, 2018

Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wichita, Kansas

 Conference Sponsors

WSU Career OfficeKSU Global Campus    Burlington English Logo    Workforce Sponsor Logo     Garden City Comm College  Workforce Alliance

Want to sponsor the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Conference? Click here to learn more.

Keynote Speakers

Monday Lunch
Dr. Michael Eric Wooten
Acting Assistant Secretary & Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Colleges
Department of Education - Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

Keynote Speaker Dr. Michael Wooten

Tuesday Lunch
Jeffrey A. Finkle
President & CEO
International Economic Development Council

Jeff Finkle

Tuesday Lunch Remarks
Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D.

Governor Jeff Colyer



Click here to see the full schedule

Conference Schedule at a Glance

Sunday, October 7
4:00 - 7:00pm Registration
Monday, October 8
7:30am Check-In and Registration for Pre-Conference & Conference
8:15 - 11:00am

Office of Civil Rights Compliance Training:
Ensuring Administrative and Physical Accessibility at your Institution

8:15 - 9:00am
(choose one session)
Breakout Session 1: GED Update
Breakout Session 2: KBOR Funding 101
9:15 - 10:00am
(choose one session)

Breakout Session 3: Adult Education Update
Breakout Session 4: Carl Perkins Grant Managers Update
WIOA Board Orientation: What Every Board Member Should Know

10:15 - 11:00am
(choose one session)
General Session: WIOA Funding 101
WIOA Board Orientation: What Every Board Member Should Know
11:00 - 11:30am
(choose one session)
Breakout Session 5: Kansas Council for Workforce Education Association Update
Breakout Session 6: Kansas Adult Education Association Update
Main Conference  
11:00 - 11:30am Visit Exhibitors
11:30 am - 1:15pm Lunch Keynote: Dr. Michael Eric Wooten
1:30 - 2:30pm Panel Presentation: Governor's Education Council
2:45 - 3:45pm

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: How Texas is Strengthening Student Persistence Through Guided Pathways

Breakout 2: Using Innovation to Employ Persons With Disabilities

Breakout 3: Key Strategies for Utilizing Impactful Digital Credentials

Breakout 4: It Takes a Village (of Collaborators!) to Support Your Talent Development Pipeline

Breakout 5: Making OJTs Work for You

Breakout 6: Promising Practices in Business Engagement

Breakout 7: Strategic Approach to Industry Attraction and Job Growth

Breakout 8: Preparing Your Students for Today's Workforce

4:00 - 5:00pm

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Breakout 9: Compulsory Attendance - Learn All About It

Breakout 10: Digital Badges and Enhancing Employment Potential

Breakout 11: The New K-12 Commitment to Workforce

Breakout 12: Underutilized Funding
TAA   KHPOP   WOTC   Federal Bonding Program

Breakout 13: Youth Employment Program: Collaborative Approach

Breakout 14: Put Your Employers to Work! Proven Strategies for Business Engagement in Talent Development

Breakout 15: Panel: Four-Year Degree Programs for Workforce Development

Breakout 16: One Good Reason

5:00 - 6:30pm Exhibitor Reception
Tuesday, October 9
7:30am Check-In and Registration
8:15am Welcome & Panel Introductions
8:30 - 9:30am Panel Presentation: Linking the Talent Pipeline
9:45 - 10:45am

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Breakout 17: Digital Literacy to Supply a Regional Workforce

Breakout 18: The Kansas Vision: Building Our Future Workforce

Breakout 19: Growing Your Own Workforce

Breakout 20: New Campus Development Through Local Partnerships

Breakout 21: How to Enhance Knowledge of WIOA Partner Programs

Breakout 22: Registered Apprenticeship

Breakout 23: Hire By Trial

Breakout 24: Kansas CTE: How It Works for Kansas

11:00 - 11:30am Visit Exhibitors
11:30 am - 1:00pm

Remarks: Governor Jeff Colyer

Lunch Keynote: Jeffrey A. Finkle

1:15 - 2:15pm Panel Presentation
2:30 - 3:30pm

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Breakout 25: Federal Grant Management 101

Breakout 26: Employee Engagement and Retention: Hitting the Moving Target

Breakout 27: Collaboration Stimulates the Pipeline

Breakout 28: Discover the Wichita Promise Move

Breakout 29: How to Advocate Workforce Issues as a Board Member

Breakout 30: GED Website: A Plethora of Resources For All

Breakout 31: Getting Career Pathways to Work

Breakout 32: Workforce Innovation Center - Envision Employment and Rehabilitation

3:45 - 5:00pm

General Session & Closing

The Elite Leader: Jared Johnson Leadership


Hyatt Regency Wichita Hotel

Hyatt Regency Wichita
Hyatt Regency Wichita | 400 West Waterman | Wichita, Kansas, 67202

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS (book by Sept. 17 Extended to Oct. 1!)
Hyatt Regency Wichita
400 W Waterman
Wichita, KS 67202, US

Room Reservations
Book online at
OR call the Hyatt directly at 1-888-421-1442 and mention “Workforce Conference”

Conference Room Rate
$99 plus tax. Rate includes complimentary internet guestroom access, airport shuttle and self-parking. The guestrooms include two queen-sized beds.

The last day to reserve a room within the block is September 17 October 1. Cancellation of a room reservation is required 48 hours prior to check-in date to avoid penalties. Guest check out time is 11:00 a.m.

Click here for more information


Become a sponsor for the 2018 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Conference! The conference will bring together a broad spectrum of professionals who are part of the workforce development system. It is an opportunity to share information, network and build partnerships with approximately 400+ attendees. The conference provides an opportunity for your organization to reach these influential professionals and impact workforce development decisions.

>> See Sponsorship Levels

>> Apply for Sponsorship

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Conference Committee reserves the right to refuse Exhibitor or Sponsor status to any company or organization.

Prefer to pay online? No problem! Go to and follow the directions below.

  1. In the invoice/Order Number payment field, please type: Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Conference sponsorship level (Diamond, Gold, Silver, or Bronze) - Company Name. (ie. Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Conference Gold sponsor – Wichita State University.)
  2. Fill out the remaining fields.
  3. When you receive your emailed payment receipt, please forward that email to along with your completed Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Conference sponsorship form, a digital version of your company logo and the name(s) of who will utilize the complimentary registration perk for the conference.

Sponsor Contact
Adrienne McAlpine, Event Coordinator
Wichita State University Public Policy and Management Center

Call for Presentations

You are invited to submit presentation proposals for the 2018 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Conference. General sessions and break-out sessions can be delivered by an individual, co-presenters, moderated panel or roundtable. Proposals should include presentations on relevant topics for a variety of attendees, including elected officials, government employees, business and industry, university/college/technical education providers, economic development professionals, workforce development professionals and partners and stakeholders in the workforce field.

The 2018 Conference theme is “Building Partnerships to Address the Future of Workforce."

You are encouraged to submit topics that support the conference theme and these tracks:
• Engaging Business Resources
• Developing a Talent Pipeline
• Developing the Future Workforce
• Enhancing Career Pathways

Proposal Details
• General and breakout sessions are one hour in length.
• Lead presenters will be notified late in July 2018.
• Proposals will be reviewed and approved by the Conference Planning Committee. Direct questions to Paula Downs via email at or phone at 316-978-6678.
•Presenters for general and breakout sessions will need to register for the conference, if you plan to attend.  The registration fee is $100.  Registration for the conference allows you full access to all sessions and includes the keynote luncheon, exhibitor social, breakfast, and the awards luncheon.  If you do not plan to attend the conference and just want to present your individual session, you will NOT need to register for the conference, however, you will be UNABLE to attend the conference sessions and participate in the keynote luncheon, exhibitor social, breakfast and the awards luncheon. 

>> Presentation Application

All presentation information should be completed and delivered by the lead presenter. The information submitted, if accepted, will be used in all marketing materials for the conference, including the conference program, website, social media and other materials. Please provide all the information in the application.

Audiovisual Needs and Handouts
Presenters will have access to a laptop, projector and screen during their presentation. Presenters are responsible for their own handouts. An electronic copy of presentations and handouts must be sent to by October 1, 2018 for posting on the website immediately after the conference.

Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Request for Accommodations
Please contact to request a reasonable accommodation for participating in the conference. Please provide the accommodation request by directly contacting Adrienne by September 7, 2018.

Dietary Needs
If you require a special meal, please list your requirements in the question at checkout when you register. Accomodations for special diets cannot be guaranteed after September 21.

Conference Contact
Paula Downs, Professional Development Manager
Wichita State University Public Policy and Management Center
(316) 978-6678

Sponsorship & Event Logistics Contact
Adrienne McAlpine, Events Coordinator
Wichita State University Public Policy and Management Center
(316) 978-6831

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