News Elevating the Technology Sector in Kansas
SKT, Twin Valley, and ISG Technology Join FlagshipKansas.Tech
SKT, Twin Valley, and ISG Technology have joined forces with the Wichita-based nonprofit, FlagshipKansas.Tech, which was launched in early 2019 to help grow the tech industry in Kansas. It’s a collective effort to highlight and support technology-based companies across the state.
Over 36,000 jobs are provided by tech-primary companies in Kansas, and our state is also home to world-class aerospace, manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture industries. Using a three-pronged approach, FlagshipKansas.Tech is:
- Raising Awareness – highlighting the innovation and ingenuity already at work in our cities and communities.
- Growing Our Workforce – developing and helping implement strategies for attracting and retaining tech talent in Kansas.
- Supporting Educational Programs – helping to create workforce training and education programs to meet the demand of the tech sector.
A good example of FlagshipKansas.Tech’s advocacy is that, until recently, Kansas was one of just two states (along with Connecticut), that didn’t allow Computer Science to count toward core high school graduation requirements. On June 8, 2021, the Kansas State Board of Education voted to recognize Computer Science as a core graduation credit; i.e., one unit of Computer Science may now be substituted for one unit of Science, or one unit of Mathematics – providing the concept requirements are satisfied.
The decision to recognize Computer Science as a core graduation credit was reached with support and advocacy from many Kansas organizations including FlagshipKansas.Tech.
“This is a big win for our students, our industry and our state, but there is more work to be done,” SKT Marketing Manager Megan Harper said. “As the state’s largest family-owned broadband and communications company, we are looking forward to supporting Flagship’s mission to help raise awareness, grow the workforce, and support education programs in the tech sector.”
Many advocates for the technology education agree this is a step in the right direction. Stephen King, education program consultant for computer science at the Kansas State Department of Education said, “My dream is to someday soon have every single kid in the state of Kansas have a computer science course available to them.”
Our world continues to be driven by technology, touching every industry and profession, and Kansas must be prepared with innovators, workforce, and community awaiting. As a part of their pledge to create meaningful community outreach initiatives, SKT and Twin Valley will look for ways to leverage this partnership to bring digital skills training to rural Kansans.