April is National Community College Month, but this April, the Kansas City Kansas Community College is celebrating more than just Community College pride. Earlier this week, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), donated a bus to the Entrepreneurship and Workforce Center of the KCKCC.
The Entrepreneurship and Workforce Center provides training and education to the employed and unemployed in the Kansas City, Kansas area. Dr. Alicia Hooks, Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship and Workforce Center, reached out to KCATA because of our entrepreneurial spirit to do more than just provide transportation for the community. “We are still focused on education, but we are morphing to meet the needs of the community,” Dr. Hooks said.
KCATA Board of Commissioners President Daniel Serda (right) and Board Secretary Melissa Bynum (right).
The 40-foot, low-floor model Gillig bus was originally put into service in 2003. This year it received a rebuilt engine, a new differential, new brakes and a shiny new paint job in preparation for the donation.
The renovations are currently being designed by students from three area high schools. Their vision is to create a two-part classroom. After approval of the designs, they will be put into action by contractors in partnership with the tech students enrolled at KCKCC.
The first half of the bus will look like a traditional classroom where students will learn the basics. Then, they will head to the second half of the bus where they will participate in a hands-on learning experience. “This design will allow for quick job placement,” Dr. Hooks said.
The mobility of the bus will open a new door for training current employees. “The bus will not only be used for initial job training, but for upskill training for businesses as well,” said Dr. Hooks. The bus will be available to area businesses to offer training to employees who need to further their skills from the convenience of their parking lot.
KCKCC is currently in the design phase of this project. After approval of the designs, renovations will start.
Learn more about the Entrepreneurship and Workforce Center, visit their website.
Dr. Alicia Hooks, Ph.D., Executive Director, Entrepreneurship & Workforce Center, KCKCC, Sam Desue, KCATA Deputy CEO, Dr. Ed Kremer, Vice President of Academic Affairs, KCKCC, Johnathan Dickens, General Manager, MBE DBE Excavating & Grading, and Rhonda Harris, Kansas Dept. of Commerce at the KCATA offices, discussing the potential impact of the bus project.
Students try out virtual reality technology at the bus donation celebration.