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Effort To Create Labor Market

The State of Kansas Joins The Skillful State Network


Topeka, Kan. – Kansas has joined The Skillful State Network, a Markle Foundation initiative.

Governor Laura Kelly, along with the governors of California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Pennsylvania have joined the founding states in the Network’s efforts to create a labor market in which skills learned anywhere are valued and people can rapidly and affordably access the information and training needed for good jobs in the digital economy. Entering its second year, the Skillful State Network fosters collaboration among innovative governors from states large and small, coast to coast and across the political spectrum. The governors in the Skillful State Network have made workforce development a state priority and are committed to acting on proven practices that enable their residents and employers to thrive.

“This is important moment of change for the Kansas economy,” Governor Kelly said. “We must work together to ensure workers have the skills they need to compete in a modern, digital economy. I look forward to collaborating with the Skillful State Network and partner states to transform our labor market and grow our economy.”

“The Skillful State Network acts on the urgent need for leadership to bring the talent of Americans into the rapidly changing digital economy. Governors are joining together to break down the barriers keeping too many people from finding good careers,” said Zoë Baird, CEO and President of the Markle Foundation. “With bipartisan gubernatorial leadership from 26 states across the country, we are giving people greater power in the labor market to pursue rewarding careers.”

The Skillful State Network launched in 2018 to drive transition to labor markets in which skills are valued as well as degrees, and people can access the tools and build the skills necessary to thrive in today’s digital economy. Members share innovative ideas and proven practices each can adopt to achieve workforce goals and growth, for example, effectively aligning education with industry; providing robust data on skills needed to jobseekers; and training employers on skills-based practices to find talent from other sectors or with informal training. The Network is enabling a systems-level change in the labor market.


Skillful State Network Members
Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson
California Gov. Newsom
Colorado Gov. Polis
Connecticut Gov. Lamont
Delaware Gov. Carney
Illinois Gov. Pritzker
Indiana Gov. Holcomb
Kansas Gov. Kelly
Kentucky Gov. Bevins
Massachusetts Gov. Baker
Michigan Gov. Whitmer
Minnesota Gov. Walz
Missouri Gov. Parson
Montana Gov. Bullock
New Jersey Gov. Murphy
North Carolina Gov. Cooper
North Dakota Gov. Burgum
Ohio Gov. DeWine
Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf
Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo
Tennessee Gov. Lee
Utah Gov. Herbert
Vermont Gov. Scott
Virginia Gov. Northam
Washington Gov. Inslee
Wisconsin Gov. Evers
For more information about member state
involvement, quotes from the
governors and examples of workforce
initiatives, please visit here.


The Network is grounded in Skillful’s work in Colorado and Indiana, where Skillful works directly to align the efforts of the state, employers, educators, and local workforce boards behind a mutually reinforcing strategy. Drawing on its on-the-ground operations, Skillful produced the Skillful State Playbook, a step-by-step guide to help states build a skills-based labor market, which includes tools and resources for implementation. One signature initiative currently operating in Colorado and Indiana, the Skillful Coaching Corps (SCC), is an upskilling program for career coaches. Applying tools and training from the Corps, coaches are better equipped to help job seekers and incumbent workers learn what skills are in demand and how to demonstrate or obtain those skills. The Skillful State Network continues to draw key learnings and practices from Skillful Colorado and Skillful Indiana, and supports transformation at a scale and pace not possible through individual state actions alone.

“We are thrilled to welcome the eight new member states to the Skillful State Network, as well as the newly elected governors from founding member states Colorado, Ohio, Tennessee, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The importance of this issue and the value of the Network transcends changes in administration and even party,” said Beth Cobert, CEO of Skillful. “Workforce development is a nonpartisan issue as every state confronts helping workers transition to digital economy jobs. These new voices will strengthen this already forward-thinking group in this our second year.”

Network members will continue to share assets, foster partnerships, and hone methods of engagement within their labor markets. The free and public availability of the Skillful State Playbook supports the open sharing of key learnings and practices. Skillful State Network members may draw from and contribute tools to the Playbook.

All interested states are invited to join the Network by contacting Skillful CEO Beth Cobert at, (212) 713-7633.

Download the Skillful State Playbook here.

Find more information about Skillful here.


About Skillful

Skillful, a non-profit initiative of the Markle Foundation, is dedicated to enabling all Americans – particularly those without a four-year college degree – to secure good jobs in a changing economy. Skillful, in partnership with Microsoft, is developing skills-based training and employment practices in collaboration with state governments, local employers, educators and workforce development organizations. With its partners, Skillful is working to create a labor market in which skills are valued, and people can more easily access the information and education they need to keep pace with technology’s impact on work. Skillful currently operates in two states, Skillful Colorado and Skillful Indiana, bringing investment, training, tools and innovative methods to augment local workforce development efforts. It formed and facilitates the Skillful State Network, a collaboration among 26 state governors to accelerate the development and deployment of effective skills-based practices to transform their labor markets. Skillful is grateful for support provided by Lumina Foundation and Walmart, and its partnerships with the states of Colorado and Indiana, Purdue University and Purdue Extensions and many great local organizations committed to strengthening their local workforce and creating better opportunities for all.

About The Markle Foundation

The Markle Foundation works to realize the potential of technology to achieve breakthroughs in addressing some of the nation’s most pressing issues. Markle challenges itself and diverse partners to deploy their varied expertise to identify solutions and achieve systemic change. Today as advanced technology and automation change the very nature of work, Markle’s priority is advancing solutions toward a skills-based labor market that will enable Americans to transition to the opportunities of the digital economy. Markle’s workforce initiatives include Skillful and the Rework America Task Force. They follow Markle’s success in creating policy and technology architecture that has enabled improvements in healthcare, national security and access to the Internet. For more information, visit, follow @MarkleFdn and @ReworkAmerica on Twitter, and read our book, America’s Moment.



Ryan Brinker

Public Information Officer


Kansas Department of Commerce

1000 SW Jackson St. Ste. 100

Topeka, KS 66612-1354

Phone: 785-296-4931

Cell: 785-276-9723

Fort Scott High School National Forensic Qualifiers

2018-2019 National Qualifiers to compete in Dallas, Texas in June!

Hunter Adamson and Zoe Self – 1st in DUO
Zoe Self – 1st in International Extemp
Mark Adams – 1st in Lincoln Douglas Debate and 
Mark Adams – 2nd in United States Extemp
Elizabeth Ngatia – 1st in Program Oral Interp
Madi Toth – 1st in Program Oral Interp
Neil Gugnani and Shekhar Gugnani – 2nd in Public Forum Debate
Rebekah Sweyko – 1st in United States Extemp
Jonie Antonio – Student Congress Representative

We also had many students who made it to finals round!
Those competitors are:
Jade Russell and Jorden Willard placed 4th in Public Forum Debate
Audra McFarland and Karina Kantilal placed 4th in DUO
Shekhar Gugnani placed 4th in International Extemp
Jade Russell place 6th place in International Extemp
Landon Doherty placed 4th in Lincoln Douglas Debate
Karina Kantilal placed 5th in Program Oral Interp

The students who made it to semi-finals in addition to those listed above are:
Takia Page in United States Extemp
Reaghn Dowell in International Extemp

Way to go TIGERS!!!
2 parts down, 1 to go!

Submitted by Angella Curran

Hedgehog.INK Happenings For April

April 1, 2019

Dont be a fool.

Do be cool!

Kick off National

Poetry Month,

Stop by the bookstore to pick up an entry for the

Hedgehog poetry contest.

(National poetry month takes place each April and was introduced in 1996. Learn more by going to


April 4 1:00 p.m.

Author Talk and Book Signing

Learn more about Sally and her different styles of writing (including poetry).


April 13, 2019

Second Saturday Storytime

10:30 a.m.

With FSCC students


April 13, 2019

Author Talk and Book Signing

Pastor George Proctor

You read his column every Saturday in the Fort Scott Tribune.

See him in person at

Hedgehog.INK! on Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m.

A community of books for the community

April 18, 2019

Pocket Poem Day

Bring a poem in your pocket and share

with Hedgehog.INK! It can be an original or one you have always loved.

(We will post the poems in our window. Must be suitable for all ages.)

25% off Poetry, Classics and Literature – all day

April 27-28

Civil War Weekend at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Check out our Civil War section with a number of recently added books.


April 30

Poetry contest entries due by 5:00 p.m.


May 7 6:00

Poetry Contest Reception

Winners Announced

Light Refreshments served

K-State Southwind District Selling Stock in Team

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.
Virginia Crossland-Macha, President of the Kansas State Fair Board, recognizes the importance of supporting youth agriculture education by making a donation to the Livestock Judging Team. She is pictured with Southwind District 4-H members Brody Nemecek, Jillian Keller, Macha , Clay Brillhart, and Haydon Schaff.

Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District Director


I have the privilege to coach the Southwind District 4-H Livestock Teams – Skillathon, Quiz Bowl, Meats and Livestock Judging. Working with youth who are the future of our agriculture community, and teaching basic livestock knowledge is often challenging and time-consuming. Well, the time-consuming part just got a little bigger (probably more than I am prepared for) and these kids are taking me on an adventure that requires a passport to travel over the “Big Pond.”

As you know, the Southwind Extension District 4-H Livestock Judging Team of Jillian Keller (Piqua), Brody Nemecek (Iola), Haydon Schaaf (Uniontown), and Clay Brillhart (Fort Scott) were named Reserve National Champions in January 2019 at the National Western 4-H Livestock Judging Contest in Denver, Colorado. In recognition as a winning team, they were awarded an invitation to compete internally at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland and at the Charleville Show in the Republic of Ireland, June 19-July 3, 2019. The contests are only a small piece of the international educational trip that will include agriculture seminars, tours and opportunities to enhance leadership skills and education through interaction with the citizens of the UK and Ireland.

In an effort to cover educational expenses, the Southwind team is selling “stock” in the livestock judging team. Individuals and businesses have the opportunity to invest in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by purchasing these shares from team members. Shares are being sold for $100 and investors will be invited to a shareholders meeting where they will enjoy dinner and see firsthand the return on their investments as the Southwind District 4-H Livestock Judging Team members share their travel experiences. Stock can be purchased for $100/share.

Giving options for the Southwind 4-H Livestock Judging Team

Sponsorship levels

  • 1 share
    • Invitation to Shareholders Meeting
    • Invitation to Shareholders Meeting & name/logo printed at Shareholders Meeting
    • Membership to the “Charleville Club” table at Shareholders Meeting & name/logo printed on the brochure at Shareholders Meeting
    • Membership to the “Royal Highland Club” table at Shareholders Meeting, name/logo printed on the brochure and team travel suppl

If you have questions about 4-H or would like to help our livestock judging team, please give me a call at 620-365-2242. The team and their parents would love to see you at our shareholders meeting in August!



Obituary of Jerry Dean Payne

Jerry Dean Payne, age 78, a resident of Erie, Kansas, passed away Saturday, February 9, 2019, at his home. He was born September 4, 1940, in Ft. Scott, Kansas.

He was raised by his mother, Alice May Brady Ashley and his step-father, William L. Ashley. Jerry graduated from the Herington High School. He married Wilma Winters on July 5, 1997, in Ft. Scott. Jerry worked in law enforcement for thirty-three years. He retired as Chief of Police for Erie, Kansas.

Survivors include his wife, Wilma, of the home in Erie; a daughter, Jessie Lou Wiley Payne, also of the home; two sons, Terry Lee Payne, of Abilene, Kansas and Monty Ray Payne and his wife, Patti, of Holyrood, Kansas; three step-sons, Ernest Wiley (Rubortia), Jeff Wiley and Paul Wiley. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Kelby, Kaylene and Holli Payne; two step-grandchildren, Destiny and Joanna Wiley; two great-grandchildren, Kyler and Hazley.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Larry Lynn Payne; two sons, Bobby Joe Payne and Larry Dennis Payne a step-son, Larry Dean Wiley and his former wife, Lesa Payne.

Pastor Danny Flippo will conduct funeral services at 10:30 A.M. Saturday, February 16th at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Burial will follow in the Mapleton Cemetery at Mapleton, Kansas. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 P.M. Friday at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Memorials are suggested to the Jessie Payne Scholarship Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Fort Scott Municipal Court Closed Today, Feb. 7

Due to the weather conditions, Fort Scott Municipal Court, which is held every Thursday at 3:00 p.m. will be canceled today, Feb. 7.

If you are scheduled for court today, a letter will be mailed to you giving you a new court date.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please call City Hall if you have questions.

From Linderhof’s Kitchen . . . Martha Meinsen Scott

Photo by Martha Meinsen Scott.
Cannoli Tart


Desserts are tricky after a heavy pasta meal.     I found this recipe for cannoli tart that is a perfect Italian dessert.     The bonus, it’s very easy to make and very tasty!


¾ c. heavy cream
¾ c. powdered sugar
12 oz. Mascarpone
½ t. Vanilla
½ t. Cinnamon
Chocolate chips
Boughten graham cracker crust


Whip cream until frothy.     Add ¼ c. powdered sugar and then whip until it forms stiff peaks.    Set aside.


Combine mascarpone and ½ c. powdered sugar.     Beat until smooth (do not overbeat). Add cinnamon and vanilla and beat some more.


Fold whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.    Pour into pie shell. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.     Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.
Martha Meinsen Scott is a Fort Scott foodie who creates from her home, called Linderhof.


Grief Support Luncheon

Grief Support Luncheon

Dec 5, 2018 12:00 PM

Our next scheduled grief support luncheon will be Wednesday December 5th, at 12:00 Noon.  Anyone dealing with a loss is encouraged to come and bring a friend.  Cheney Witt Chapel will provide lunch at the Carriage House, 301 S. Main.  Call us at 223-1186 if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you!

Kansas Businesses Enroll in Westar’s New Green Energy Program

Kansas wind resources provide affordable, green energy.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Nov. 5, 2018 – Westar’s new Renewables Direct program subscriptions reached about 90 percent with Kansas businesses and government agencies signing on for 200 megawatts of affordable Kansas wind.

Fourteen Kansas organizations enrolled in Renewables Direct and will receive all or a portion of their electricity from the Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center to be built in Nemaha County and will begin operations by the end of 2020.

“We commend these Kansas organizations for their commitment to sustainable energy solutions,” said Chuck Caisley, chief customer officer of Evergy, which operates as Westar Energy and KCP&L. “We haven’t even broken ground on the wind farm and enough customers have stepped forward to purchase most of the energy it will produce. Kansas is a national leader in wind with affordable resources that bring economic benefit both to the communities where it is produced and to the customers who value it as an affordable tool to meet sustainability goals.”

In July, Westar announced the new program, which is designed to provide large customers a path toward their sustainability goals with Kansas’ abundant, affordable renewable energy. Participating customers are able to claim a portion of the energy generated by the wind farm as their own, retain all of the renewable attributes and lock in a portion of their electricity prices for up to 20 years. The program is structured to add projects in the future to keep up with the growing appetite for renewable sources of our customers.

Customers signing up for the initial program introduction include: Ardent Mills, Newton and Wichita; Benedictine College, Atchison; Bunge Milling, Atchison and Emporia; Cargill, Cummings, Emporia, Hutchinson, Topeka and Wichita; Cox Communications, multiple Kansas locations; Evcon, Wichita; Kansas State University, Manhattan; Landoll Corp., Marysville; Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita; Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth; Textron Aviation, Independence and Wichita; University of Kansas, Lawrence; Veteran’s Affairs Medical Centers in Leavenworth, Topeka and Wichita; and Washburn University, Topeka.

The 300 MW Soldier Creek Wind Energy Center, which will be developed northeast of Manhattan, is expected to bring about 250 construction jobs and 15 to 20 permanent green energy jobs to Nemaha County. During the first 30 years of the project, landowners will receive more than $50 million in land-rights payments. The wind farm will be owned and operated by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, Inc. Construction of the wind farm is scheduled to begin early 2019.

Veteran’s Day Parade Entries Sought

Entries are being sought for the 2018 Veteran’s Day Parade at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 10.

Marching bands, floats, automobiles, tractors, horses are envisioned as part of the parade honoring veterans.

The oldest Bourbon County veterans will be featured in the parade.

Please pick up an entry form at 231 E. Wall, the Fort Scott Convention and Visitors Bureau or visit