A donation of $5500 toward a downtown program working to address urgent business and community needs.
A program that originated to address the urgent needs of business, childcare centers, food insecurity, and employment will continue through 2021 as a result of an anonymous donation to the Bourbon County Workforce and Entrepreneur Resource Center (BWERC).
Because of the generous donation, these critical services will continue to be provided to Bourbon County and City of Fort Scott residents and business free of charge.
The center is located in the Historic Downtown Fort Scott in the upstairs of 17 South Main Fort Scott KS.
It is a “one-stop shop” for business, employment, food, telework and distance learning needs.
Current businesses, and those looking to start a business, have a physical location to meet with a person.
Additionally, services are available for those seeking employment, developing soft skills (i.e. interviewing), or other job seeking help.
Businesses are encouraged and welcome to contact Southeast KANSASWORKS to see how they can connect with those looking for employment.
An overview of services BWERC provides Bourbon County:
• WORKERS & FAMILIES:
o Distance Learning and Telework Space
o Training & Job Seeking Assistance
o Increasing Access to Healthy Food
o Building Capacity for Local Food Assistance
• ADDRESSING CHILDCARE:
o Relief in Fulfilling Educational Requirements for Centers
o Incentives for Becoming a Legal Childcare Provider
• BUSINESS TOOLS & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE:
o Get Businesses Online via new Websites & Social Media
o Loans & Grants
o Special COVID Programs & Resources
Background of BWERC:
Originally funded by a county SPARKS grant, the BWERC was created through a multi-partner collaboration of Bourbon County Economic Development, Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, PSU Small Business Development Center (PSU SBDC), Southeast KANSASWORKS, and BAJA Investments. The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team has since joined the partnership in an effort to address the social determinants of health. The BWERC provides a location, with high speed internet, and all the needed technology for our partners to meet face-to-face or virtually with community residents and business owners.
Through the collaboration childcare centers receive relief in fulfilling educational requirements and illegal childcare is incentivized to become legal. PSU SBDC is available to
business to provide the technical assistance needed to obtain capital, develop marketing strategy, and more.
Southeast KANSASWORKS provides assistance to those seeking employment and to businesses looking for employees. The partnerships with CHC/SEK and BAJA Investments are
actively working to address health inequities and food insecurity throughout the county.
Jody Hoener, Economic Development Director, Bourbon County
President, Healthy Bourbon County Action Team
Amy Kauffman, Career Advisor, Southeast KANSASWORKS
Dacia Clark, Assistant Director, PSU SBDC
Lindsay Madison, President and CEO, The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce