Category Archives: Jobs

Building Workforce Through Apprenticeship Grants

Governor Kelly Announces Recipients of More than $500K in Registered Apprenticeship Grants

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced a total of $528,478 has been awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce to eight entities across the state for projects that will attract and retain employees and build the state workforce through registered apprenticeships.

“Last year, I created the Office of Registered Apprenticeship to dramatically scale up our state’s efforts to train Kansas workers with the skills needed to succeed in today’s modern economy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Apprenticeships are a win for both workers and businesses, which is why my administration will continue to invest in them.”

The Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship received total funding requests of $3.3 million from 16 applicants. Applicants identified a variety of project needs related to registered apprenticeships, such as technical instruction, outreach, staffing, partnerships, and administrative costs. Awardees are required to provide a dollar-for-dollar match, and projects must be completed by September 30, 2024.

“Unions, higher education partners, and other economic development groups have accepted the challenge to modernize the registered apprenticeship ecosystem,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Benefits will be felt throughout the economy, with Kansas workers and their families being the biggest winners.”

Grant awardees include:

  • Dodge City Economic Development Council received $45,000 for capacity building and direct business outreach
  • Greater Kansas City Laborers Training, Joint Apprenticeship Training Council received $36,000 for a Spanish-speaking instructor
  • Ironworkers Joint Apprenticeship & Training Trust in Wichita received $29,956 for training equipment including a forklift trainer
  • Kansas Farm Bureau (statewide) received $90,000 for capacity building and direct business outreach
  • Kansas State Council of SHRM (statewide) received $62,160 for capacity building and direct business outreach
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters Training of Kansas, United Association 441 (UA441) in Wichita received $100,000 for HVAC training equipment, capacity building, and direct business outreach
  • Topeka Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 226 (IBEW 226), in partnership with Hutchinson Community College, received $66,885 for training equipment and related technical instruction
  • Wichita Electrical Industry Training Fund, IBEW 271 received $98,476 for capacity building and direct business outreach

“Registered apprenticeships give Kansas workers the skills and experience they need to compete in the modern economy,” Director of Apprenticeship and Internship Shonda Anderson said. “These grants will help connect those skilled workers with good-paying jobs in an increasing number of occupations.”

“This investment in our mission will empower us to provide additional training to our current apprentices as well as attract additional apprentices to our program,” UA441 Vice President John Clark said.

To learn more about the Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship, click here.


New USD234 Transportation Director: Charlie Hensley

Charlie Hensley is the new Transportation Director for USD 234

Charlie’s background- “Joined the Army in July of 1989 right out of high school. I was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA and assigned to 197th Infantry Division, 4/41 Field Artillery. Shortly after, I deployed to Iraq in Operation Desert Shield/Storm. After several years of active duty my term ended and I returned to Washington State where I started a new career in the Automotive Industry as a painter and Tow Truck driver. After being in the automotive industry for several more years, I joined the United States Army Reserve and changed careers again to become a United States Army Reserve Administrator, assigned to the 385th Transportation Battalion out of the Port of Tacoma in Washington. While serving in the Army Reserve, I was deployed again, this time to the Port of Kuwait where we undertook various Transportation Duties on land and at sea.”

Why Charlie enjoys this new position & what he hopes to bring to it-
“As the Transportation Director for USD 234, I really enjoy working with the community,
staff, and especially the children. Our kids, as well as the Bus Drivers’ safety is of the
utmost importance as well as getting our children to and from school. Being a bus driver
is a thankless job and I hope to change that. If we all come together, we can and will
accomplish the mission.”

Charlie & his family-
I was born in Barstow, CA and raised in Washington State. Through my years, I have had several different careers from sweeping floors to overseeing millions of dollars of Military Equipment, to include large tugs and floating cranes. I met my wife while working on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA in 2010. Moved to the Fort Scott area in 2017 and I joined the USD 234 School District working with the High School kids in 2021. Our goal is to retire in the area. Combined, we have 5 children (3 out of the home),2 dogs and 2 cats. I enjoy hunting and fishing, especially river fishing when possible.

A message from Charlie-
“With the world in these trying times, we need more smiles and less hate. Together as a community we can make a difference; separated, we will crumble.”

Submitted by
Haley Jones
Administrative Assistant/Communications Coordinator
Fort Scott USD 234
620-223-0800 Ext 1119

Home Clean Home Adds More Employees

Casey Bradbury, owner of Home Clean Home. Submitted photos.

Casey Bradbury, founder/owner of Home Clean Home, started her cleaning business  over five years ago

“For the first few years family and friends would step in and help me when needed,” Bradbury said.

Last year she started adding more employees.

“Chelsea Davied has been with me for a year now. Kiley Foster and Jessica Colopy started about 2 months ago,” Bradbury said.
Home Clean Home offers both residential and commercial cleaning.

The business services all of Bourbon County as well as Nevada, Missouri, and surrounding areas.

Cleaning services are also provided to the southern suburbs of Kansas City upon availability.

“The best thing about my job is knowing that we can impact families’ lives in a positive manner,” she said. “Our goal is to provide extra peace of mind at the end of your day!”
“One challenge I face, that I like to view as more of a positive, is potential scheduling conflicts,” she said. “We work hard to build trusting relationships with our clients to better navigate these scenarios when they arise.”


Chelsea David and family. Submitted photo
Kiley Foster and family. Submitted photo.
Jessica Colopy and family. Submitted photo.

The business can be found on Facebook at HomeCleanHomeBB, Instagram at homecleanhome_cleaningservice, and her number is 620.644.2534.

“Please contact us with any inquiries that you may have,” she said.

Casey Bradbury and her family. 2023

New Methodist Church Administrative Executive: Kristin Bishop

Submitted photo. Kristin Bishop

Kristin Bishop, 43, is the new First United Methodist Church Administrative Executive.

“My new role is a combination things – covering duties typical of office manager, treasurer, membership, and volunteer coordination – a little bit of everything to help the congregation live out our mission to know, grow in, serve, and share Christ,” she said.

First United Methodist Church at Third Street and National Avenue,

Bishop is a 1998 Graduate of Fort Scott High School, a 2000 graduate of Fort Scott Community College, and a 2003 Pittsburg State University graduate with a bachelor’s of science in Family and Consumer Sciences.

She has worked at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, New Generation Child Care and Preschool, BIDS & DIBS, USD 234, USD 235, and Big Sugar Lumber.

Her new job is a joy.

“I enjoy working in this environment,” she said.  “The church, the sermons, and interacting with church members and community volunteers. It is a peaceful and productive place to be.”

“It is a blessing to work in this beautiful church building,” Bishop said. “I love the way the light shines through the stained glass windows and the intricate details that went into the design of this church a century and a half ago.”

“I find Pastor Christopher’s Sunday morning sermons to be engaging and thought-provoking,” she said. “There is always a takeaway from the sermon and a melody from the beautiful music to begin each week. I also enjoy working with members of the church and community volunteers alike. They walk into the church with kindness in their hearts and a mission in mind. They selflessly share their gifts, talents, and time. It’s inspiring!”

Kristin is married to Will Bishop, and they have two sons Winston (7) and Linden (6).

She enjoys reading, road trips, good coffee, and conversation in her spare time.

About The Church

 Christopher Eshelman is the pastor of First United Methodist Church, Pat Harry is the organist and choir director, Sara Schnichels is the nursery coordinator, and Robert Wilson is the custodian.
Sunday school groups meet at 9:30 a.m. and Worship is at 10:30 a.m.
The church’s annual  Christmas Candlelight Service will feature communion and real candles again this year, at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.


Outreach ministries of First United Methodist:
  •  Feeding Families in His Name is a free weekly meal that averages about 500 served a week, with help from other churches.
  • They provide water bottles available for homeless folks, supplied by a resident.
  • There is a Shepherd’s Center program to help encourage friendship and lifelong learning among older adults that features a variety of speakers: The 2024 schedule is coming soon!
  • Community events such as the Chuck Crain concert coming up on October 8th at 6 pm.
  • Trunk or Treat for Halloween
  • First Annual Nativity Festival, with displays of Nativities and Creche from around the world on Dec 1st and 2nd,
  • The church hosts community meetings for K-State Extension, Pioneer Kiwanis, various sewing groups, a support group for Grieving Mothers starting later this month, and CORE Community beginning in November.
  • Beginning the last Friday of October, the church will offer a soup lunch for freewill donations as a fundraiser.
For more information view its Facebook page or website!

Contact Information:


Joshua Ramsey. Submitted photo.

Josh Ramsey, much like an understudy fully prepared to step into a lead role, has assumed the duties of theater manager/technical director at Fort Scott Community College.

Ramsey, originally from Parsons, succeeds Lawrence Alford in the position and came highly recommended by his successor, who is moving to Oregon this month after five months at FSCC.

“I am super excited to get right to work here at FSCC,” said Ramsey, who worked with Alford as the assistant technical director at Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center in Pittsburg before his hiring at FSCC. “As the new technical director/theater manager, I will be responsible for designing and building sets for FSCC drama productions, operation and maintenance of all equipment in the Ellis theater, as well as scheduling events for the auditorium, lobby and meeting rooms.”

After graduating from Labette County High School in 2018, Ramsey earned a bachelor degree in communication with an emphasis in theater and a minor in graphic design from Pittsburg State University in 2022. While attending PSU, he worked for the theater department as a student carpenter for four years.

He came to FSCC from his job at Memorial Auditorium.

On the personal front, Ramsey is planning for a wedding soon.

“I proposed to my high school sweetheart, Shakota, just this last December, and we plan to get married in about a year,” he said. “This last month, we welcomed into our home a 3-month-old husky/Great Pyrenes puppy named Khonshu. He is so spoiled.”

In his free time, Ramsey enjoys playing video games and board games with his family and friends.

“I also love cooking, reading and watching movies and television,” he noted.

Ramsey can be reached at [email protected].

Ellis Fine Arts Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2401 S. Horton, where the theatre is located.













New U234 Board Clerk: Candace Jobe

Candace Jobe. Submitted photo.

Candace Jobe, 37, has been the new MIS Clerk, Special Education Assistant, and U234 Board Clerk, since July 17.

“MIS and Special Education Assistant are the same thing,” she said. “I will be taking care of Paras and tracking training hours for them and helping our Special Education Teachers with various duties. Also, working in our Special Education Reporting Systems as well as assisting our Director, Tonya Barnes (she’s AMAZING) with any other tasks she has.”

USD 234 Board of Education Building, 424 S. Main

“For Board Clerk I will be attending all board meetings, working with the Superintendent and Board President, recording minutes from board meetings, acting as custodian of records, and other duties as assigned to the clerk,” she said.

She grew up in Uniontown, school K-12, and graduated in 2005. “Being a part of a school has been my whole life with my Mom, Rolene Lowry, being West Bourbon Elementary School Secretary for 31 years and my Dad, Leon Lowry, as a Bus Driver/Custodian for 38 years,” she said.  “I had the best of both worlds, working parents and stay-at-home parents. My brother also worked for the school district for over 10 years.”

After high school, she attended college in Oklahoma City and worked at the Bank of Oklahoma as a teller and then later in bond trading.

“We moved back closer to family and I worked at West Bourbon Elementary for the past nine years,” she said.

She and her husband, Joel, have two dogs, one of whom, Molly, gets to come to work with her every day.

“We are working towards her certification as a therapy dog and will be in the middle/high school to assist students and staff in any way needed,” she said.
“Being able to combine two things that I am VERY passionate about (kids and dogs) is something I can’t believe I get to do every day!”

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to work for USD 234,” she said. “Everyone has made me feel so welcomed and appreciated already. I don’t think any of the staff will ever know how much that has meant to me.”

New Presbyterian Village Director: Marla Heckman

Marla Heckman. Submitted photo.

Marla Heckman, 52, is the new Fort Scott Presbyterian Village Executive Director.

Heckman is new to Fort Scott.

“My husband, John,  was born in Fort Scott,” she said. ” We were planning on retiring and moving here someday.  There was some property that was going up for sale close to our family, so we decided to change our plans and move back sooner.”

Heckman started on September 5, 2023, as the   Executive Director, “overseeing this wonderful community.  I am so excited to work with the amazing TEAM here,” she said.

She received her education from the University of Oklahoma and is a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.

Heckman has 36 years in Healthcare-Independent Living, Assisted Living, Residential Care, Skilled Nursing, and Long-term Care.

“I served on the board for Care Providers Oklahoma, as well as, the Oklahoma State Department of Health Informal Dispute Resolution panel,” she said.

In her spare time she  “loves spending time with family and friends.”

“I have never lived anywhere but Oklahoma, so I am excited to start some new hobbies, maybe gardening and having some chickens,” she said. “I look forward to being involved in the community and helping whenever possible.”

She has four children and 13 grandchildren.


Presbyterian Village, 2401 S. Horton, Fort Scott.

Heckman replaces Ginger Nance as the executive director.


Fort Scott’s New Community Development Director: Mary Wyatt

Mary Wyatt, 37, is the new Fort Scott Community Development Director, with an office located at City Hall.

City Manager Brad Matkin said that the city had a community development director four years ago and believes the position is important.

Fort Scott City Hall.

In her job, she will involved in projects for community venues such as the golf course, airport, Memorial Hall, Buck Run Community Center, Lake Fort Scott, LaRoche Stadium, and the Heathly Bourbon County Actions Team’s Downtown Arch Project.

Additionally, she will be working with Bourbon County Regional Economic Development and representing Fort Scott in Topeka, City Manager  Matkin said.

“I sit on some event planning committee boards and volunteer for community events like the Gordon Parks Festival, and will be the facilitator for the city meetings of several advisory boards,” she said. “I research and apply for grant funding to make improvements to our community, I also assist our City Manager  and Tourism Department on projects.”

“Her personality will be a great fit for not only our staff but with the citizens of Fort Scott,” Matkin said. “She is from Fort Scott and knows what the citizens want and need. She has goals set for herself and is a self-starter and that is very important in a position like this.”

She graduated from Fort Scott High School and Missouri State University with a bachelor’s in Health and Human Services

I worked over a decade of my career at Medplans/Firstsource here in Fort Scott as a Claims Analyst, then promoted to Quality Analyst, four years of my career at Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott and Olathe Health as an Insurance Specialist, then promoted to Patient Access Supervisor,” she said.  “Most recently my husband and I started our own business in June of 2022, Wyatt’s HVAC & Home Solutions, LLC.”

“Going back to school to get my college degree was where I found my passion and niche in public health and safety,” she said.

“My husband David and I have two children, ” she said. “Our son Daxton just turned 15 and is a freshman at Fort Scott High School, he plays soccer for the Fort Scott Tigers. Our daughter Alayna is 12 years old and is in 7th grade at Fort Scott Middle School and plays volleyball there.”

My birthday is on Halloween, so I’m into all things spooky… Halloween, fall candles, scary movies, fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween costumes of course!” she said.  “I’m also signing up to volunteer to help the Chamber of Commerce out with our Fall Festival here in town. I love to cook and bake, and I love crafting as well.”

Matkin said Wyatt stood out from the other candidates because she has dealt with the public, has been in management, and has experience working on saving time, money, and resources.

I have a very strong and innate sense of empathy and compassion for all people of all backgrounds who are struggling, misunderstood, marginalized, and underrepresented,” she said.

She has lived in Fort Scott most of her life.

“That helps me to connect to and understand the needs of many different groups of people here,” she said. “This job entails a lot of meetings, research, number crunching, data, financial analysis, etc. that’s necessary to get the job done, but what gets me out of bed every day is my love and empathy for our community.”

“I also bring determination and perseverance to this position with the city and I’m not afraid of digging into hard work to get things accomplished. I come from a long line of blue-collar, salt of the earth, came up from nothing, earn-every-penny-we’ve-ever-had type of a family.”

“I have been on my own and working full-time since I was 17 years old, she said. “I haven’t had an easy life, I’ve had to work hard, fail, try again, fail, get up, and keep trying to accomplish my goals, but one thing about me, I never give up. I will never stop working towards making the City of Fort Scott a better place to live for our citizens. I will never throw in the towel, I will always get up every time I’m knocked down, and I will contribute everything I have in me in my time here with the city, to work towards a healthier and happier future for our community.”

Matkin decided not to fill the FS Human Resource Director position, instead spreading that out throughout the staff, “so the money from that position will fund the Community Development Director position. I will continue doing some of the delicate HR functions as well as my City Manager functions.”

The salary for the Fort Scott Community Development position is $52,500 – $70,000 range, he said.




New WBE Part-Time Principal: Anita Lightcap

Anita Lightcap is the new part-time West Bourbon Elementary School Principal in Uniontown.

“I started at WBE the first week of August,” she said. “I work Thursday and Friday and every other Wednesday. Mr. Tracy Smith works Monday and Tuesday and every other Wednesday.”

West Bourbon Elementary School, Uniontown, KS

She retired in July 2021 from Tahlequah Public Schools in Tahlequah, Oklahoma as the Executive Director of Elementary Education. Tahlequah is a 6A school district and home to the Cherokee Nation.

Lightcap received her bachelor’s degree from St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City and a master’s from Arkansas State University.

She taught school in Dodge City USD 443 at the high school level and the elementary level before returning to her hometown of Tahlequah to finish her career.

“I believe the best thing about a career in education is knowing that you are helping educate the leaders of tomorrow,” she said. “Few things in life compare to seeing a child’s eyes light up in that moment that they understand a concept that’s being taught.”

Another great thing is “helping students see themselves as learners and having a growth mindset, believing that they can improve through effort and persistence,” she said.

The greatest challenge in education is meeting the needs of all students with the available resources, she said.

Lightcap lives just outside Kincaid.

New Bo Co Undersheriff: Kevin Davidson

Kevin Davidson, 50, will step into new duties officially as the Bourbon County Undersheriff on September 18.

As the next in line, under Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin, Davidson’s duties are monitoring the day-to-day activities of the sheriff’s office, along with scheduling of personnel.

“Generally, keeping the train on the track,” he said.

There are currently 19 employees in the sheriff’s office.

Davidson enjoys “getting to make a difference in the community, bringing a positive attitude in law enforcement. Trying to make the community a safe place for our kids.”

He became a narcotics detective in October 2021.

He says he works with some good colleagues, and they “have been able to eliminate a lot of narcotics in the community. Recently they helped take out 10,000 fentanyl pills in Crawford County that had connections to coming back to Bourbon County.”

Davidson’s office is at the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center, 293 E. 20th, Fort Scott. The Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office phone number is 620 223-1440.

The jail is known as the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center, Fort Scott.

He graduated from Pleasanton High School, attended Highland Junior College where he played football, and attended Pittsburg State University for a period.

Davidson has been in law enforcement since June 2014 at the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, then the Fort Scott Police Department, then returned to the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office.

He has five children.

Davidson is replacing Ben Cole as the undersheriff.





Apprenticeships Increase in Kansas

Governor Kelly Celebrates Nearly 40% Increase in Apprentices Since Creation of Office of Registered Apprenticeship One Year Ago

TOPEKA – Today marks one year since Governor Laura Kelly established the Office of Registered Apprenticeship through Executive Order 22-07. The Office was created to strengthen workforce development and grow the economy by modernizing and expanding apprenticeship opportunities and by building partnerships with educational institutions.

Since Governor Kelly’s executive order, Kansas has made great strides in expanding apprenticeship opportunities: There has been a 37.9% increase in Kansans participating in apprenticeships since September 2022, with nearly 4,400 apprentices in Kansas today. In addition, the Office has expanded the type of occupations in which Kansans can gain experience: 49 new job titles have been added, resulting in a total of 107 occupations in the apprenticeship pipeline.

“Through the Office of Registered Apprenticeship, we are helping Kansans gain the skills they need to get jobs that don’t require a college degree – and we’re developing the workforce needed to attract new businesses to the state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Because of our efforts, Kansas continues to lead the nation as the state with the most business investment per capita.”

All Registered Apprenticeship programs must have five core components to be recognized for certification, including on-the-job training, related technical instruction, mentorship, wage progression, and industry-recognized credentials. However, the driving force must be a business or industry willing to support an apprentice to “earn and learn” a career.

“Registered apprenticeship is an increasingly central component of our efforts to build up the Kansas workforce,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Our purposeful economic development is creating thousands of new opportunities for hard-working Kansans across the state.”

Since the creation of this office, there has been a 38.8% increase in the completion of apprenticeship programs – from 129 program completers in 2022 to 179 in 2023.

“We are executing a targeted plan to expand high-quality registered apprenticeships, and we are showing results across the entire state of Kansas,” said Shonda Anderson, Director of the Kansas Office of Apprenticeship. “Most importantly, we are bridging partnerships with our labor unions, business and industry, local workforce boards, non-profits, higher education, and even cross-departmental partnerships.”

Governor Kelly has also taken other actions to support apprenticeships, including:

  • Governor Kelly signed the Kansas Apprenticeship Act to promote and expand apprenticeships for the most in-demand industries in Kansas through tax credits and grants.
  • U.S. Department of Labor awarded Kansas $6.3 million to “Lead Apprenticeship Results in Kansas.” With this, the Office of Registered Apprenticeships will work with stakeholders to grow teacher educator apprenticeships, inside and outside justice involved apprenticeships, youth apprenticeships, and other programs in Kansas’ most in-demand industries.
  • Kansas was selected to participate in the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship. Through the Policy Academy, Kansas will develop a strategy to expand apprenticeship opportunities to youth ages 16 and older to help them build the skills needed for the modern workforce.
  • The Office of Registered Apprenticeship launched a statewide Teacher Educator Apprenticeship Program, making Kansas home to one of the most innovative teacher-educator apprenticeship programs, allowing para-educators to obtain their bachelor’s degree and gain a Kansas Teaching certificate while being paid to teach in the classroom from day one.
  • The Office is using $4.7 million in grants to expand registered apprenticeships in the care economy, IT sectors, construction, and more.

More information on Kansas Registered Apprenticeships can be found on the Kansas Department of Commerce website.

Undersheriff Cole Is Leaving Law Enforcement

Ben Cole. Submitted photo.

Ben Cole has been the Undersheriff for Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office for 10 years.

Before that, he worked at the Fort Scott Police Department for five years.

He is leaving law enforcement on September 8.

As undersheriff, Cole was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the department, reviewing all criminal reports, assisting with investigations, and supervising 16 personnel including deputies and support staff.

His colleagues are the best part of the job for Cole.

“The people that worked for me,” he said. “They have always been so supportive, easy to work with, and ALWAYS willing to go above and beyond to help grow this department. I will for sure miss them all. I have had the pleasure of meeting several great sheriffs across the state at different conferences and so not seeing them or being able to pick their brains, or being involved in the law enforcement activities, I will miss that as well.”

“Law enforcement has changed so much in the last 15 years and the challenge has always been keeping up with new laws and new ways to solve crimes that take place within our community,” he said. “And keeping staff, as no one wants to get into law enforcement because of the way society is and what they see on TV. And sometimes the pay is not worth the risk that we all take in law enforcement.”

Cole will continue coaching golf.

“I am going to continue to be the assistant golf coach at Fort Scott Community College,” he said. “I will find something else to do to keep me busy, but for now just going to relax and play more golf.”

Cole’s official last day will be September 15.
“My last day in the office will be September 8th but will still be available to the newly appointed undersheriff for questions up and until the 15th,” he said.
Kevin Davidson was promoted from detective to undersheriff, he said.