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Strategic Planning Begins March 28 with Look at Workforce, VR and More

March 2019

Clay County residents met in 2013 to help create the Strategic Initiative, which exceeded its five-year goals in dramatic fashion. Four meetings are being planned this spring to update the workforce and quality of life goals.

Creative solutions for workforce issues in area businesses will be among the topics at Clay County’s strategic planning review March 28 in Gladstone.

Sponsored by the Clay County Economic Development Council, the meeting is the first of four to update the county’s Strategic Initiative, which in just five years has helped generate thousands of jobs and improve quality of life. Open to the public, the meeting begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Gladstone Community Center.

EDC Executive Director T.J. Berry said the meetings will focus on areas such as workforce development and quality of life. “The goals set five years ago have been exceeded,” Berry said. “Now it’s time to plan for the next five years.”

The first meeting will feature speakers Jerry Hickey, Clyde McQueen and Marco Stanich.

McQueen, president and CEO of the Full Employment Council of Kansas City, will discuss alternative workforce solutions. He noted that creative training programs are critical because few prospective employees bring all the skills needed. “No one has 100 percent of what you want, so you train the gaps,” McQueen explained.

Marco Stanich, owner of OmniLife VR, said virtual reality is already impacting the workplace. “In some cases, the future is here now,” he said, “from training to education and mental health.”

Hickey, owner of Express Employment Professionals, said today’s workforce includes five generations, a rare dynamic that can bring problems. “Sometimes you have a terrific synergy,” he said. “But there are also challenges, especially if the business is not aware of this.”

The speakers will discuss strategies to help businesses with these questions, as well as gathering information on other issues.

The March 28 meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Gladstone Community Center and is open to the public. Later meetings will be held the fourth Thursday of each month through June. The April 25 meeting will be in the Yates College Union at William Jewell College.

For more information, contact the EDC at (816) 468-4989 or by email at

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