Drive for Northland Workforce Development Center Gets Financial Boost
A rendering of a projected 145,000 square foot workforce development center includes several spaces for collaboration and partnership with the Northland and Kansas City school and business communities.

Hunt Midwest will contribute up to $2 million to the Platte County R-III School District to support the construction of Northland Career Center’s (NCC) new, state-of-the-art $60 million Northland Workforce Development Center.

The EDC and its affiliate, the Northland Education and Business Alliance (NEBA), have emphasized the need for world-class workforce training.

In a recent news release, Hunt said the pledge is the first private contribution to the new center since the State of Missouri appropriated $30 million in its FY 2023 budget to support the school district’s plans to build the new career center building and grow the Northland workforce in Clay and Platte counties. The school district kicked off a capital fundraising campaign in October, and Hunt Midwest finalized its partnership before the end of the year.

“We are truly honored to receive a sizable contribution from Hunt Midwest toward our new Northland Workforce Development Center,” said Dr. Jay Harris, Superintendent of Schools for the Platte County R-3 School District. “Providing opportunities for students to be well prepared for their future is a strong commitment of all Northland school districts. We do this best through community partnerships and collective investments. Thank you to Hunt Midwest for believing in our vision to enhance opportunities for students and meet the workforce demands of our region. This donation is a great first step in building a brighter future for tomorrow across the Northland.”

The new Northland Workforce Development Center will help address the considerable shortage of qualified workers for a litany of trade and skilled positions across the region. It will supplant the current Northland Career Center, which draws almost 500 students from 16 high schools across Clay and Platte counties and offers a dozen programs designed to give students real-world training in skilled trades such as construction, heating and cooling, robotics, welding, health sciences and culinary arts.

Originally built in 1979, the current Northland Career Center has far outgrown its Platte City campus and has turned away hundreds of qualified students over the past three years. The new facility will be centrally located to both Clay and Platte counties near 152 Highway and will be more than double the size of the current campus. It also will be equipped with more modern facilities where it can better connect with nearby industries to more closely simulate the types of work environments students will enter when they graduate from the programs.

“In the Northland, everyone has always gone out of their way to make sure the school districts are supported, and we wanted to continue that legacy,” said Aaron Schmidt, Hunt Midwest Vice President of Development and Construction. “We already believed in the work of the Northland Career Center, and when we saw they received the $30 million in funding from the state for the new center, we talked with district leaders right away to figure out what it would take to leverage those dollars to make the new center a reality.”

A capital campaign to raise the remaining matching funds needed to build new Northland Workforce Development Center will continue throughout 2023. Preliminary designs for the new campus are under way with construction planned to be completed by the end of 2026.

For more information about the NCC capital campaign and the new Northland Workforce Development Center, go to bit.ly/3YorIJ7.

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