Plans for the $60-million Northland Workforce Development Center have passed several hurdles in recent weeks. While the location is just over the Platte County line, it will likely serve more Clay County residents, as well as be a critical resource for the entire Northland and Greater Kansas City.
Part of the Platte County School District, the current Northland Career Center has launched a $30 million drive to match funds awarded last year by Gov. Mike Parson and the state of Missouri. Hunt Midwest has also pledged $2 million.
The goal is to build a world-class, Northland Workforce Development Center that will serve both area students and adults in 10 areas: architecture and construction, hospitality, manufacturing, health sciences, IT, transportation, public safety, the arts, education and training, and agricultural sciences. Both the Clay and Platte County economic development councils are supporting the effort.
Among recent announcements was the location of the proposed center: 95th and Platte Purchase Rd., approximately one-half mile north of Highway 152 and the nearby Costco store.
The current Northland Career Center can serve fewer than 500 high school students a year, less than half the number of applicants. The students come from 16 high schools in Clay and Platte counties. Fifty-nine percent of those are from Clay County and 41 percent from Platte.
A 2026 opening is planned for the new facility that would be built from the ground up for its specialized training. The Platte County School District, which operates the current center, also plans to open the new location for adults after 3 p.m. weekdays and on weekends. Plans call for close cooperation with area companies to realistically mimic the work environments that students will enter when they graduate from the programs.
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