City of Independence, Missouri
Independence Works 2025 logo

Independence Works 2025 was created in 2018 to address workforce development challenges in the City of Independence.

This workforce development initiative is designed to align with KC Rising, the Kansas City regional plan for prosperity. KC Rising was launched in 2014 to increase prosperity through strategic tactic in the areas of globally traded sectors, innovation and entrepreneurship, and human capital. Independence Works 2025 complements regional efforts to position the Kansas City region in the top ten of peer cities in key metrics by 2025.

Research conducted by KC Rising though local and national sources reveals key issues:

  • Education and workforce systems do not meet employer demands and needs
  • Large segments of the population are unprepared for current and future jobs
  • Employers are challenged to attract work-ready populations
  • The multitude of programs and projects aimed at improving education and workforce systems at all levels are not solving mismatches between education and skill level in the workplace

The Independence employment market is rich with jobs that offer wages at or above our per-capita median income yet local employers are continually challenged to attract and retain employees to fill high-quality career paths within their companies. Independence Works 2025 will seek to connect employers to the workforce by innovating traditional human resource practices.

These initiatives include but are not limited to:

  • Aggregating existing workforce development programs and services including secondary and post-secondary degrees, job training, certifications, job search, and other resources
  • Launching IndepWorks, an interactive digital portal that allows job-seekers to customize career searches to their individual skills, qualifications, and needs
  • Increasing financial support to expand career training to low-income residents
  • Executing a robust marketing and communications strategy to promote IndepWorks digital portal to employers and job-seekers
  • Creating leading strategies that are applicable, transferable, and scalable locally, regionally, and nationally

Independence Works 2025 will design strategies impacting all segments of the workforce including the unemployed, underemployed, low-skilled, and highly-skilled workers. The Independence Works 2025 Steering Committee will employ emerging technologies, community engagement, and strategic partnerships to close the gap between employers and the workforce.

Independence Works 2025 will leverage expertise from robust, diverse, multi-sector partnerships to assess needs and develop action items. The Steering Committee will be comprised of representatives from five cabinet groups:

City Council
Steering Committee
Education Cabinet Workforce Training & Supports Cabinet Social Services & Faith Cabinet Industry Employers Cabinet Innovators & Entrepreneurs Cabinet

City Council

The City Council will adopt public policy and assign public resources to Independence Workforce 2025 initiatives recommended through the Steering Committee in accordance with Independence for All.

Steering Committee

Steering Committee members will include elected officials, City staff, and representatives from each Cabinet to assimilate information and action items for implementation by the City Council and partner organizations.

Cabinets

Each Cabinet will include representatives from local and regional organizations to gain understanding of obstacles and opportunities for Independence residents and employers, including:

  • Assess barriers to educational attainment, employment, and economic mobility
  • Identify high-opportunity employment sectors develop action items to expand workforce development opportunities in these high-demand sectors
  • Aid in developing IndepWorks digital portal by collecting information on existing educational and employment resources and supports
  • Develop creative solutions to reach residents who are hardest to employ

Resources