Highland Celebrates Business Partners

published December 22, 2015Highland Celebrates Business Partners

Highland Celebrates Business Partners

Highland Community College has begun celebrating its relationships with its business partners as part of an initiative from the Kansas Board of Regents.  The Kansas Board of Regents Employer Engagement Initiative recognizes business and industry for partnerships with education. The initiative provides a platform for community colleges and technical colleges to recognize key employers for contributions to the system, institution, program, and students.

Since 2008 when Northeast Kansas Technical College merged with Highland, the College has expanded its technical education opportunities across its nine county service area.  This expansion has led to a corresponding enhancement of partnerships with area businesses that has proven to be beneficial for both the businesses who need trained employees and the College which gains support from the businesses with internships, equipment, marketplace feedback, and financial support.

Kansas community colleges nominate employers at one of three levels -- Supporter, Partner, and Champion. Each level carries a different distinction, as well as different levels of contribution to a college technical program by the employer. Once an employer is nominated, the Kansas Board of Regents, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Commerce, provides an award that recognizes the employer and the institution for their collaborative efforts. Two copies are then disseminated to the institution, one for the college, one for the employer. As of December 2015, nearly 200 employer partnerships have been recognized in Kansas; 31 of those with Highland Community College, the most in the state.

Lucas Hunziger, Director of Technical Education for the College, noted that while it may surprise some that Highland leads the way in the state with these partnerships, the number of Highland’s partners is simply the result of the way the College interacts with the employers in the area who are seeking highly skilled employees.  “We appreciate the value of having employers who are willing to go beyond the norm to provide support for our students and programs.  The employers recognize the expertise of our faculty and are aware that providing support for those faculty and programs plants the seed with the students that the employer values their training.  Sometimes, students are so highly valued that they take positions before they even finish their training, so we know this is a win/win for all involved -- the College, the program, the students, the employers, the local community, and the state of Kansas.”

Those area employers recognized so far are:

Apostolic Christian Home (Sabetha) – Partner Level
Atchison Auto Parts – Champion Level

Atchison Community Health Clinic – Partner Level
Atchison Hospital – Champion Level
Atchison Senior Village – Champion Level
Bunge Milling (Atchison) – level in progress

City of Atchison – Champion Level

Commerce Realty & H&R Block (Atchison) – Champion Level
Dave’s Diesel Service (Hiawatha) – Champion Level
ExtruTech Inc (Sabetha) – Partner Level
Foley Equipment Co (St Joseph, MO and Topeka) – Champion Level
Grant’s Repair LLC (Wathena) – Champion Level
Heritage Tractor Inc (Atchison and throughout Northeast Kansas) – Champion Level
Hiawatha Community Hospital – Champion Level
Hiawatha Implement Co – Supporter Level
Highland Health and Rehabilitation Center – level in progress

Honeyman Ford (Seneca) – Partner Level
Horton Rural Clinic – Champion Level
Kansas City Peterbilt – Champion Level
KC Bobcat – Supporter Level

Koch & Co (Baileyville) – Partner Level

Landoll Corporation (Marysville) – Partner Level
Lewis Buick Chevrolet (Atchison) – Partner Level
MHC Kenworth (St Joseph, MO and Kansas City) – Champion Level
Mosaic Life Care (St Joseph, MO and North Kansas City) – Champion Level
Nemaha Valley Community Hospital (Seneca) – Partner Level
Northwest Health Services (St Joseph, MO) – Champion Level
O’Reilly Auto Parts (Atchison) – Partner Level
River Cities Credit Union (Atchison) – Champion Level
Summit Truck Bodies (Wathena) – Champion Level

The Hardware Store (Atchison) – Champion Level 

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