U.S. Senator tours local workforce center to see taxpayer dollars at work

Sen. Jerry Moran (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kelly Dement is looking for work. She brought little Levi, her newborn, along on the job hunt Wednesday.

“I was laid off in September, when I was pregnant,” says Kelly. “Levi, he was born in December. So here I am.”

Kelly stopped by the Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas Wednesday, to get some help looking for a job.

She sat quietly in a corner filling out work history and potential resume materials, while U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, and the Wichita Mayor, Jeff Longwell toured the Workforce Alliance.

“This is good to see,” said Senator Moran of the Workforce Alliance. “But it also is a place where we can find out where the employment opportunities are and match those with that person looking for a job and those businesses that are seeking an employee. These are federal dollars, taxpayer money that’s spent here in South Central Kansas. This organization is responsible for managing those federal dollars, and the goal and the outcome is to make certain that people who are looking for work develop a skill set and find that job.”

“What’s that all about?” asked Kelly, as Senator Moran and Mayor Longwell passed by with TV cameras and journalists.

Kelly also asked what the senator was doing to help people find jobs.

At the end of his tour, Senator Moran stopped by to see little Levi, and Kelly.

“Hello Kelly, I’m Senator Moran. Hello sleepy,” Mr. Moran said to Kelly and Levi.

Kelly explained she is looking for work in either aerospace or the medical field.

“A lot of people get intimidated when it comes to Spirit and aerospace, you know, because maybe they don’t have that great of an education,” said Kelly. “And they want to go in and they want to work 9-5 everyday but maybe don’t have confidence to apply for a job like that. So how would you?”

Senator Moran told Kelly she was in the right place to get a jump on a new job. He also talked about the Workforce Alliance being a good partner to help fill jobs.

“Every business I visit tells me they want more people who want to work,” said Senator Moran. “And they say ‘we need more people who have a skill set that meets our needs.'”

Kelly says she remains optimistic. And she likes the help she is getting at the Workforce Alliance.

“I will find a job. I have good work experience,” said Kelly. “But being here will help. I think training is the biggest part of the work field. More training, better schooling, opportunities for people that are out of the loop.”

Moran says the return on investment of federal tax dollars is good at the Workforce Alliance. He also says it’s good enough, that funding will remain the same for the program in the next year.