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Strategic Meeting Includes Look at Workforce Solutions, VR

April 2019

The first of four Clay County Strategic Planning meetings was held March 28 in Gladstone with a focus on creative solutions for workforce issues.

Sponsored by the Clay County Economic Development Council, the meeting was part of the effort to update the county’s Strategic Initiative, which in just five years has helped generate thousands of jobs and improve quality of life. The meeting was held in the Gladstone Community Center.

The dialogues are being held the fourth Thursday of each month through June. The next meeting April 25 will be in the Yates College Union at William Jewell College.

The meeting March 28 featured speakers Jerry Hickey, Clyde McQueen and Marco Stanich.

McQueen, president and CEO of the Full Employment Council of Kansas City, discussed alternative workforce solutions now available for many businesses. He noted that creative training programs are critical because few prospective employees bring all the skills needed in today’s environment. “No one has 100 percent of what you want, so you train the gaps,” McQueen explained.

Marco Stanich, owner of OmniLife VR, said virtual reality is already impacting the workplace. “In some cases, the future is here now,” he noted, “from training to education and mental health.”

Hickey, owner of Express Employment Professionals, said today’s workforce includes five generations, a rare dynamic that can bring problems. “Sometimes you have a terrific synergy,” he said. “But there are also challenges, especially if the business is not aware of this.”

The speakers also discussed strategies to help businesses with these questions and gathered ideas to help update the Strategic Initiative.

For more information, contact the EDC at (816) 468-4989 or by email at

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