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Earn and learn - boosts jobs in rural Kansas
Kansas Ag Connection - 04/02/2024

The Kansas Farm Bureau has launched the Rural Kansas Apprenticeship Program (RKAP), capturing the interest of job seekers eager to blend learning with earning. This award-winning initiative is successfully filling roles at companies like South Bend Industrial Hemp and Mid-Kansas Cooperative (MKC) by offering structured apprenticeships that align with state and federal standards.

Joseph Rogers and Kaidence Sanchez, hired by South Bend Industrial Hemp, and Camron Hicks, working with MKC, shared that the program's blend of income and educational growth played a crucial role in their decision to join.

This hands-on approach not only prepares them for their current roles but also paves the way for future career advancements within their companies.

The RKAP stands out by providing a structured framework for apprenticeships, integrating work duties with educational components and ensuring a progressive wage scale.

Kylee Stout, a business development manager at KFB, emphasizes that the program's goal is to cultivate a skilled workforce for rural Kansas businesses, offering both employers and employees a tangible pathway to success.

Positions available through this apprenticeship extend across a wide range of agricultural operations, from grain elevator and agronomy operators to specialized roles requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

This approach not only benefits the apprentices, who gain recognized credentials and practical experience, but also the employers, who can develop a dedicated and skilled workforce.

The Rural Kansas Apprenticeship Program represents a significant step forward in addressing employment and skill gaps in the state's agricultural industry, offering a promising model for other rural areas seeking to revitalize their workforce.


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