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Parsons looking to develop workforce, job economy - KOAM TV 7

Parsons looking to develop workforce, job economy

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PARSONS, KANSAS -

Parsons new economic development and tourism director Jim Zaleski has plans to create smart growth in the city.

"So with what we've done over the past several years, and successes that the economic development department of Parsons has had, what we want to do is rebuild some of our funds, but also broaden that scope as to what economic development really means to the city of Parsons," Zaleski said.

Zaleski said 60 to 65 percent of jobs can come from emerging companies or the growth of current companies.

"We want to remember how we got here, which is our current employment force, to make sure they receive the support they need to grow. 65 percent of new jobs could potentially come from those companies and their growth. Never gonna forget that," Zaleski said.

Business owner Don Alexander of Alexander Manufacturing says if Parsons does not have a workforce to fit the jobs, then bringing jobs here does not do the community much good.

"We've got to get to the kids in junior high and high school, we've got to combine that with the efforts of the community colleges and the colleges, because we do have an aging workforce. We're going to have a lot of trades that people are going to be retiring. So as they move out to retirement and enjoy the fruits of their hard labor, we need to have the next generation come up and fill those spots and support their families with the jobs that are available," Alexander said.

But would bringing a company to town that would employ a lot of people hurt the current business force?


"I think we realize that if we have good jobs available and we pay a decent wage, that we will get people here to take those jobs. So I think the goal for economic development is to bring not just jobs but good jobs to the area and to get our workforce ready to go and fill them," Alexander said.

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