KTEC luring skilled workers home

Lawrence,KS (02-01-2000)

From Lawrence Journal World
By Mark Fagan

ITTC is not only a KTEC Center of Excellence, but it's also a major educator of engineers in Kansas. We encourage KU grads working outside of Kansas to visit KTEC's job site (www.homeagain.org) for information on statewide job openings in the technical fields.

Too many of the state's brightest and most skilled workers are getting away, and the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corp. is trying to woo them back.

KTEC, a state-financed economic development effort, is pushing its Home Again site on the World Wide Web -- www.homeagain.org -- as a resource for Kansas companies to lure engineers, computer programmers, scientists and information-technology specialists back to the Sunflower State.

KTEC officials figure that about 30,000 such "highly skilled technical positions" remain unfilled in Kansas, and the goal is to convince graduates of Kansas University and other state schools to return home to work.

So far, 72 job openings are advertised on the site.

"For years the state of Kansas has been exporting its most valuable commodity: its educated young people," said Jim Dahmen, a KTEC board member and general manager of Columbus Telephone Co. Inc. in Columbus. "Home Again is making an effort to identify those exportees, identify their skills and match them with job opportunities back home in Kansas."

The effort started in March with a mailing list of Wichita State University graduates, and others have joined the effort. Just this month KTEC started sending informational brochures to 20,000 people who graduated during the past 15 years from KU with technology and science-related degrees.

The Web site offers several free services. Among them: job openings for candidates to review; candidates' rsums for companies to review; information about relocating to Kansas, and links to other helpful Web sites.

"We're targeting the people that went to school in Kansas because that's our best bet," said Loren Wilson, KTEC's programs marketing specialist. "They've lived here. They know about living in Kansas. That's our market."

For more information, contact ITTC.

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The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

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Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

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An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

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Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

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