MEDIA RELEASE: New Education Opportunities Coming to East Topeka
Barbara Stapleton, vice president of workforce & education, 785.234.2644
TOPEKA, Kan., February 8, 2017: The future East Topeka Learning Center, located at 2014 SE Washington St, Topeka, KS 66607, will be instrumental in the continued development of Topeka and Shawnee County. By ensuring broad educational resources are available for all members of the community. The East Topeka Learning Center will focus on adult education services, workforce development training and success services for Topeka residents.
It has the potential to reduce the financial burden of college degrees and certificate programs by narrowing the educational gap for disadvantaged residents in the community. Connecting business needs with educational programs reinforces core, aligned skills and assures that students are provided the best program opportunities to support business growth.
Programs offered will include commercial truck driving (CDL), building technology, healthcare technology, adult education and literary services (GED). Services will include academic and career advising, financial literacy, information literacy and technology, mentoring, military student success services, tutoring and health screenings.
The Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO), Washburn University and GO Topeka are dedicated to expanding the reach of educational opportunities within Topeka and Shawnee County. The partnership strives to reduce barriers to post-secondary education and develop work ready skills.
“Washburn University and Washburn University Institute of Technology are pleased to partner with JEDO on the development of the East Topeka Learning Center,” said Dr. Jerry Farley, President of Washburn University. “We are committed to this project and excited to expand the opportunity for additional education and training possibilities in East Topeka.”
“Topeka has many qualities that make it a desirable place in which to reside and work. The East Topeka Learning Center is a meaningful addition in providing workforce development, so beneficial in continuing to strengthen our city,” said Mayor Larry Wolgast. “We are excited to see this program locating in East Topeka and providing job training in vital occupations. This is another addition to the quality of life afforded by Topeka.”
JEDO approved the purchase price of the site for $240,000, in addition to approving up to $4.5 million for the partial demolition and remodel of the existing facility. GO Topeka is working to identify and secure potential funding sources, such as New Markets Tax Credits. The credits could help offset the costs of construction, startup and operation.
“We are excited to see Shawnee County grow with the help of this new educational opportunity. The East Topeka Learning Center will solidify a strong future for our county,” said Commissioner Kevin Cook. “This will be a victory for our county through increasing the competitiveness of our businesses as well as our citizens.”
“GO Topeka is dedicated to the competitive future of the Topeka and Shawnee County workforce, striving to grow, retain, and attract talented and educated people,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO and president of GO Topeka and the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce. “A well-educated workforce is critical to our employers; the East Topeka Learning Center addresses our talent pipeline focus with well-planned insightful educational opportunities.”
About Washburn University
Founded in 1865, Washburn University is a public institution with more than 8,000 students and 1,000 faculty and staff involved in more than 200 academic programs. Washburn’s programs lead to certification, associate, bachelor, master’s degree or doctor of nursing practice and juris doctor degrees.
In addition, Washburn Institute of Technology (Washburn Tech) — a nationally recognized innovator in career and technical education – is also part of the Washburn University family. The dedicated faculty and staff at Washburn Tech serve adult and high school students as well as business and industry participants with career specific training.
All programs are offered on either the 160-acre residential campus in the heart of Topeka, KS, or at Washburn Tech’s campus on the West Side retail hub of the city. Washburn University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and many of the individual programs have additional accreditations.
About GO Topeka
GO Topeka is a private not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing economic development in Topeka and Shawnee County by attracting new businesses, facilitating expansions and enhancing the business acumen of small business owners and entrepreneurs. Since 2002, GO Topeka has generated 11,000 new and retained jobs and $1.3 billion in capital investment. For additional information, visit www.gotopeka.com.