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There are four universities in a 60 mile radius – The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Emporia State University and Washburn University – with a combined enrollment of 60,000 and over 12,000 graduates per year. Pairing that with the comprehensive educational system in Topeka and Shawnee County creates a pipeline of skilled workers for area businesses and companies looking to grow or relocate to Topeka.


Public Schools

The Greater Topeka area is served by six public school districts.

The six public school districts in Topeka/Shawnee County offer curricula that reflect current educational trends and technology for preschool through high school graduation. Computer labs, up-to-date science labs, interdisciplinary team teaching, award winning debate and library programs and championship athletic programs.

Topeka Public Schools (USD #501)

624 W 24th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66611
Estimated Enrollment: 13,500
General Area: Topeka

18 elementary (K – 5)
6 middle schools (6 – 8)
3 high schools. (9 – 12)
5 other schools reaching students
outside mainstream K-12

Seaman Schools (USD #345)

901 NW Lyman Road
Topeka, Kansas 66608
Estimated Enrollment: 4,000
General Area: North of Topeka

5 elementary (K – 6)
1 middle school (7 – 8)
1 high school (9 – 12)
1 alternative school (7-12)

Silver Lake Schools (USD #372)

200 Rice Road
PO Box 39
Silver Lake, Kansas 66539
Estimated Enrollment: 800
General Area: northeast of Topeka

1 elementary (K – 6)
1 junior-senior high school (7 – 12)

Auburn-Washburn Schools (USD #437)

5928 SW 53rd Street
Topeka, Kansas 66610
Estimated Enrollment: 6,100
General Area: southwest of Topeka

7 elementary (K – 6)
1 middle school (7 – 8 grades)
1 high school (9-12)
1 alternative high school

Shawnee Heights Schools (USD #450)

4401 SE Shawnee Heights Road
Tecumseh, Kansas 66542
Estimated Enrollment: 3,300
General Area: Southeast of Topeka

4 elementary (Pre-K – 6)
1 middle school (7 – 8)
1 high school (9-12)

Kaw Valley Schools (USD #321)

411 W Lasley
St. Marys, Kansas 66536
Estimated Enrollment: 1,300
General Area: northwest of Topeka, includes schools in Rossville (Shawnee County), and St. Marys, Delia, and Emmett (other counties).

3 elementary
2 junior/senior high schools

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Workforce Talent

Every attempt has been made to provide current, accurate, and consistent data in this database. There may be some differences due to sources, methodologies, or timing of data-assembly.

October 2019 Labor Report

Workforce Draw - 45 Minute Drive Time to TopekaTOPEKA, Kan. – Preliminary estimates reported by the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.2 percent in December. This was an increase from 3.1 percent in November and a decrease from 3.3 percent in December 2018.

“Kansas maintained a low unemployment rate in December, edging up to 3.2 percent following the 40 year low of 3.1 percent in October and November,” said Secretary Delía García.

Seasonally adjusted job estimates indicate total Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 3,400 from November. Private sector jobs, a subset of total nonfarm jobs, increased by 3,600 from the previous month.

“Kansas ended 2019 with job growth, adding 3,400 nonfarm jobs in December,” said Labor Economist, Emilie Doerksen. “This increase was due to growth in the private sector, led by the health care and social assistance industry which added 1,000 jobs.”

Since December 2018, Kansas gained 20,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs and 15,300 private sector jobs.

BLS revised preliminary seasonally adjusted estimates for November. Revisions to detailed industry estimates resulted in no change to total nonfarm jobs and private sector jobs at 1,440,000 and 1,176,900.

Complete Kansas labor market information for December is available here.

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Education is important in Topeka. Here you will find businesses that put a premium on worker productivity, who benefit from easy access to the nation’s largest markets and tap into a highly educated and skilled workforce from some of the nation’s best technical schools and universities.

Talent flocks to Topeka from all directions provided by four major universities within a 60-mile radius – The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Emporia State University, and Washburn University with a combined enrollment of 60,000 and over 12,000 graduates per year.

Specialized Technical Programs

GO Topeka continues working to achieve our mission of bringing prosperity to the citizens of Topeka & Shawnee County by bringing high-quality companies and jobs to our community and working to expand and grow our existing industries. We’re partnering to help offer opportunities for our workforce that have never existed before.

Partners like Washburn Institute of Technology offer customized training programs where companies help build the curriculum for cutting-edge programs that prepare students to enter the workforce with a level of knowledge that is specific to the company they are working in. Learn more about industry partnerships with Washburn Tech

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WorkKeys Testing

WorkKeys assessments measure “real world” skills that employers believe are critical to job success. Test questions are based on situations in the everyday work world.  The purpose of WorkKeys assessments allows potential job candidates the ability to demonstrate achievement and a certain level of workplace employability skills for potential employers.

Topeka and Shawnee County participate in the  Kansas WORKReady! Certificate, a statewide initiative designed to certify a quality workforce and promote economic development in our community.  The certificate, powered by WorkKeys, a product of ACT, Inc. is a nationally recognized assessment-based credential that gives employers and job seekers a uniform measure of key workplace skills. The certificate denotes that the certificate holder possesses the foundational skills required to achieve success in the workplace. It is a portable credential, allowing job seekers and employers to use it anywhere in the nation.

There are four levels of certification: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. To earn a KansasWORKReady! Certificate, individuals undergo testing related to reading, applied math and locating information through the WorkKeys skills assessment system. The level of certificate earned depends on the recipient’s scores on the WorkKeys exam.

WORKReady! Resources for Businesses and Employers

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Kansas Unemployment Insurance

Every attempt has been made to provide current, accurate, and consistent data in this database. There may be some differences due to sources, methodologies, or timing of data-assembly.

Kansas Shared Work Unemployment Insurance

The shared work unemployment insurance program is designed to help both employers and employees by:

  • Allowing an employer to divide the workday among a group of affected employees in lieu of a layoff
  • Allowing employees to receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours

 Unemployment Insurance

  • Taxable Base: $14,000
  • Average Insurance Rate: 4.25%
  • New Employer Rate: 2.7%
  • Maximum Weekly Benefit: $594

Kansas does not have a fixed rate schedule—positive balance employers’ rates are adjusted annually based on the ratio of the size of the fund balance to total payroll. For 2015, positive balance employers pay between 0.07% and 5.4%. Negative balance employers pay between 5.5% and 7.4%. Unemployment insurance rates are applied to the first $14,000 in wages paid annually to each employee.

In Kansas, the normal entry rate set for a new employer is contingent upon the type of business involved. Businesses in the construction industry begin with a 6% tax rate; all other business entities will have a 4% rate.

The employer tax rate maximum weekly benefit for new claims filed is $594 for up to 26 weeks. The minimum weekly benefit amount is $118. Employees dismissed without misconduct are eligible to receive benefits after a one week waiting period. An employee who voluntarily quits without good cause attributable to the work or to the employer or an employee who was discharged for misconduct connected with the work may be disqualified from receiving benefits. Employees discharged for misconduct are disqualified from receiving benefits from the date the discharge occurred, until they return to work and earn three times the weekly benefit amount of their claim.

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Young Talent

Topeka’s vibrant and growing young professional group!

Forge is THE organization for people actively creating the place they want to be. Our members are passionate about being “in” Topeka. We enjoy getting to know others and working toward the goal of improving our city through our actions. Members are seen as passionate, unique, caring, visionary, fun, energetic, inspiring and ambitious.

Our mission is to provide opportunities for people to connect and engage with the purpose of establishing and retaining leaders in the Topeka community.

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