Wichita, Kansas — Leaders from Wichita’s nonprofit and education communities today announced a Wichita Collective Impact collaboration that will increase education success and workforce readiness in Wichita. Funded through a $2 million gift from Wichita-based Cargill Protein North America, the three-year initiative will be jointly led by the Greater Wichita YMCA, United Way of the Plains, the Public Policy & Management Center at Wichita State University and Wichita Public Schools, targeting a summer start date.
Wichita Collective Impact will complement the great community-building work already taking place around the city and advance Cargill Protein’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Cargill every year provides more than $2 million in grants to numerous Wichita organizations in support of food security, sustainability and diversity equity and inclusion and other community programs. Additionally, Cargill’s 1,300 Wichita-based employees give thousands of hours of volunteer service to many local nonprofit organizations.
“We’re proud to join the YMCA, United Way of the Plains, Wichita Public Schools and the Public Policy & Management Center at Wichita State University to build an even stronger city where all our children have the chance to succeed,” said Beth Carlson, human resources lead for Cargill’s North American protein business. “This is a sprint for the future of our community. We know education and workforce readiness helps bridge gaps of inequality and builds a community where others want to invest, live and work. By coming together with a core set of priorities and measures, we can have a positive impact that scales throughout Wichita.”
Wichita Collective Impact partners have a wealth of experience and successes in the areas of youth and career development and evaluation. Their hope is that other companies will be inspired by what they see and either join in the effort or follow suit so that they, too, can contribute to Wichita’s future.
Initial programs carried out by partners will address kindergarten readiness for 3, 4 and 5 year olds and start within the 67214 zip code – identified as an area where residents are significantly underserved in education and career guidance.
The ultimate outcomes of the Wichita Collective Impact are to have more students engaged in ready-to-work programs, increase diversity and number of jobs created, improve local post-secondary enrollment and reduce mid-career departures. Education advancement achieved through quality early childhood education, greater reading and math proficiency and higher graduation rates is a key step to reaching and maintaining workforce readiness. The end result of making Wichita more diverse, equitable and inclusive benefits employers as well as individuals and families who are ready to break through barriers so they can reach their full potential in the community they embrace as their home.
Cargill’s 155,000 employees in 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 156 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, finance, and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, more sustainable future for agriculture. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.