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Business, economic leaders celebrate KCPS accreditation

Sights set on future growth, development
Posted at 7:38 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 23:18:52-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Local business leaders are optimistic for what the future holds for the city’s economy following Kansas City Public Schools restored full accreditation.

"It's critical for this city and for the city's future to have a thriving public school system. We have to have it and our kids deserve it," Barkley president Dan Fromm said.

Joe Reardon, president and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, says kids are now better positioned to contribute to the city’s future.

"That's our economy that benefits because they're going to grow up to be great Kansas Citians that can fully participate in all the great things that we're trying to build in Kansas City in our economy," he said.

KCPS’ full accreditation doesn’t just mean potential financial investment in the city — according to Fromm it means investing in people who will come to Kansas City to live and work here.

"We, like others, are in the business of bringing people to Kansas City to work. Sometimes we recruit those people right here in Kansas City, but sometimes we're going outside the market," Fromm said. "That means bringing new and young families here, to a strong public school system."

Business leaders are also hopeful for a better prepared workforce.

"If you look at this from an economic development standpoint in Kansas City, it's about having talented people ready to take the jobs that are being created," Reardon said.

Reardon also noted that certain positions in Kansas City are vacant because not all candidates have the "right" skill sets.

"Kansas City Public Schools being accredited and advancing are going to get these young people to a position where they're gonna have the skills and talent to compete for the jobs," he said. "We've got to have them in our economy because you can't grow economy if you're not growing businesses and creating new jobs and you can’t create new jobs without having talented people to take them."