Are we surviving? Are we thriving?
The health and well-being of the residents and nature of the Flint Hills are key to a vibrant, sustaining future. Kansans have a long history of strong self-sufficiency, but with tough economic times also come real hardships. Supportive organizations and programs, such as the Kansas Food Bank, Kansas State’s PILOTS and Educational Supportive Services programs, Oral Health Kansas, and the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, to name just a few, provide resources and services to Kansans who need it. The quality of life in the Flint Hills is the primary concern of these supportive organizations and the many folks who actively work on solving local economic development and affordable housing issues. The more these support networks can creatively collaborate and pool their limited resources, the more efficient they will be in helping to maintain an acceptable standard of housing, employment, education, and health care for all the people of the Flint Hills.
Goals for the Future
Community members and planners have identified the following goals aimed at reducing the spatial education gap and further and improving the overall quality of life for Flint Hills' residents:
- Access to Services: Increase local access to vital government, retail, and recreation services in rural areas.
- Education: Promote and diversify the education system in the Flint Hills region.
- Involvement: Expand individual and community organizations involvement in service.
Achieving Our Goals
Our diverse and context sensitive list of strategies developed by our devoted planning staff and committed citizens will help the Flint Hills Region be a sustainable and prosperous place to live, work, play, do business and raise families.
Demand Based Mobile Service Agents: Trained personnel travel to persons with mobility and accessibility issues when services are needed. These mobile agents will provide services related to voter registration, driver's license / identification, social security, property tax and motor vehicle registration.
Government Service Access Points: Transforming government facilities into multipurpose service hubs will reduce the overhead cost of operating multiple facilities and will also improve the convenience for users by allowing them to complete multiple tasks in a single location without the need to visit multiple offices or locations. A single office will provide all services ranging from social security, IRS, driver's license / identification, vehicle registration etc.
Community Leadership Training: Effective community leadership training is an essential component for positive change in the Flint Hills Region, Community Leaders are needed to respond to common visions and concerns. This strategy aims to help community leaders learn more about the skills necessary to inspire and support residents to be actively involved in acting upon community issues. The program will also focus on identifying emerging leaders in the region particularly youth and under-represented groups within the community.
Volunteer Job Descriptions: Promoting community leadership training will eventually lead to an increase in volunteer opportunities within the community. Having a clear description of the roles and responsibilities of these opportunities will allow volunteers to understand the opportunity available while also allowing organizations the ability to tap into a skilled labor pool.
Technical Careers Pathways: A traditional high school education prepares students for careers requiring a four year college degree. Many students have interest in technical trade careers such as mechanics, cosmetology, welding , construction etc which require vocational training. This solution proposed that high school students interested in trade fields be allowed to take elective courses in their fields of interest. These electives may be provided by the public school if a certain threshold of students are interested in the course, or they may be provided at established training facilities such as the Flint Hills Technical College.