NEBA Eyes New Demands, Opportunities for Business and Education
Nearly 20 members of the Northland Education and Business Alliance wrestled with a long list of issues facing area educators and business owners during their Aug. 4 meeting.
An affiliate of the Clay County Economic Development Council, the group agreed that challenges from COVID-19 would make previously scheduled events difficult for students and parents this fall. As a result, two October events to learn about career opportunities were cancelled, although other NEBA activities will continue.
“Field Trips are just not an option for us (schools) or businesses,” noted Colleen Jones, director of College, Career and Community Partnerships for Liberty School District.
NEBA Co-Chair Brian Noller said the current environment requires creativity, including greater utilization of Zoom video conferencing and other technologies that allow for remote meetings and conferences. Others noted that a series of videos could be made available on websites like nebaworkskc.org or careersofthenorthland.com.
“We could create a library of videos,” noted Courtenay Reyes, Government Affairs & Workforce Development director for the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City. “We can record presentations or tours of local businesses. We could reach out more to parents.”
Several business members said they could contribute. Cory Brown, vice president of Tnemec, noted that his company could provide both space for meetings and resources like videos.
Brett Kisker, executive director for the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), said that organization held a successful virtual career night last year. “It was a lot of work but you can have Zoom meetings with hundreds of participants,” he said.
The group also discussed formalizing membership and reaching out to area chambers of commerce. “We want to be the leader in the Northland with promoting collaboration,” Noller said. “We want to partner with other organizations as much as possible.”
The Aug. 4 meeting was held at iWerx Gladstone and via Zoom video conferencing. A career event via video conferencing with web resources such as videos was tentatively scheduled for November. Members will hold another “hybrid” meeting in person and via Zoom in September to discuss these topics further.