Daily Archives: Jan. 20, 2010

Kansas lands $6 million grant to train workers in ‘green’ industries

Kansas was awarded a $6 million grant today from the U.S. Department of Labor to train people for employment in so-called “green” industries.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, who announced the award at the 2010 Workforce Summit in Topeka, said the grant will help out-of-work Kansans re-train for new jobs in the renewable energy sector.

Kansas was one of 34 states to receive a State Energy Sector Partnership and Training Grant today.

Financed by stimulus funds, it is designed to teach workers the skills needed in industries such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Governor takes Red Army over Missouri

missouri button

Displaying speaking style that made him an ace debater in high school and college, Gov. Mark Parkinson cracked up the crowd a couple of times at a Wichita State University alumni breakfast today.

Parkinson has announced over and over that he won’t run for a full term in the job he inherited when Kathleen Sebelius went to Washington. But one woman in the crowd, who identified herself as a longtime Republican, asked him if he would run again.

His reply: “No comment.”

And like just about all Wichita State discussions, the governor’s Q and A session turned to sports. Asked where his loyalties lie, Parkinson explained that he roots for all the Kansas schools and most of the Big 12 schools when they play outside the conference.

Except Missouri.

Parkinson said when the Tigers play, he automatically roots for the other team.

“I don’t care; if Missouri was playing the Soviet Union, Go Soviets!” he said to gales of laughter.

Parkinson presses WSU alumni for support on tax increases

PARKINSON_MH6Gov. Mark Parkinson called on his fellow Wichita State University alumni today to support his call for sales and tobacco tax increases to preserve the university’s programs through the recession.

Parkinson said he is confident that the recession will end and when it does, Wichita in particular will be poised for a comeback because of pent-up demand for aircraft.

But he said he’ll need lobbying help in Topeka from Wichita State alumni to preserve what the university has built over the years.

The state is facing about a $400 million shortfall; Parkinson has proposed a three-year, one percent sales tax, a 55-cent-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes and quadrupling the tax on other tobacco products.

The state has cut roughly $1 billion from what was about a $6 billion budget and any further cuts will do long-lasting damage to colleges and universities throughout the state, the governor said.

Compounding the problem for Wichita is that all the other state universities are the dominant political and economic interests in the relatively small cities where they’re based, so year after year, their legislators fight hard for everything they can get.

Because Wichita’s interests are more diverse, WSU has not had the same level of focused support from the local legislative delegation, Parkinson said.