Targeted Programs


ReSpECTWORKS is a program designed to assist individuals who are close to release from incarceration with their employment goals.  The program is part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Pathway Home grant (2nd cycle) and it is implemented in partnership with the KS Department of Commerce and the KS Department of Corrections.

The program provides these individuals with intensive career navigation and case management services, free training and education, computers, cell phones and Internet access as well as assistance with basic living needs as individuals release into our service area.


In order to join the ReSpECTWORKS Program, individuals must:

  • Be recommended by the KS Department of Corrections for inclusion in the grant
  • Be between 20-180 days of release from incarceration
  • Not have a parole restriction on computer usage

Employer Participation:

Many of the individuals enrolled in our ReSpECTWORKS program already have excellent skills and sought-after credentials.  If you are an employer that will consider job candidates with a criminal background and wish to learn more about our ReSpECTWORKS participants, please contact our ReSpECTWORKS Career Navigator.

Kathy Stucker, OWDS, CWDP

ReSpECTWORKS Specialist
C 620.931.0855 O 620-793-5445 TTY 711

Jason Hickson, OWDS, CWDP

ReSpECTWORKS Specialist
C 620.314.3371 O 785.625.5654 TTY 711


If you have experienced a recent injury or illness that has impacted your ability to work, the RETAINWORKS program might be able to assist you with strategies and coordinated services to help you stay at work or return to work quicker!  RETAINWORKS is a part of the national Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (RETAIN). The program promotes stay-at-work/return-to-work strategies by delivering a coordinated set of practices between medical systems, workforce systems and employers to provide continual employment, or accelerate a safe return-to-work for individuals suffering from debilitating injury or illness.  Specific training and accommodation solutions are also provided for individuals as needed. Kansas WorkforceONE operates the RETAINWORKS program in partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce, The University of Kansas Health System and local employers.

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Individual Eligibility:

Individuals with recent musculoskeletal injuries, mental health disorders and chronic diseases that prevent them from returning to work right away without intervention. The conditions must be new, or an existing condition that has become worse, within the past 6 months. Individuals with all levels of illness or injury will be considered, including long-haul COVID sufferers.  Qualifying individuals must:

  • Be currently employed or seeking employment
  • Live or work in Kansas and have a valid social security card
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 65
  • Not be receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, nor have a pending application
Employer Participation:

Employers are eligible to participate in the RETAINWORKS program if the employer is located in Kansas or they employ an injured or ill employee who lives or works in Kansas.  As part of RETAINWORKS, Employers can:

  • Utilize on-the-job training (OJT) with wage reimbursement for eligible participants
  • Reduce workers’ compensation and lower insurance cost
  • Reduce turnover costs, emphasizing employee retention versus hiring a replacement

Micaela Madrid Calvillo, CWDP

RETAINWORKS Program Coordinator
C 620.255.9207 TTY 711

Tagan Brown, CWDP

RETAINWORKS Program Coordinator
C 620.577.1076 O 620.739.5445 TTY 711

K-12 Work-Based Learning

Kansas WorkforceONE will serve as the Work Based Learning (WBL) Intermediary in the 62-county region of Central and Western Kansas. The Work Based Learning Intermediary will coordinate, facilitate and ensure opportunities are available through local employers and businesses so that students will gain valuable work experience within the occupational industry where they have a career interest and academic goal.

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Opportunity for Students

  • Touch, feel, and experience a career to see if it is really what they want to do
  • Develop the soft skills that businesses demand
  • Get their foot in the door that might lead to being offered a job
  • Build a network with professionals in their career
  • Observe professionals in their chosen career
  • Get exposure to careers in their community
Opportunity for Schools
  • Provide students with valuable experiences to prepare them for their careers
  • Create closer ties with business & community
  • Increase student motivation
  • Increase student enrollment
  • Reduce dropout rates
Opportunity for Businesses
  • Provide employers the opportunity to influence their future workforce.
  • Build a pool of skilled workers
  • Serve as a recruitment strategy for the best and brightest emerging workers
  • Allow business to experience potential employees in an educational setting
  • Create a positive reputation in the community for providing growth opportunities for students

Santiago Talamantes

Youth Development Facilitator
C 620-617-3484 TTY 711


As a Vocational Rehabilitation Direct Provider, Kansas WorkforceONE mission is to empower Kansans with disabilities to achieve self-reliance through competitive, integrated employment. The services provided through Vocational Rehabilitation are individualized to fit each customer’s goals and dreams for employment. Specific services include job search preparation, job placement, job tryout, career counseling and guidance, job shadowing and job coaching. 

VR Direct (1)

Casey Polhman, CWDP

Workforce Development Specialist
C 620.617.0742 O 620.793.5445 TTY 711

Tom Snyder, OWDS

Workforce Development Specialist
C 620-615-3117 O 620-793-5445 TTY 711

Kathy Stucker, OWDS, CWDP

Workforce Development Specialist
C 620.931.0855 O 620-793-5445 TTY 711

Jason Hickson, OWDS, CWDP

Workforce Development  Specialist
C 620.314.3371 O 785.625.5654 TTY 711

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