Project 17, the Southeast Kansas regionalization initiative, will be holding its spring 2012 regional summit Friday, April 13 from 9-11:30 a.m. CDT at the St. John’s Parish Hall in Iola, Kan.
Project 17 is a regionalization initiative named after the 17 counties traditionally considered Southeast Kansas. It emerged from a joint effort of the four Southeast Kansas senators: Pat Apple, Jeff King, Bob Marshall and Dwayne Umbarger. The foundation of Project 17, established by hundreds of participants at the November 2011 Southeast Kansas summit, is that Southeast Kansas must work together for its common good, or the region will fail separately.
Project 17’s work to date has focused on four areas identified by participants at the November 2011 summit: economic growth, improved health outcomes, promoting regional leadership and creating a permanent structure to ensure a long-term regional effort.
“Through a lot of hard work by a number of people from Southeast Kansas, we have some great news to share from Project 17,” said Senator Pat Apple (R-Louisburg). “Each of the committees has begun work researching their areas and will provide an update on their preliminary efforts. This meeting will help us be accountable to the residents of the region who, we hope, are the true winners in this initiative.”
In addition to the presentations from local, regional and state officials on the efforts being undertaken through Project 17, the summit will also include the presentation of a one million dollar training grant from the Kansas Leadership Center’s Academy for Team Leadership by Ed O’Malley, president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center.
Additional speakers will include Steve Scott, president of Pittsburg State University; Brian Inbody, president of Neosho County Community College; Jeff Tucker, associate director of the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Kansas State University and representatives from the Cerner Corporation.
“Thanks to the hard work of many dedicated volunteers throughout Southeast Kansas, Project 17 has made great progress since the November summit,” said Senator Jeff King (R-Independence). “We are excited to share news of these early successes and build on them at our April 13 meeting.”