Southeast Kansas counties leaders join to succeed

By Rudy Harper, Reporter


Southeast Kansas community leaders met Tuesday to discuss ways to improve the quality of life in the region. The effort is all part of a group called Project 17.

“When we’re faced with such extreme income inequality often times people are trying to make ends meet and don’t have time to become civically engaged,” said Director of Research at SEK-CAP Becky Gray.

Project 17, made up of 17 counties in the Southeast Kansas region, looks to improve the economic prosperity and health in the area.

Tuesday’s presentation featured Youth Leadership Development.

“It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes empowered children to grow that village,” said PSU Professor Dr. Mark L. Johnson.

Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall says the goal of Project 17 is to give the community the opportunity to network.

“The goal is to basically make connections get people working together, share products, share ideas, share resources, and build a strong financial economy for the folks here in Southeast Kansas,” Hall said.

“If were able to engage our child when their young and offer them the soft skills leadership skills that they need to succeed their more likely than to move forward and get jobs that secure high wages,” said Gray.

More than 600 people are involved with Project 17.