HISTORY OF
HEARTLAND WORKS, INC.

Heartland Works, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorpora-
ted in 1984 by the Service Delivery Area II Private Industry Council
and Local Elected Officials. Service DeliveryArea II (SDA II) is a
region in northeast Kansas encompassing the following 17 counties:
Atchison, Brown, Clay, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Jackson,
Jefferson, Marshall, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee,
Wabaunsee and Washington. The Local Elected Officials (LEO) of
these 17 counties and the Private Industry Council (PIC), a board
      comprised of private sector business, labor, education,
      employment security, community-based organizations,
      economic development and welfare assistance programs,
      was the grant recipient and responsible for oversight of
      SDA II employment and training programs under the Job
        Training Partnership Act (JTPA) which was
        passed in 1982. The Kansas Department of
        Human Resources (KDHR) administered the
        programs for the LEO and PIC Boards. In 1984,
        the LEO and PIC boards desired more local
        control and decision-making authority over the
        programs hence the boards incorporated and
        became SDA II Private Industry Council, Inc. (It
        changed its name to Heartland Works, Inc. in
        1994.) This action enabled the Boards to hire
        staff and begin administration of the programs.
        Heartland Works, Inc. was the grant recipient
        and administrator of the Job Training Partnership
        Act (JTPA) Title II and Title III programs for SDA II
        from 1987 through June 30, 2000 when the
        Workforce Investment Act (WIA) replaced the
        JTPA. The JTPA was designed to assist econom-
        ically disadvantaged or displaced workers
        become productive members of the workforce.
        Title II programs included services for econom-
        ically disadvantaged adults and youth such as
        basic skills and GED training, classroom training,
        on-the-job training, work experience and
        internships and a special summer youth
        employment program. Title III programs included
        services for displaced workers such as skills
        retraining, on-the-job training and basic
readjustment. Heartland Works’ Employment and Training Representatives (ETRs) were responsible for objectively assessing
clients’ needs and developing appropriate training solutions for the clients, which would result in non-subsidized employment
in a growing and productive field with a competitive wage. The high performance and dedication of the ETRs in assisting
individuals acquire training and non-subsidized employment, along with the private-sector influence of the members on the PIC
Board, inspired the LEO and PIC Boards to reach for even better quality services for the citizens of SDA II. In 1994, the SDA II
Private Industry Council, Inc. changed its name to Heartland Works, Inc. and developed the motto “The Bottom Line is the Client”.
The boards felt with a more client-friendly motto and professional business image, Heartland Works, Inc. would be able to
project its image as a non-profit program with efficient and result-oriented services. It worked. Heartland Works, Inc. experi-
enced strong growth in the number of clients served and enhanced its quality of services during the JTPA program years.
Heartland Works, Inc. is a business, not red tape!
 
Heartland Works also became the grant recipient and administrator of the Welfare-to-Work program for SDA II in 1998. The
Welfare-to-Work (WtW) Grants (H.R. 2015) were signed into law on August 5, 1997, as part of the Final Budget Reconciliation
Bill. The WtW program was designed to assist transitioning the hardest-to-serve welfare recipients to self-sufficiency. The “work-
first” philosophy of welfare reform was a challenge for the Heartland Works ETRs, whose traditional focus had been getting
individuals trained prior to getting them employed. The success of the WtW program was the result of a working partnership
between Heartland Works, Inc. and the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) and the many providers it took
to address the numerous barriers, which keep the hardest-to-serve from being self-sufficient. Another accomplishment of
Heartland Works, Inc. was the award of the Kansas One-Stop Grant for SDA II in April of 1999. The purpose of the One-Stop
Grant was to provide funds to develop One-Stop Centers before the implementation of WIA in which One-Stop Centers are
mandated. The One-Stop Center is designed to combine the services of several agencies in one location to meet the needs
of the customer more efficiently. Heartland Works’ proposal included the establishment of five full-service one-stop centers
(Atchison, Junction City, Lawrence, Manhattan and Topeka,) and five multi-media resource stations (satellites) in the
northern part of SDA II.
 
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) replaced the JTPA on July 1, 2000. The implementation of WIA has incorporated many
changes. Among them include the following: the SDA II Private Industry Council was designated as the Local Area II Workforce
Investment Board (LWIB) and Service Delivery Area II is now referred to as Local Area II (still composed of the same 17
counties previously mentioned). The Local Elected Officials Board was renamed the Chief Elected Officials Board (CEOB) in
keeping with the Workforce Investment Act terminology. Heartland Works, Inc., the commitment of its One-Stop partners
and the proactive actions of the CEOB and LWIB have established Local Area II as a leader in the State of Kansas for the
implementation of One-Stop Centers and the Workforce Investment Act.
 
In 2014 Congress rewrote the workforce services law naming it the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA). Under
WIOA more imphasis was placed on serving out-of-school youth. It also continuted to strengthen partnerships with
Vocational Rehabilitation and Public Assistance agencies. Heartland Works Inc. continues its responsibility as a grant
recipient and administrator under WIOA. The award of the One-Stop Grant to Heartland Works and Heartland Works’ ability
to bring partners together through Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) laid the groundwork for Heartland Works, Inc. to
also be designated the One-Stop Operator for Local Area II. With the Boards’ continuing desire to improve services and
promote customer satisfaction, the transition into the WIOA has been a welcome challenge. It allows HeartlandWorks, Inc. to
move forward with its years of experience in the employment and training field and implement continuous improvement
strategies to meet the needs of the citizens and employers of Local Area II.
 
As Heartland Works, Inc. is dedicated to continuously improving its services, we are very interested in your comments,
suggestions and/or questions. Please call us at the Administrative Office in Topeka 785-234-0500.
 

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