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The Mid-America Regional Council reports that the number of 25- to 34-year-olds with bachelor's degrees in either science, technology, engineering or mathematics — the STEM fields — has grown by 20 percent in Kansas City since 2000. Nevertheless, the region still trails Oklahoma City, Denver, St. Louis and other peers in having a robust STEM workforce.

As Ed Eilert completes his eight-year term as chair of the JCERT Authority and hands the leadership reigns to Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach, the two recap the organization’s accomplishments to date and give a glimpse into future endeavors.

Greater Kansas City needs more highly educated and STEM-qualified workers in order for the region to stay competitive and meet current and future workforce demand, according to findings of a 2014 report by the Brookings Institute. Additional reports from the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and KC Rising reinforce those findings and note that similar-sized cities are outperforming our region in having a pipeline of STEM-educated talent.

What business challenges does your organization face? Mergers and acquisitions? Identifying new markets? Budgeting? Staffing? An increasingly diverse workforce? A relentless need to increase revenues and minimize costs? All of these?

Companies are addressing a myriad of challenges at one time and relying on employees to generate meaningful solutions. And those solutions take exceptional communications skills. In fact, when Forbes magazine highlighted the Top Ten Skills Employers Seek from new graduates, six of the ten were communications skills.

Man’s Best Friend Helping in the Dogfight Against Cancer

Man’s best friend may be turning the tables on the way doctors treat some cancers in humans. Ongoing research at the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center using injectable targeted chemotherapy is showing great promise in the treatment of a variety of cancers in dogs and could lead to testing in humans. The JCERT tax supports this research.

One Health is a multidisciplinary health approach in which human health, animal health and the environment are intertwined and affect each other. The approach is gaining popularity with physicians, environmentalists and veterinarians around the world as it increases the scope of human and animal health research, which could lead to faster and more comprehensive treatment options for human and animal patients, makes our environment more safe and sustainable. New healthcare treatments will arise from the similarities physicians and veterinarians are seeing in many diseases that affect both humans and animals.

Technology affords us ever-evolving conveniences and efficiencies, as well as risks.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month; however, heightened vigilance is relevant year-round. In fact, last week the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, said the United States now faces an “unprecedented range of threats” in the digital domain.

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