Kansas Workforce Centers Receive NASWA Award for Exceptional Veteran Service

Media Contact

Michelle Marshel, Director, Meetings & Communications
Phone: (202) 999-0168 | Email: mmarshel@naswa.org

Kansas Local Area II West Workforce Centers presented with NASWA’s Mark Sanders Award for outstanding service to veterans, especially those with significant barriers to employment.

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON - At the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) 2021 Veterans Conference, the Local Area II West one-stop center was presented with the prestigious Mark Sanders Award. The workforce centers receiving recognition include those at Fort Riley, Junction City and Manhattan.

NASWA’s Mark Sanders Award is bestowed each year upon one individual or group in the U.S. that provides exceptional workforce and/or job market assistance to Veterans, especially those with significant barriers to obtaining and retaining employment.

“We applaud the work being done by the Kansas Local Area II West Workforce Centers as they assist our nation's heroes in transitioning to civilian life and jobs," said Scott B. Sanders, NASWA President and CEO. "The Mark Sanders Award for Exceptional Service to Veterans recognizes those who have provided outstanding service to the men and women protecting our freedom."

Awarded annually at the NASWA Veterans Conference, the award recognizes the efforts of an entire one-stop career center whose efforts to serve Veterans go above and beyond the scope of mandatory service provision, and with a special emphasis on Veterans with Significant Barriers to Employment. 

"Local Area II West has a superb relationship with Fort Riley and the surrounding communities,” said Mike Beene, Division Director, Workforce Services with the Kansas Department of Commerce. “Our partnership has led to key projects targeting our Veterans, service members and military spouses duplicating those practices to the other military installations and increasing overall state retention rates.”

The Local Area II West Workforce Centers successfully utilized social media during the Covid-19 pandemic to stay connected with their clients and developed internships with area and statewide employers providing Veterans and Transitioning Service Members with job experiences outside the uniform or previous occupational experience. Other noteworthy partnerships utilized by the Workforce Centers include Heroes Make America and Kansas Employment Exploration Program (KEEP Veterans Here).

The prestigious Mark Sanders Award is named in honor of Mark Sanders who, during his career with the California Employment Development Department and in leadership positions with NASWA, was untiring in his efforts to promote excellence in services to disabled veterans.

Accepting the award on behalf of Local Area II West was Gary P. Westerman, State Manager, Veterans Employment Services, Kansas Department of Commerce.



About the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (www.naswa.org): NASWA is the national organization representing all 50 state workforce agencies, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. These agencies deliver training, employment, career, business, and wage and hour services, in addition to administering unemployment insurance, veteran reemployment, and labor market information programs. NASWA provides policy expertise, shares promising state practices, and promotes state innovation and leadership in workforce development.