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Kansas City to participate in program educating people on high-tech jobs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A big announcement at the White House Monday puts Kansas City among 21 cities in the country participating in a tech program that educates people on high-tech jobs and gets them into the workforce fast. And business leaders said this could put Kansas City on the tech map.

On Monday, President Obama was joined by Mayor Sly James and other city leaders from across the country for the National League of Cities.

During that program, he announced the TechHire initiative.

Its goal is to quickly train workers in technology fields and get them into the workforce. In Kansas City, several partners are involved in the tech hire program, including Think Big Partners.

"We've got to produce more technology workers now otherwise the more that we are successful, the worse the community will become in the way of available talent and being able to create these companies quickly," said Herb Sih from Think Big Partners.

Herb Sih said Kansas City will benefit from the program by creating a large workforce of skilled technology workers.

"The more companies we can build with the more technology talent we can put against it, the more that we can unlock productivity, create jobs, really create a place for Kansas City in the technology universe, it's really good for the environment of business," Sih said.

Potential workers will go through a program with educators from University of Central Missouri and Metropolitan Community College.

Then, according to information from the Full Employment Council, they'll spend eight to twelve weeks at an apprenticeship.

After that time, the hope is to land a full-time job.

On a national level, President Obama is making $100 million available in grants for this program.

In Kansas City, business partners will have to split about $500,000 dollars in grants from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development for being part of the program.

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