Free adult education programming will soon be made available to employees of two Topeka hotels. The Greater Topeka Partnership has collaborated with the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) to appropriate a grant to provide employees of the Capitol Plaza Hotel and the Ramada Inn and Convention Center with access to English as a Second Language courses, GED programing and other forms of skill training through their employers. Topeka is one of four cities approved to participate in a $463,500 grant provided to KBOR from Walmart to establish customized training programs branded as Accelerating Opportunity: Kansas @ Work (AO-K @ Work). Washburn Institute of Technology will provide the onsite training courses.

“By providing education at the workplace you automatically eliminate key barriers employees face, such as childcare, transportation and lost wages.” says Diann Faflick of GO Topeka. “By facilitating this opportunity, we strive to improve the quality of life of all citizens of Topeka & Shawnee County, especially those battling adversity.” 

While the training programs will help fill the educational and skill gaps within the community, it will also strengthen the local hospitality and service industry.

“Larger hotels, such as the Capitol Plaza and the Ramada Inn, are major employers in the area and as such they, unfortunately, experience a high turnover rate.” says Mike Bell, vice president of Visit Topeka. “By offering their employees such invaluable opportunities to grow the hotels are helping to retain and train their staff, instilling them with invaluable knowledge of the industry.”

“This unique opportunity not only encourages employees’ loyalty to the company, and provides a fundamental skillset that they can use to succeed in their position, but also opens up the opportunity for upward mobility and for these once overlooked employees to succeed in various other facets of their lives.” exclaims Brett Oetting, president of Visit Topeka.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Bob Ross at 785.234.2644 or