Founder of EyeVerify to speak at KCKCC Innovation Summit

by Kelly Rogge

Toby Rush, CEO and founder of EyeVerify, will be the keynote speaker at the 3rd annual Kansas City Kansas Community College Innovation Summit. The summit features entrepreneurial innovations in the region.

Rush’s EyeVerify created a technology of biometric authentication that applies pattern-recognition techniques to video images of the veins in a user’s eyes. Smartphones and tablets already have cameras that are sufficient to capture the eye image. This means that the Eyeprint Verification software can be used on hundreds of millions of devices that are already deployed.

The Innovation Summit is 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 4, in the Upper Jewell Center on the main KCKCC campus, 7250 State Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.

The summit includes a State Street Perfect Pitch Contest with 12 emerging entrepreneurs in the high school and general divisions. These participants will offer innovations in areas including information technology, apparel, medical devices, culinary arts and others. A total of $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded by State Street Bank. Registration is $10 per person and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.

In addition, the summit will feature a panel of entrepreneurs including Joyce Williams, founder of Joyce Williams Salon and developer of Joyce Williams Hair Care Products.  Kansas City, Kan. Mayor and CEO, Mark Holland, will provide a lunch address, where competition participants will also be awarded prizes. The lunch is a partnership between KCKCC and the KC Chamber First Friday Focus.

Innovation Summit sponsors include State Street Bank (platinum sponsor); KCKCC (host sponsor); University of Missouri (breakfast sponsor); Youth Entrepreneurs, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Wyandotte Economic Development Council, Kansas Small Business Development Center, KCSourceLink KCK Chamber, KCK Women’s Chamber and Emporia State University-KC (friend sponsors).

To register for the Innovation Summit, visit Then select “Registration Form” and follow the instructions.

For more information, contact Marisa Gray at or call 913-288-7659.

County unemployment rate unchanged at 8.5 percent

Unemployment in February in Wyandotte County was 8.5 percent, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

The rate was almost the same as the previous month, and was down from one year ago, when it was 9.2 percent, according to the figures released this week.

The number of unemployed persons in Wyandotte County was counted as 5,827 in February.

Linn County had the state’s highest unemployment rate with 9.5 percent, with Wyandotte County second highest.

Statewide, the unemployment rate in February was 4.9 percent, up slightly from 4.8 percent in January and down from 5.6 percent one year ago.

It was the first time in more than five years that the state unemployment rate has remained under five percent for three straight months, officials said.

During the month in Kansas, government gained 8,800 jobs; other services added 600 jobs; professional and business services were up 500; and education and health services were up 500, according to state statistics.

Reporting job losses statewide over the past month were construction, which dropped 2,500; manufacturing, which lost 800; and trade, transportation and utilities, which decreased 800 jobs.


High school students attend KCKCC-TEC Opportunity Fair

Kansas City, Kan., area students attended an Opportunity Fair Tuesday at KCKCC-TEC. The learned about what kinds of job opportunities are available to them this summer. (KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge

Kansas City, Kan., area teenagers had the chance Tuesday to find out what kinds of job opportunities are available to them this summer through a Kansas City Kansas Community College Opportunity Fair.

“We know that some teens will look for employment and this gives them the head start with the employers that attended,” said Marisa Gray, business development liaison for KCKCC’s Workforce Development. “It was reinforcement of our efforts when McDonalds ran out of their 100 applications in the first 30 minutes. Outside of work opportunities, our goal was to let students know that there are also other opportunities like gaining volunteer experience or perhaps attending a summer camp.”

Approximately 225 students from USD 500 and Kauffman Scholars Inc. attended the fair, which was held at KCKCC-TEC. The event was a joint partnership with Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, Workforce Partnership and KCKCC. Among the vendors:

  • Aerotek
  • City of Kansas City, Mo. –  Aim4Peace Program
  • Coca-Cola
  • Flint Hills Job Corps
  • Habitat for Humanity Kansas City
  • Kansas City, Kan., Fire Recruitment
  • Kansas City, Kan., Police Recruitment
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • The Savage Group, LLC (McDonalds)
  • TJ Maxx
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • UPS

Gray said students who attended were required to bring at least 10 copies of their resume. She said to watch the students move around the room, dressed professionally with resume in hand, was a “proud moment.”

“It validated the reason for teaching workplace skills and expectations into the daily curriculum,” she said. “There were several students that walked away with their first summer job. That was the ultimate measure of success for this event.”

For more information on KCKCC’s Workforce Development, contact Gray at 913-288-7284 or email