KCKCC vocal music prepares for two concerts

by Kelly Rogge
The Kansas City Kansas Community College Vocal Music Department is inviting the community to support the college’s choirs during the upcoming GEMS concert.

The concert is at 5 p.m. Oct. 12 at St. Patrick Church, 1086 N. 94th St. in Kansas City, Kan. It is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature the Community Choir and the Chamber Chair as they perform works by Handel, Rutter, Mealor, Whitacre, Hogan and more. GEMS is a showcase of choral music (both well-known and unknown) from different countries and cultures. These countries include England, Russia, Germany and the United States.

John Stafford, choral director and professor at KCKCC, said the music performed at the concert are or will eventually become staples of the choral repertoire.

For more information on the choral program at KCKCC, contact John Stafford at jstafford@kckcc.edu or call 913-288-7137. To hear a live recording of KCKCC Chamber Choir visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=db6xtKW7IM4.

The KCKCC Music Department is also presenting “An Evening of Jazz” this week. The performance is at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 at the West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd St. in Kansas City, Kan. The event is free and open to the public. The event will feature the Jazz Band, Latin Band, Little Big Band, Jazz Combos and the vocal jazz ensembles.

To see an instrumental music program promo, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp1V-3AMGXE.
– Story from KCKCC

KCKCC-TEC holds Manufacturing Day event

Students from five high schools in Kansas City, Kan. and Leavenworth had the opportunity to speak with manufacturing professionals who talked about their jobs during the 2014 Manufacturing Day event at KCKCC-TEC. (Photo from KCKCC)
Students from five high schools in Kansas City, Kan., and Leavenworth had the opportunity to speak with manufacturing professionals who talked about their jobs during the 2014 Manufacturing Day event at KCKCC-TEC. (Photo from KCKCC)

by Kelly Rogge
High school students from Kansas City, Kan., and Leavenworth spent some time recently learning about what types of manufacturing careers are available to them through Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Manufacturing Day.

The 2014 Manufacturing Day event was a first for KCKCC-TEC, which hosted it Oct. 2. Started three years ago as a grassroots initiative to overcome the challenges of finding skilled labor for manufacturers, the day is designed to address the public perception that careers in manufacturing are undesirable. Both of these problems stem from a lack of understanding of present-day manufacturing environments, which are highly technical. This event allows manufacturers to open their doors to show prospective employees what opportunities they have. This is a nationwide plan to continue to draw awareness to the manufacturing industry and to showcase the benefits of choosing a career in the field.

“One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers across the country is finding that skilled labor,” said Tiffany Stovall, representative with the Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center in Kansas City. “This is a grassroots movement of manufacturers who are dedicated to address this shared challenge.”

Close to 100 students from five high schools – Wyandotte, Washington, Harmon and Schlagle high schools in Kansas City, Kan., as well as Leavenworth High School, attended the day-long event, hosted by KCKCC-TEC. Students had the opportunity to tour the General Motors Plant and A&E Custom Manufacturing, representing manufacturers on a large and small scale. They then had lunch with manufacturing professionals who talked about what their jobs are like and what students need to do to gain such employment. These positions included an engineer, machinist, CAD/Designer, welder, electrician, industrial maintenance and an assembler/fabricator. The day ended with a tour of several KCKCC-TEC programs including machine technology, HVAC, major appliance and welding, among others.

“This was a whole brand new experience for many of these students,” said Donna Shawn, director-Perkins coordinator at KCKCC-TEC. “What we were doing was really opening their world. As the boomers start retiring, there is really going to be a shortage of skilled labor. We want them to see that there are plenty of opportunities for them out there with the right education and training.”

KCKCC’s event was just one of dozens throughout the state of Kansas in October. Nationwide, more than 1,500 companies will be participating. The event is co-produced by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International; the National Association of Manufacturers; the Manufacturing Institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Industrial Strength Marketing.

“What we want is for students to be exposed to the variety of careers in manufacturing and begin considering the industry as a career path. These may be paths that they otherwise may not have considered,” she said. “As more people begin talking about this effort and how the manufacturing industry is hurting for skilled labors, I think there is more interest in events like Manufacturing Day. Manufacturing is screaming that they need help, and we are beginning to shape students’ visions of what kinds of opportunities there are out there for them.”

For more information on Manufacturing Day or to see other events occurring, visit www.mfgday.com. For more information on programs available at KCKCC-TEC that relate to manufacturing, visit the college’s website at www.kckcc.edu or call 913-288-7800.

Students from five high schools in Kansas City, Kan. and Leavenworth had the opportunity to speak with manufacturing professionals who talked about their jobs during the 2014 Manufacturing Day event at KCKCC-TEC. (Photo from KCKCC)
Students from five high schools in Kansas City, Kan. and Leavenworth had the opportunity to speak with manufacturing professionals who talked about their jobs during the 2014 Manufacturing Day event at KCKCC-TEC. (Photo from KCKCC)

Group at KCKCC encourages natural food, healthy lifestyles

A group at KCKCC encourages natural food and healthy lifestyles in the Naturally Designed program. (Photo from KCKCC)
A group at KCKCC encourages natural food and healthy lifestyles in the Naturally Designed program. (Photo from KCKCC)

by Kelly Rogge

When Carolyn Marks started the Naturally Designed program just more than a year ago, she never thought it would turn into something that students, faculty and staff at Kansas City Kansas Community College would actually ask about.

“Naturally Designed got started in August 2013 when I decided to prepare fresh salads and other healthy foods in the Intercultural Center for free,” said Marks, the KCK Green Market manager, farmer and student at KCKCC. “It was only a matter of time before a crowd of people would show up not only to taste the fresh vegetables, but they were interested and eager to learn how to prepare such good food.”

Naturally Designed meets every week from noon to 1 p.m. in the Intercultural Center on the KCKCC campus. It is a nonprofit organization that is open to not only students, staff and faculty but community members as well.

Marks focuses on a variety of subjects including how to can vegetables, making homemade skin and hair products and how to make soap with ingredients such as flowers, fruit, poppy seeds and lemongrass. Those who attend Naturally Designed also have the opportunity to learn how to grow their own fruits and vegetables with the help of a student garden, located within the Kansas City Community Garden.

“The goal of Naturally Designed is to utilize your natural environment by growing, investing and educating ourselves and others in an organic-natural way,” Mark said. “It is not limited to producing organic products, but making healthy recipes, for consumption and-or daily use.”

Marks said Naturally Designed includes “all kinds of organic and natural head-to-toe” experience.” She said the group is even working on its own line dance called the “Intercultural Center Slide,” and the group prepares food for the monthly “Jazz by the Lake” music series.

“We talk about things such as gardening, preserving and future and present campus or community efforts-contributions,” she said. “We also have a healthy topic of the week (such as bee pollen and its benefits on allergies) as well as short and long term goals and green, global up-to-date information” (topics such as Ebola).

Marks said she thinks the group has become so popular in the last year because of the increasing number of illnesses and recalls on both produce and meats. She said more and more people are interested in living and eating healthy.

“I grew up with parents and grandparents (her grandmother is 95-years-old and still healthy) that practice natural-organic life skills. What I know you cannot buy or learn from a book. My knowledge has been passed on from generation to generation in my family,” she said. “Wyandotte County has a high level of obesity. I am teaching folks how to make nutritional and healthy lifestyles choices. When students and the community are healthier they actually perform better.”

For more information, contact Carolyn Marks at cmark9636@students.kckcc.edu. Information is also available on the Naturally Designed Facebook page www.facebook.com/pages/Naturally-Designed/515901491878294. Information is also available by contacting the group’s adviser, Jared Hill, at jhill@kckcc.edu or by calling 913-288-7375.