BEST Team Holds Interactive Expo

The Business Education Strategic Team (BEST) held an interactive Career Expo on Wednesday, October 9th at the 4H Building in El Dorado. 

The BEST Career Expo was held at the Butler County Community Building on October 9th
The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce hosted the event in partnership with area businesses.

The event was designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to engage in the interactive exploration of careers and industry.  It was a collaboration between the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce, both El Dorado and Circle High Schools, local businesses, the Workforce Centers and Butler Community College. 

High school students had the exclusive opportunity to engage in hands on-learning until 3:30pm at which time college students, parents, and the general public were welcomed.

“Being able to align business needs with corresponding educational pathways is important, and a primary goal of the BEST committee,” said Teresa Bergen, committee chair.

According to a report from Worldwide Interactive Network, Inc. (WIN) a career readiness resource organization, “In many states, education, economic development and workforce development policy largely function separate from one another.  As separate sets of policy, they often conflict and, consequently, do not maximize their impact on the overall economic health of a state or region. States should align these three policy areas into a single strategy they term the ‘Educonomy.’” 

Furthermore, the WIN report stated that understanding a region’s educonomy requires “identifying business and industry talent needs, understanding the current and emerging occupational and job-specific skills that are in demand, and take an inventory of the quantity and quality of people willing and able to seek employment in critical occupations.”

Some of the area employers participating in the expo included: 

Butler Community College

Susan B. Allen Memorial

Kansas Department of Transportation

Flinthills Services, Inc.

BG Products


Butler Electric Cooperative

Homestead Assisted Living & Memory Care

Kansas State University Global Campus

Hogoboom Oil Field Trucking

Everyday El Dorado


SERC Physical Therapy


Kansas Department of Corrections

Emprise Bank

Dustrol, Inc.

Stanfield Roofing

Mary Kay


Pro Kleen

Beran Concrete


Board of Butler County Commission

Keith Lawing, President and CEO of  Workforce Alliance, appeared before the Board of Butler County Commissioners to present a request to approve agreement between Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas, Inc. and the Chief Elected Officials Board for the Kansas Local Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Area IV. He also asked for the Board to designate a County representative to the Chief Elected Officials Board (CEOB). The goal is to have the CEOB empaneled by mid-July. The request was approved.

Community Development Director, David Alfaro, presented a request for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP), submitted by Jeff Coulson for a vehicle impound yard at 520 S. Pleasantview Dr. Andover, Kansas. Mr. Coulson, represented by Jeremy McDonald, is seeking the ability to create an impound yard on the site located approximately 1 mile east of Andover city limits. The vehicles will be stored on site and rotated out as the owners claim them after being impounded.  The yard will be enclosed with a 6′ Privacy fence, have asphalt millings laid down to provide a hard surface to park the cars and will be locked at all times when owner is not present.

“Neighbors expressed concerns about additional traffic, potential increase in criminal activity and the leaking of fluids into the ground causing potential contamination to the Water Wells in the area,” stated Mr. Alfaro.  After hearing comments from Mr. McDonald and neighbors present, the Board affirmed the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Committee with a vote of 3-1-1; Commissioner Myers opposed and Commissioner Wheeler abstaining.

Mr. Alfaro also presented a request for a mortgage lot split for Anthony and Angel Clark at 2339 SW 80th St. Augusta, Kansas. The request was approved.

Finally, Mr. Alfaro presented a request for a change in zoning, submitted by Brian, Denise & Michael Vogt from AG-40 to Residential Estates on their property located at the NW corner of SE Sunflower and SE 20th St. El Dorado, Kansas. The Board approved the request.

Chris Davis, Director of Emergency Communications (E911) presented a request to the Board for payment of the Annual Motorola System Upgrade Agreement.   In order to manage the statewide radio system KDOT must maintain current software versions. Butler County executed a new 6 year contract with Motorola in 2017 to provide matching upgrades.  The partnership with KDOT on the radio system has proven to be very beneficial to Butler County, operationally. The request was approved 4-1, Commissioner Woydziak opposed.

County Clerk, Tatum Stafford, appeared before the Board to recommend the purchase of election equipment from Election Systems and Software, LLC (ES&S) in the amount not to exceed $603,635.  ES&S has been providing election, hardware, software support and services across the state of KS since 1983. The close proximity of their location in Omaha, Nebraska, is as important factor.  ES&S currently serves 83 counties in Kansas.

According to Stafford, ES&S manufactures their own equipment, provides support and the machines are high quality.  They provide the easiest voting and tabulation system for poll workers and election staff to manage.  Butler County currently has ES&S equipment and has established a great working relationship with them.

Purchasing this equipment will put Butler County in line to comply with K.S.A. 25-3009 Post Election Audit Requirements that took effect January 1, 2019.  K.S.A. 25-3009 defines the new audit standards in Kansas, which now requires auditing of all elections manually by comparing paper ballot results against electronically counted races.  Due to this new provision, the current voting machines in Butler County have been rendered obsolete in Kansas.  The recommendation was approved.

The Commissioners held a work session to receive information on the proposed work by the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) to raise several overpasses through Butler County.  The KTA has projects planned to raise the height of many of its overpasses. Several of the overpasses planned for 2019 and 2020 are located in Butler County. Most of the work planned involves Township roads going over the turnpike. Two of the locations, however, involve the Santa Fe Lake Rd overpass and the Ohio Street Rd overpass.  No action was taken.

Vouchers, Adds & Abates were approved.

Other items included County Administrator, Will Johnson, sharing, “Public works and safety crews are getting a work out after all the rain and flooding here in Butler County.  They are working long hours with lots of overtime.  He asks patrons of county roads show patience with the county crews and townships.  With the announcement that President Trump approved Governor Kelly’s request for a disaster declaration, it will take time to get everything in place for FEMA funds to come in.  He asks those using county roads to drive slow, limiting their speed to 20mph in some areas.