In 2016, KC Rising released the Common Sector Competencies report, clarifying the skills valued by employers to help teachers and school districts align teaching and learning with the demands of the workplace. Many schools embraced the Common Sector Competencies, and teachers put into practice instruction to build and enhance these skills. As implementation grew, educators asked for help in prioritizing the 23 Common Sector Competencies.

Representatives from industry and education worked with learners to further refine and clarify the competencies. As part of that collaborative effort, a research team from the Urban Education Research Center convened young professionals who had entered the workplace in the previous one to five years to provide real world feedback on what it takes to enter and succeed in the world of work. They confirmed six categories of competencies as Essential Skills.

Download the 2021 Essential Skills Report »

Other Resources

Playing to Our Strengths in Traded Sectors

Playing to Our Strengths in Traded Sectors

Innovation is a key factor to a growing economy, and there are a variety of ways to measure its impact. From investment of venture capital and number of startups and their growth to patents and peer-reviewed scientific articles all are  measures of innovation....

Benchmark Metros

Benchmark Metros

How do we really know if the Kansas City metro is advancing  economically? We measure it. KC Rising created the Horizon Goals metrics framework to measure the economic progress of our region, providing insight and action to grow the economy for everyone.  These...

Horizon Goals

Horizon Goals

According to respondents of a recent evaluation, KC Rising is in a unique position to: Point out opportunities and areas for improvement. Start important, community-wide conversations in the region. Establish benchmarks. Articulate a shared vision in a way that others...

Economic Crisis

Economic Crisis

The current economic crisis has affected everyone. However, there has been uneven or disparate impact where some populations have been harder hit: Latinos were hardest hit by the economic shutdown initially, then saw the quickest improvement. Though this has stalled....

Economic Recovery

Economic Recovery

From 2015-2019, the cumulative job-creating impact of small business was roughly 75,000 jobs, accounting for 57 percent of all new jobs and about 7 percent of the total employment in the Kansas City metro area. The unemployment rate was just over 3 percent in December...

Experiential Learning Landscape Analysis

Experiential Learning Landscape Analysis

This report was commissioned by the KC Chamber, Civic Council, Mid-America Regional Council, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and KC Rising in order to understand experiential learning opportunities in the Kansas City metro area. The findings help us better...

Kansas City Innovation District Study

Kansas City Innovation District Study

Innovation districts are campuses that seek to bring together entrepreneurs, education institutions, students and corporations to spark unique collaborations that result in economic activity. Identified as a needed initiative by the KC Rising Ideas & Innovation...

Talent-to-Industry Exchange (TIE)

Talent-to-Industry Exchange (TIE)

The Talent-to-Industry Exchange (TIE) concept was introduced in 2016 as a KC Rising strategy to improve the labor supply in key industry sectors, growing the human capital necessary to attract and retain companies in the Kansas City region. TIE reports provide an...