Grain Valley, Missouri, is located just 23 miles east of Kansas City and has a unique history and a bright future as a site for growth and innovative educational opportunities.
Over the past 9 years, the population of Grain Valley has grown from 4,000 to 15,000 residents. The main draw according to Rob Harrington of the Grain Valley Partnership is the award-winning, nationally recognized schools. “Three times in the past five years, the Washington Post has named Grain Valley schools in the Top 8 in the State and we rank in the top five percent nationwide”, states Harrington.
Grain Valley has developed an innovative career path program called Project Lead the Way. Beginning in middle school, students begin to explore personal interests and how these might lead them towards a productive career. Once students reach high school, they can learn culinary schools in a state-of-the-art kitchen, gain classroom exposure to bio-medical advances or explore engineering with the help of Missouri S&T.
While student skills are developing, school administrators meet twice per year with local business leaders in the Kansas City metro area. According to Harrington, this partnership “ensures that the community of Grain Valley provides a job-ready workforce and ensures our local economy keeps up with the changing needs of industry”. Grain Valley also boasts a median household income of $77,000 and an average age of 33.
Harrington credits a solid relationship with the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) in providing guidance and support to keep Grain Valley vibrant and attractive to business as an employment source as well as location for expansion and start-ups. With a proven ability to transform an agriculturally based workforce into one that has adapted to more modern careers, Grain Valley is just one more community that highlights why Missouri is a great place to live, work, and play.
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