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Hire KC was originally started by former Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James in 2014 to coalesce around a broad summer youth employment initiative. In 2017, it expanded from a City Hall program into a citywide youth success platform managed by the KC Social Innovation Center.

Today, with the leadership of Mayor Quinton Lucas, Hire KC aligns and organizes the city’s work-based experiences across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to provide access to work-based opportunities and experiences that help lead students to brighter futures and better prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

Our aim is to democratize the path and distance to opportunity—not only a physical distance but also a social and aspirational distance.

Hire KC explores how to impact youth knowing that the future of work is rapidly changing. We know that 65% of all jobs will require more than a high school diploma, up from 28% in 1973, but only 24% of those jobs will require a 4-year degree.

Hire KC is bridging the gap between school and work, helping to prepare the next generation with the life know-how and essential skills necessary to lead to good and promising jobs.