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K-State Today

February 17, 2023

Annual KEEP tour hosted for Fort Riley transitional soldiers and family members

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

The Kansas State University Division of Communications and Marketing recently hosted the launch of the third annual Kansas Employment Exploration Program, or KEEP, tour for transitioning Fort Riley soldiers and military family members.

The initiative is designed to encourage transitioning service members to settle down and remain in Kansas after completing their military service.

An average of 2,400 soldiers transition from Ft. Riley to civilian jobs annually. Approximately 220, or 11%, of transitioning soldiers stay in Kansas. 

Attendees received a community tour and were introduced to employers and city leaders to discuss job opportunities and showcased quality of life options available to them in the Manhattan area community. 

The Manhattan KEEP tour was held in collaboration with the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Fort Riley Soldier for Life transitioning office and Manhattan Area Technical College.

The participants were greeted at the Berney Family Welcome Center, where they received a welcome from President Richard Linton. In addition, representatives from the K-State Admissions office and Human Capital Services provided an overview of educational and career opportunities.  

The group also toured the Military Affiliated Resource Center in the K-State Student Union before continuing a bus tour through the K-State campus. Additional visits throughout the day included tours of MATC, panel discussions with local health care providers and site visits to Hi-Tech Interiors, Manko Window Systems and Parker-Hannifin. 

Other employers who participated in the tours and networking included: National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Scorpius Biomanufacturing, Meadowlark Hills, Cotton-O'Neil, Ascension Via Christi, Bayer Construction, BHS Construction, USD 383 and the city of Manhattan. 

The Kansas Employment Exploration Program provides Kansas communities with skilled labor force, reduces unemployment among transitioning soldiers and increases community veteran/veteran-retiree populations and associated economic impacts. 

Kansas State University and the Manhattan area community support the retention and recruitment of our transitioning military families as they complete their careers serving our country.