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Startups are growing in Kansas City, but is funding equitable?

In 2018, Dr. Shelley Cooper observed that a clinic she was working with was experiencing a high rate of no-shows for appointments. That same year, her father died in his sleep. He had medical issues but wasn’t able to book appointments with doctors as quickly as he needed them.  A year later, Cooper channeled grief…


The growing green jobs industry could mean more jobs for Kansas Citians

Before securing a position as a manager at KC Can Compost, a nonprofit dedicated to reshaping Kansas City’s approach to environmental and social causes, Chris Shelar was unhoused off and on for eight years.  Now 60, Shelar lived in outdoor spaces and panhandled for change to get by. Eventually, he found steady work as a…

How investments in Black businesses can help close KC’s racial wealth gap

When Denisha Jones launched her business, Sweet Peaches Cobblers, in August 2020, it was just her, her husband, her mom and her sister in a community kitchen — taking orders, making the cobblers and doing deliveries.  Now she has a team of individuals helping her sell cobblers in stores and at events and festivals across…

KCATA tackled its driver shortage. Now, bus drivers want to see more change

Will Howard knows exactly why bus drivers in Kansas City are stepping away from the steering wheel.  “We just had an 18-year veteran say they can’t do it anymore,” said Howard, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1287, the operator union representing bus drivers in Kansas City. “She’s working at the water department now.” Since…

Missouri Allows Some Disabled Workers to Earn Less Than $1 an Hour. The State Says It’s Fine If That Never Changes.

This article was produced with ProPublica as part of its Local Reporting Network initiative. Sign up for Dispatches to get stories like this one as soon as they are published. This story is available in plain language. One weekday morning in July, Kerstie Bramlet was at her workstation inside the Warren County Sheltered Workshop near…

The Sewing Labs apprenticeship program opens pathways for KC residents

Brooklin Dingley knew from the time she was a child that she wanted to work in the fashion industry. She just had to find the path to get there. As the oldest of seven siblings in a family with a limited income, college wasn’t a realistic option. But Dingley, 19, found another route. She recently…

A pesar de la tarifa gratuita del transporte público, muchos trabajadores que usan RideKC enfrentan dificultades a lo largo de sus rutas diarias.

Esta historia fue traducida por Claudia Yaujar-Amaro. Esta historia también está disponible en ingles. Lea aquí. De lunes a viernes, Melissa Douds toma el autobús de la calle 35 a las 5:48 a.m. para llegar a su trabajo en el Centro de Convenciones Bartle Hall.  Comenzando en la parada de Armour y Gillham en el parque…

The fight for a living wage in Kansas City no longer stops at $15 an hour

For years, Kansas City workers and organizers have fought to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. The demand was front and center recently when workers at the Taco Bell fast-food restaurant on Wornall Road in Kansas City’s Waldo neighborhood held a walkout over claims of poor working conditions and low wages.  “We…

‘Taco hell’: KC Taco Bell workers walk out over Labor Day

Three days before Labor Day, the holiday honoring American workers, employees at the Taco Bell fast-food restaurant in Kansas City’s Waldo neighborhood walked off the job in the middle of the lunch hour.  The four shift workers walked into the embrace of dozens of protesters clad in bright red shirts reading Stand Up KC. The…

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