About

Hire KC is the signature youth employment program started by Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James.  In 2017, Mayor James expanded the initiative from a city hall program into a citywide youth success platform managed by the KC Social Innovation Center, in partnership with the Full Employment Council.

Today, Hire KC Youth aligns and organizes the region’s work-based experiences to support opportunity equity, and illuminate career pathways so that all youth can learn and grow into promising futures.

Hire KC is a digital learning and youth employment hub to help coordinate a diverse set of stakeholders to identify and advance innovative youth employment initiatives.

Hire KC connects practitioners, universities, donors, and area employers — so that we can build a connected community in responding to the region’s youth and talent development crisis.

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.  By 2020, 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.


Each summer, through the KC Social Innovation Center, Hire KC pilots innovative modules and methods to experiment and explore new ways to successfully bring young people into area businesses, to increase job-readiness and to make opportunity more accessible for all.

We engage and recruit youth from the greater Kansas City area, working directly with high schools, colleges and post secondary institutions, youth organizations and workforce partners to help young people discover and explore the abundance of opportunities available in our region.

2018 Kick Off from Mayor James

2017 Overview

William’s Story

Yasmin’s Story

Dylan’s Story