Clay County is adjacent to Kansas State University, Cloud County Community College, Manhattan Area Technical College, and Fort Riley Military Base. Through their graduates and those transitioning out of the military, these institutions provide a large, educated, and experienced workforce.
According to a completed in 2012 by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs, Fort Hays State University, over 97% of the available labor pool has at least a high school diploma; over 75% have at least some college; more than half have an associate’s degree; and more than a third have a bachelor’s degree.
More than half of the available labor pool indicated that they are willing to work the second or night shift, weekends, or rotating shift.
As in most communities the primary benefit for the available labor pool is good salary however in the Clay County labor basin the second most important benefit is on-the-job training or paid training which shows the quality of the local workforce. Retirement benefits are a close third.
An estimated 19,828 or 70% of the members of the labor pool are interested in new employment opportunities at $21 an hour. 14,034 or 50% are interested at $15 an hour and 8,682 or 31% are interested at $12 an hour.