Northeast Kansas leaders are joining forces to build a better workforce.

TOPEKA, Kan, (WIBW) -- METL created by the Manhattan, Emporia, Topeka, and Lawrence Chambers hosted its third workforce listening summit in Manhattan Wednesday morning.

The summit has made its way to Emporia and Lawrence in previous weeks.

The group brought together leaders from the Regents Universities, and cities and businesses, to pinpoint what the state’s workforce needs.

“It’s very inspiring to hear these University Presidents lean in and listen to these employers and acknowledge that there may be some ways for them to do their business different in order to get these students into the workforce faster,” CEO and President of the Topeka Chamber Matt Pivarnik said.

President of Kansas State University Richard Myers said it’s nice to have these types of open conversations.

“Let business leaders know that Universities care about the kinds of talent we’re producing so you know we are collaborating with them, listening to what their needs are and making sure our curriculum and so forth meet those needs,” he said.

University leaders heard firsthand some of the challenges business leader face.

“Specifically here in Riley County and Pott County and Geary County we have a ton of more jobs that we have people to work in them,” President of Ascension Via Christi Hospital Bob Copple said.

Leaders are now looking at ways to better prepare students for the jobs available.

“We just want to make sure that we can do a better job of being able to keep them in our state, and keep them in our communities to fill our workforce needs,” President and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber Lyle Butler said.

The summit’s final stop will be January 17th in Topeka.