On Thursday, Governor Jeff Colyer announced the launch of a new economic development initiative aimed at attracting investment and promoting business expansion in Kansas. Colyer was joined by Interim Secretary of Commerce Bob North, Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey, and other economic development professionals from across the state.
The new initiative titled “Land in Kansas” takes a comprehensive, multi-agency approach to economic growth. The key components of the plan include a new state marketing campaign, a top-down review of economic development programs in the state, and a pilot program to enable communities across the state to better target specific areas for economic growth.
Under the plan, several state agencies will each appoint an economic development liaison who will serve as the primary contact for economic development projects.
“Economic development is not just the responsibility of the Commerce Department. Every agency across the administration has a responsibility to do their part to grow the economy and attract jobs to the state,” said Gov. Jeff Colyer. “As governor, one of my top priorities is growing our economy and ensuring our children have access to the jobs of the future right here in Kansas. That’s why this effort to recruit new investment is critical to the future of our state. Kansas is in a great position for growth. If we continue to work together, we will ensure that Kansas is no longer viewed as a flyover state. We want people to Land in Kansas.”
The “Land in Kansas” marketing campaign will present a bold and direct message to businesses in key industries to start or expand operations in Kansas. The campaign will highlight the opportunities for individuals and industry to live and do business in Kansas, while also showcasing the strategic advantages of the state – including our central location, well-trained workforce, and pro-business atmosphere.
“Our state has much to offer companies looking to start or expand their operations and we need to do everything possible to make sure Kansas is competing for each and every opportunity,” said Secretary North. “We appreciate Governor Colyer’s initiative to develop a coordinated, strategic effort on economic development and, ultimately, get even more jobs and capital investment in Kansas.”
The program also includes a Strategic Growth Initiative pilot project which is designed to proactively identify how counties wish to grow and match them with companies with similar needs to locate in their area. This aspect will be spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture and will focus on portions of the state’s top two industries – agriculture and UAS and small aircraft.
“Agriculture is the state’s largest industry — we know we can’t grow the Kansas economy without growing agriculture,” said Secretary McClaskey. “This program will provide a format to help communities identify how they want to grow so we can work together strategically and help connect them to the right opportunities that fit their community’s resources and needs. We are pleased to lead the pilot program, which will be assessed to determine its success and viability and then be expanded to other sectors of the Kansas economy.”
In addition, the “Land in Kansas” initiative will require a full evaluation of Kansas’ economic development strategy led by co-chairs Ashley Hutchinson and Blake Schreck.