We just wrapped up a week of Town Halls around the state in order to engage the public in the development of the Kansas Framework for Growth, the economic development planning process kicked off earlier this year by Governor Laura Kelly.
The first phase—assessment and benchmarking—is nearly complete, and we heard from Kansans of all stripes about what they believe are our biggest opportunities and how we might overcome some of the challenges we’re facing.
The Kansas Framework for Growth is the first economic development strategy for the state of Kansas since the Redwood-Krider Report was issued in 1986. Things have changed greatly in our state since then, and we need to take an honest assessment of where we are and how we can move forward together as Kansans.
The development of a strategy to accelerate economic growth is a critical exercise to ensure that Kansas can compete in a global economy. Just as critical is ensuring all Kansans are represented and have the opportunity to participate in the development of the strategy. From the start, we’ve been very deliberate in engaging businesses and community partners in this process, and we’ve had great participation so far.
More than 500 members of Kansas businesses, economic development and community organizations, academia, and local and state government have participated in regional stakeholder workshops around the state and completed the online survey with ideas on how to overcome some of Kansas’ barriers to faster economic growth.
Check out this blog post to learn more about the Stakeholder Engagement that’s taken place so far!
This week was no exception, as we had good turnout at each of the four Town Halls. Each of the town halls gave the public the opportunity to view data around key indicators of economic performance in Kansas, including demographics, education, workforce participation, incentive efficiency and industry mix.
Broad participation and buy-in will help create lasting and sustainable momentum around a true Kansas plan for growth. Just as Redwood-Krider guided economic development policy from both Republican and Democratic administrations through the decades, a successful Framework for Growth will transcend politics and serve as a “North Star” for our state’s growth for years to come.
Ad Astra Per Aspera,