Governor Laura Kelly Announces Kansas Economic Development Week; State Surpasses $5 Billion in New Capital Investment

May 11, 2021

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TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced Kansas will participate in Economic Development Week, an annual celebration hosted by the International Economic Development Council.

“Over the last two years, we’ve rebuilt the Department of Commerce and reinvested in critical services like education, transportation, broadband, and health care,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “With over $5 billion in new capital investment, our efforts are paying off in real-time. We’ll continue to reinvest in our foundation and recruitment tools to keep Kansas open for business.”

Since Governor Kelly took office, Kansas has experienced historic economic development success – recently surpassing over $5 billion in new capital investment by businesses since 2019. Of the $5 billion brought to the state, $2.5 billion was invested in 2020 alone, making 2020 the most successful economic development year in Kansas history.

“Governor Kelly has ushered in a new era of economic development in Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Major business investments ripple through the state by bringing new visitors, residents and dollars to the state. Kansas companies expanding strengthen their communities and provide new opportunities for their neighbors. Our new way of doing business has made Kansas stronger, more secure and more prosperous – period.”

Selected investments since the beginning of the Kelly administration include:

  • Schwan’s Company, Inc. – building a new 400,000-square-foot expansion at its pizza-manufacturing facility in Salina, totaling $600 million in capital investment;
  • Hilmar Cheese Company – building a new production facility in Dodge City, totaling $460 million investment;
  • Urban Outfitters, Inc. – building a new 880,000-square-foot omnichannel distribution center in Wyandotte County, totaling more than $400 million in capital investment;
  • Amazon – two new fulfillment centers in Kansas City and Park City, totaling $210 million in capital investment;
  • Merck Animal Health – new facility expansion/enhancement in DeSoto, totaling $100 million in capital investment;
  • Pretzels, LLC – building a 146,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Lawrence Venture Park, totaling $88 million in capital investment;
  • Great Plains Manufacturing (Kubota) – new manufacturing facility in Salina, totaling $43 million in capital investment.

For more information on the recent $5 billion capital investment milestone, read Governor Kelly’s recent op-ed in the Wichita Eagle here.

To read more about Kansas’ recent economic development successes and the team behind business recruitment and expansion, follow the Kansas Department of Commerce on social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

About Economic Development Week

Economic Development Week was created by IEDC in 2016 to increase awareness of local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities, and improve the quality of life in communities everywhere. Over the years, more than 450 campaigns have been created throughout the United States and Canada, creating millions of impressions, hundreds of news stories, blog entries, videos, events and other activities. Campaigns occurred in all 50 American states in 2018, with more than 40 communities officially proclaiming Economic Development Week.

About the Kansas Department of Commerce

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses.