Mar 10, 2023
Once overlooked and underestimated in economic development, Kansas has achieved the unexpected with record-shattering success — and one prestigious award after another.
For the first time in state history, Kansas won the coveted 2021 Governor’s Cup, and then backed it up recently with a second straight Governor’s Cup.
Awarded by Site Selection magazine, the Governor’s Cup goes to the state with the most private sector investment per capita. Site Selection tracks projects that meet one or more of these criteria:
Kansas beat every state in the nation in total qualifying projects per capita in 2021 (139 projects) and in 2022 (138 projects), when Kansas also landed the biggest private investment in state history – Panasonic Energy’s $4 billion plan to build one of the nation’s largest electric vehicle battery manufacturing facilities in De Soto. That historic win was followed just months later by the second largest private investment in Kansas history – Integra Technologies’ planned $1.8 billion, large-scale semiconductor facility in Wichita. That project has Kansas on track for what could be another record-breaking year.
Recent honors include another first for Kansas in back-to-back Gold Shovels awarded by Area Development magazine in 2021 and 2022 for excellence in attracting high-value investment projects that create a significant number of new jobs.
In other back-to-back honors, Kansas landed Business Facilities magazine’s 2022 Deal of the Year Impact Award for the Panasonic project, which is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs in a 3 million square-foot facility. The Panasonic project has cemented the state’s strategic position in the global Electric Vehicle supply chain. In 2021, Kansas won an Impact Award in Specialty Manufacturing for the new Hill’s Pet Nutrition wet pet food manufacturing plant in Tonganoxie.
With so many accolades under its belt, Kansas is firmly established as a national leader in attracting job-creating business investment.
And the work has just begun.
Since the start of Governor Laura Kelly’s administration, Kansas has set new state records for economic development by bringing in $15.3 billion new capital investment and creating and retaining more than 55,500 jobs.
The remarkable surge was made possible by supercharged, visionary efforts to modernize economic development in Governor Kelly’s administration. The creation of the Kansas Framework for Growth, the state’s first economic development strategic plan in three decades, has guided state efforts. Kansas’ strategic central location, excellent schools, strong infrastructure and educated workforce stand out with companies locating projects across the state.
To win the intense competition for the Panasonic plant, Kansas unveiled a new economic incentive toolkit designed to help attract megaprojects. Passed with bipartisan support, the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) Act offers a thoughtful blend of tax and other financial incentives and leverages Kansas’ strengths against other states seeking the transformational new industries and the job opportunities megaprojects deliver.
APEX proves Kansas means business when it comes to competing on a global scale. Without question, landing the EV and semiconductor megaprojects has placed Kansas squarely at the forefront of innovation and national security.
As the Kelly administration works on every front to make Kansas the best place to do business, the state’s historic, award-winning run in economic development is creating a solid, resilient foundation that will serve Kansans well for years to come.
If other states didn’t know it before, they know it now: The days of Kansas being overlooked are history in a state now known worldwide as a powerful, award-winning economic force.
To learn more about Kansas’ award-winning economic development programs, please visit the Kansas Department of Commerce website at kansascommerce.gov.