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Governor Kelly Announces Nearly $15M Available to Connect Kansans to Digital Devices and Public Wi-Fi Governor Laura Kelly announced today that applications are open for the Advancing Digital Opportunities to Promote Technology (ADOPT) program. A total of $14.7 million in grant awards will be available to organizations addressing the challenges of broadband accessibility, affordability, and device availability. Governor Kelly Announces $28.5M for High-Speed Internet Infrastructure Governor Laura Kelly announced today that $28.5 million in grants were awarded to 12 entities through the Lasting Infrastructure and Network Connectivity (LINC) program. The LINC program provides strategic funding for crucial aspects of broadband connectivity to reduce the cost of internet service, increase availability, and improve performance. Governor Kelly Announces $5M to Expand Access to High-Speed Internet in Rural Kansas Communities Governor Laura Kelly today announced that $5 million has been awarded to eight internet service providers (ISPs) in the latest round of Broadband Acceleration Grants for 2023. The awards will be paired with an additional $6.6 million in matching funds, resulting in an investment of nearly $12 million for high-speed broadband access projects across 10 rural Kansas counties. Commerce Program Opens Employment Pathway for Justice-Involved Kansans KANSASWORKS, a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce, is taking significant strides to empower justice-involved individuals across the state through the Re-entry Specialized Employment Counseling & Training (ReSpECT)WORKS program. This program provides intensive case management and career navigation for eligible individuals released from the prison system in Kansas. View All


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Nominations Open for Minority and Women Enterprise Development Awards

May 25, 2023

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TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland today announced the call for nominations for the 2023 Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Awards. These annual awards, now in their 38th year at Commerce, are just one way the agency acknowledges and observes the growing impact minority- and women-led companies have on the entire Kansas economy.

“Part of our job is to ensure we are taking ample time to highlight and celebrate the remarkable businesses and businesspeople that are integral to our state’s growth,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Intentionally acknowledging minority- and women-owned businesses allows us to recognize the valuable contributions they make throughout Kansas.” Presented by the Department of Commerce’s Office of Minority and Women Business Development (MWBD), awards are given in the following categories:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Service
  • Retail
  • Service Industry
  • Supplier/Distributor
  • Business Advocate
  • Young Entrepreneur
  • Corporation of the Year

To nominate a business or person (self-nominations accepted), click here. Nominations will be accepted through June 22, 2023.

The Office of MWBD will recognize all nominees and winners at a special event this fall. Details will be announced at a later date.

“Minority- and women-owned businesses are essential to the growth and development of the Kansas economy, and this special awards ceremony will honor the tremendous accomplishments of these amazing entrepreneurs in our state,” Director of the Office of Minority and Women Business Development Rhonda Harris said. “We encourage everyone to submit a nomination of a minority- and/or woman-owned business, advocate or young entrepreneur who are truly making a difference in their communities.”

The awards coincide with national MED Week, during which more than 9.2 million minority business enterprises are recognized for their significant role in the U.S. economy. Minority- and women-owned businesses generate more than $1.8 trillion in revenue. They create jobs that not only sustain the individual worker, but contribute to the economic security of their families, and the economic vitality of their communities and nation.  

The Kansas Office of Minority and Women Business Development also certifies businesses with designations of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Certified companies are eligible to participate in public and private procurement and contracting opportunities where diversity goals have been established, and for business-related financial assistance programs. MBEs, WBEs and DBEs also can participate in business education workshops and seminars through the office.

To learn more about the Office of Minority and Women Business Development, click here.