The past few years in economic development have been golden in Kansas, with proof in three straight Gold Shovels presented to states with outstanding achievements — with the latest award recognizing a variety of successes statewide in 2022.
For an unprecedented third straight year, Kansas received a Gold Shovel from Area Development magazine for excellence in attracting high-value investment projects that create a significant number of new jobs throughout the state. Each year, Gold Shovels are awarded to just five states in their respective population categories, with Kansas winning the award for states under 3 million residents in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Among the highlights in economic development projects last year in Kansas:
- McCarty Family Farms announced an innovative, $98 million dairy expansion creating 27 new, good-paying jobs at their fourth-generation dairy farm near Rexford in Thomas County — a big success story in a state with one of the fastest-growing dairy industries in the nation.
- Down in Sedgwick County, Pratt Industries opened its new, $200 million corrugated box production facility — an advanced manufacturing plant set to employ 300 while adding 58 new high-paying jobs.
- And over in De Soto, the biggest economic development project in Kansas history started taking shape with Panasonic Energy’s $4 billion electric vehicle (EV) plant. The project promises 4,000 high-paying jobs at the facility with another 4,000 new jobs due to the development’s ripple effects in related business opportunities in the region and state.
- The three projects demonstrate the wide-ranging impact of economic development success since Governor Laura Kelly took office in 2019, with more than 900 projects of all sizes in communities across Kansas since then — a historic trajectory reflected in the growing collection of shiny Gold Shovel awards shipped to the Sunflower State.
Kansas also was honored recently by Site Selection magazine for its second consecutive Governor’s Cup for finishing first among all states for the most private business investment per capita.
The proof is in the pudding. Kansas simply is the best state in the country for business development – and success. Now is the time to join the growing list of companies eager to call Kansas home.