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Governor Kelly Announces Recipients of More than $500K in Registered Apprenticeship Grants Governor Laura Kelly today announced a total of $528,478 has been awarded by the Kansas Department of Commerce to eight entities across the state for projects that will attract and retain employees and build the state workforce through registered apprenticeships. Virtual Job Fair to Highlight Hundreds of State Agency Opportunities Jobseekers are encouraged to attend the upcoming State of Kansas Agencies Virtual Job Fair from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 27. This month’s virtual fair, hosted by KANSASWORKS, will feature many exciting employment opportunities available across the state’s 98 government agencies. Currently, there are more than 700 vacancies across the state. Governor Kelly Travels to Japan, South Korea to Create More Jobs for Kansans This week, Governor Laura Kelly traveled to Japan and South Korea to participate in the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association (MWJA/JMWA) Conference. While there, she met with business leaders to continue building on Kansas’ historic economic development success and create new job opportunities for Kansas workers. Kansas Commerce Department Hires New International Director Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced today Laura Lombard has been named the agency’s new International Director. Lombard brings 15 years of experience in international relations and business development to the position, most recently serving as President and CEO of Kansas Global Trade Services in Wichita. View All


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New Round of Funding Announced for Revitalization of Downtown Buildings

Aug 10, 2023

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TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced today $1.5 million will be available for a fourth round of Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grants to revitalize dilapidated and underutilized downtown buildings in small communities across the state. HEAL grants help close financial gaps for communities striving to make their downtown districts more economically vibrant.

Since the HEAL grant program was launched in 2021, more than $3.5 million has been awarded to fund 63 projects in 48 counties throughout Kansas.

Enhancements have been made for HEAL 4.0 that are designed to set up applicants for even greater success, including a longer application period and a maximum award of $100,000.  Additionally, formal bids will be required this round from licensed contractors at the time of application submission.  

“HEAL 4.0 will offer even more support and funding for communities working to bring vacant and underutilized buildings back to productive use,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “We want as many communities as possible across the state to benefit from this successful program that breathes new life into downtown districts.”

HEAL grants help bring downtown buildings back into productive use as spaces for:

  • New or expanding businesses
  • Housing
  • Arts and culture
  • Civic engagement
  • Childcare
  • Entrepreneurship

Submitted projects must show potential to be economic drivers in that community and also demonstrate that the space will be occupied by the end of the project. Proof of 1:1 matching funds from the building owner will be required at the time of application.

Communities that received a HEAL grant in the first round (awarded spring/summer 2022) are now eligible to apply again. Communities that received HEAL grants in either fall 2022 or spring 2023 are not eligible to apply this round.

The application window opens August 14 and closes November 10 with award notifications in mid-December.

A virtual webinar about the specifics of the program is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 18. Registration is required and the Zoom link will be provided after registration. Organizations and building owners interested in applying should register and attend the webinar. To register, please click here.   

Additional information about HEAL, the webinar and the online application can be accessed here.