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Commerce Celebrates National Community Development Week

Apr 01, 2024

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TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Commerce is joining other organizations and communities across the state in commemorating National Community Development Week. The annual event, which this year is April 1-5, shines a spotlight on the transformative impact of community development initiatives and collaborative efforts that drive positive local change. 

National Community Development Week serves as a platform to recognize the invaluable contributions of local leaders, organizations and residents who work tirelessly to enhance the quality of life for all members of their communities. From affordable housing projects to infrastructure improvements, these endeavors represent the collective commitment to building a brighter, more inclusive future for Kansas. 

Throughout the week, Commerce will highlight on its social media channels the diverse array of community development initiatives underway that are shaping the landscape of our state. Communities across the state are encouraged to do the same. Highlighting the work that occurs in your community creates civic pride and recognizes your difference-makers. We hope you’ll join us in telling your story, putting a face to your projects, and celebrating your wins. 

“Ever since Governor Laura Kelly re-established Community Development – now known as the Quality Places Division – at Commerce, we have been laser-focused on developing strong, vibrant communities across the state,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “The broad array of collaborative community projects Commerce executes with local and regional partners is proof positive of our commitment to making Kansas the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family.”

National Community Development Week initially was designated in 1986 to bring national attention to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Kansas has expanded the week to celebrate all community development efforts. In practice, community development supports communities to use their own assets to improve the quality of their place. 

This year’s National Community Development Week holds special significance as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the CDBG program. This marks a half-century of federal support for local initiatives aimed at economic development, affordable housing, and community revitalization. Since its inception, the program has played a vital role in empowering communities to address their most pressing needs. 

In Kansas, CDBG has invested more than $60 million in 208 projects across the state in the past five years.

“As we celebrate National Community Development Week, we are reminded of the power of collaboration in driving positive change,” Commerce Assistant Secretary of Quality Places Matt Godinez said. “Together, we are laying the foundation for stronger, more resilient communities where every individual has the opportunity to prosper.”

The Quality Places Division at Commerce is committed to working together to build a brighter future for all residents of Kansas in alignment with the Kansas Framework for Growth, the state’s economic development strategic plan. The division includes Kansas Main Street, Community Development, Community Development Block Grants, Housing, the Office of Rural Prosperity and the Office of Broadband Development.

For more information about National Community Development Week events and initiatives, click here.