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Secretary David Toland

A note from the Secretary of Commerce

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Transparency Database

January 10, 2020
Since I was appointed by Governor Kelly last January, we’ve undertaken a number of reforms based on four key priorities for the Department of Commerce. One of those four critical areas has been an effort to make clear what we do, how we do it and why we do it. The people of our state,…

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2019 Year-in-Review

January 3, 2020
2019 was truly an extraordinary year. Last January, I began my time as Secretary with several goals for the Department of Commerce and for economic development in Kansas. In today’s blog, I’d like to look back at the past year and reflect on the four main priorities we’ve had for the Department since Governor Kelly…

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Exporting from Kansas

December 20, 2019
Firms in Kansas are exporting their products all over the world, and this export activity means big numbers for the Kansas economy. We at the Department of Commerce are proud to provide assistance to help these firms explore new markets and sell more of their products worldwide. Kansas Exports by the Numbers: Kansas exported $11.6…

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Framework for Growth Public Engagement

December 13, 2019
We just wrapped up a week of Town Halls around the state in order to engage the public in the development of the Kansas Framework for Growth, the economic development planning process kicked off earlier this year by Governor Laura Kelly. The first phase—assessment and benchmarking—is nearly complete, and we heard from Kansans of all…

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Ready for Kansas Main Street?

December 6, 2019
As you may know, the popular Kansas Main Street program has returned and is revving up for 2020. I want to provide an update on what’s coming up for the program as it gets up and running again in Kansas. First, Commerce recently announced the hiring of Scott Sewell as the Main Street Program Director.…

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Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday

November 27, 2019
From our team at the Department of Commerce, we wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’ll have an opportunity to gather together with family and friends to share in the joy of the holiday season. We have much to be thankful for in our great state and country. It’s no secret that the…

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Anderson Chandler Lecture

November 22, 2019
On October 22nd, I was honored to deliver the Anderson Chandler Lecture at the University of Kansas School of Business. This lecture has been delivered by some outstanding leaders throughout its existence, and it was a thrill to be in a room full of bright and engaged students, academics and business people that night. Reading…

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National Apprenticeship Week

November 15, 2019
It’s National Apprenticeship Week! On Monday, Governor Kelly signed a proclamation recognizing this important week in Kansas. Developing a highly skilled workforce is a critical goal of economic development in Kansas. One way KANSASWORKS helps meet this challenge is through the Registered Apprenticeship Program. Apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career pathways in which workers can obtain…

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Veterans Day 2019

November 8, 2019
First celebrated in Emporia in 1953, Veterans Day is a day to honor all our veterans and troops who have served our country. And—since President Dwight D. Eisenhower first declared the holiday in 1954—Kansans have been proud and honored to salute our veterans. But honoring our veterans must go far beyond just one day of…

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Halloween 2019

November 1, 2019
In addition to being one of my favorite holidays, Halloween is a great opportunity to dress up in costume and have a little fun, even in the work place. This year, the Department of Commerce hosted its first annual Halloween costume contest on Thursday, Oct. 31st. Commerce associates were dressed head-to-toe in some awesome costumes.…

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Elevating the Arts in Kansas

October 25, 2019
October is National Arts and Humanities Month! Engaging in the arts is not only good for personal, creative and intellectual growth, it can also provide economic benefit and opportunity. So, today on my blog, I want to share more about what arts and culture can do in our communities across Kansas. The arts can provide…

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Dealflow: How it Works

October 18, 2019
Business Recruitment is a critical function of the Kansas Department of Commerce. Our team is on the frontlines of showcasing Kansas as a great place to expand or relocate their business. In this blog, I want to take a closer look at how this process works. It’s important for Kansans to understand what their state…

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Kansas: Renewable Energy Leader

October 11, 2019
Last week, Governor Kelly spoke at the Kansas Renewable Energy Conference in Manhattan. In her speech, she discussed the ways Kansas has risen to the forefront of innovation in renewable energy, and she acknowledged that our work is not finished. In fact, we’re just getting started. “Our state is positioned to be a leader in…

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Manufacturing is Central to the Kansas Economy

October 4, 2019
This week, I joined Lt. Governor Rogers and our partners with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Manufacturing Council to kick off the 2019 Kansas Manufacturing Summit. This important gathering brought together business leaders and industry experts to discuss the future of the manufacturing sector in Kansas. When I think about the Kansas…

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Kansas Oil and Gas

September 27, 2019
As Kansas continues to make strides as a renewable energy leader, it’s also important to recognize the role that oil and gas plays in our state’s energy mix and our overall economy. Oil and gas consistently makes the list of the top three industries in our state. We’re a state with abundant natural resources, including…

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International Partnerships Help Grow Kansas

September 20, 2019
Our trading partners around the world play a big role in helping grow the Kansas economy. Increasing our state's international footprint has been a large priority for Governor Kelly and is a key component to our vision for the Department of Commerce. Here's why: Investment from foreign companies into Kansas has created thousands of jobs in our…

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Back to the Cutting Edge

September 13, 2019
Our effort to restore the Department of Commerce involves building capacity and reestablishing successful programs and tools that helped the state facilitate growth and spark investment in key industries for our future. This means getting back to the cutting edge of areas where we were previously invested and leading. During the 1980’s, Kansas began to…

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Coming Back to Life: Kansas Main Street

September 6, 2019
Since the start of Governor Kelly’s administration, you’ve probably heard a lot about revitalization. As we look at the challenges facing Kansas, it’s clear that one of our top goals should be restoring both our image and our self-esteem as a state. This is a big, multifaceted challenge that will involve several areas of state…

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Labor Day 2019

August 30, 2019
Labor Day is a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on the Kansas worker. We know that great companies are fueled by our state’s most valuable asset: Kansans. The thing that separates us from other states is our people. The people here are caring and hardworking, and they value community. We look after each other.…

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Common Sense, Common Ground

August 23, 2019
I want to welcome you to a new medium for me to share my thoughts on current issues and actions we’re taking to grow the Kansas economy. Given the timing of my first post, I wanted to start off with something that is making national headlines and is truly historic: the end to the economic…

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