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Notices

Statewide Virtual Job Fair to Showcase New Opportunities for Jobseekers Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland is encouraging jobseekers and employers searching for new talent to participate in the June Virtual Statewide Job Fair. Hosted by KANSASWORKS, the job fair will be from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 26. Commerce Announces $390,000 in Emergency HEAL Grant Funding Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland today announced more than $390,000 in Emergency Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (E-HEAL) grants has been awarded to five recipients. More than $770,000 private local matching funds will be added to that total, to help bring rural downtown buildings back from likely demolition or collapse – and rehabilitate them back into productive use. Kansas Main Street Selects Eight Rural Communities for New Housing Grant Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland today announced eight inaugural grant recipients of the Residential Opportunities on Main Street (ROOMS) program. A total of eight projects in Designated Kansas Main Street communities are receiving $50,000 each to create a total of 35 new residential units in the upper floors of downtown buildings. Kansas Nonprofits Receive More than $4M in Community Service Program Tax Credits Governor Laura Kelly announced today that $4.1 million in Community Service Program (CSP) Tax Credits have been awarded to support the fundraising efforts of 26 nonprofit organizations across Kansas. These funds will enhance local access to quality childcare, healthcare, education, arts, and housing services. View All

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Executive Leadership

Kansas Department of Commerce

Governor Laura Kelly

Laura Kelly is the 48th Governor of Kansas. She has made it her life’s mission to fight for Kansas children and families on the job, in her community, as a four-term state senator and as governor.

Kelly has prioritized fully funding public schools, expanding affordable healthcare, reforming the child welfare system and growing the Kansas economy – especially in rural communities – as Governor.

Kelly is ready to bring people together and lead Kansas into the next chapter.

Lieutenant Governor/Secretary of Commerce David Toland

Lieutenant Governor/Secretary of Commerce

David Toland is the 52nd Lieutenant Governor of the State of Kansas and also serves as Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce. A seventh-generation Kansan, Toland was appointed Secretary of Commerce by Governor Laura Kelly in January 2019 and Lieutenant Governor in January 2021.

As Secretary of Commerce Toland has led Governor Kelly’s efforts to transform the state’s economy, directing a top-to-bottom overhaul of the Kansas Department of Commerce. His efforts at Commerce have included rebuilding its in-state, domestic and international business recruitment teams; launching the state’s Office of Broadband Development; re-establishing the Kansas Main Street Program; revitalizing the state’s Registered Apprenticeship program; designing and implementing the Kansas Framework for Growth strategic plan; and shepherding passage of the APEX Megaproject Bill, which gives Kansas one of the most aggressive economic development incentives in the country. Toland also led Governor Kelly’s successful recruitment of the largest private sector investment in Kansas history, Panasonic Energy’s $4 billion Electric Vehicle Battery plant in De Soto.

These efforts have resulted in back-to-back record-breaking years for Kansas economic growth—including 2021, when Kansas had the most private sector investment of any state in the nation on a per capita basis.

Toland has extensive experience in urban and rural economic development, having worked at the local level in both Washington D.C. and in his hometown in Allen County, Kansas. He holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Kansas.

Bob North

Chief Counsel

Bob North serves as Chief Counsel for the Kansas Department of Commerce. Bob is responsible for Commerce operations and has served as Chief Counsel for Commerce since 2004. He has extensive experience in public financing, bond-funded economic development programs and other economic development incentives. Prior to joining Commerce, he was in private practice.

Joshua Jefferson

Deputy Secretary of Business Development

Joshua Jefferson serves as the Deputy Secretary of Business Development for the Kansas Department of Commerce. He is responsible for business recruitment and in-state business development, driving growth and prosperity for the state. He spearheads strategic initiatives that foster a business-friendly environment, forges partnerships with key stakeholders, and attracts investments that drive job creation and private sector capital investment.

Jefferson is an accomplished professional in economic development, commercial real estate, aviation management and workforce development. With more than 17 years of experience, Joshua was a driving force in shaping the economic landscape in the Greater Phoenix Metro, where he most recently served as Economic Development Program Manager for the city of Tempe, Arizona. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Real Estate Planning at Arizona State University.

Bridgette Jobe

Director of Tourism

Bridgette Jobe is the Director of the Kansas Tourism Division at the Kansas Department of Commerce where she leads a dedicated staff of tourism professionals whose mission is to inspire travel to and throughout Kansas. As Director, she oversees the state’s marketing to visitors, the publication of KANSAS! Magazine, the Kansas Agritourism program, and the Kansas Byways program. 

Bridgette joined Kansas Tourism in 2019.  Previously, she spent over twenty-one years with the Kansas City Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is a past president of the Travel Industry Association of Kansas and served as chairman of the Kansas Governor’s Council on Travel and Tourism.  Bridgette is a life-long Kansan and an Original Dotte. 

Abby Works

Chief of Staff for Lieutenant Governor/Secretary of Commerce David Toland

Works earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Kansas State University, majoring in Food Science and Industry with a minor in Business Administration. She also received a master’s degree in Advanced European and International Studies from Centre International de Formation Européenne. Prior to beginning work at the Department of Commerce, Works was an Agribusiness Development Coordinator at the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Kansas Commerce Leadership Team

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