LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY
In just four short years, Kansas has transformed itself from a middleof-the-pack state with tepid growth to a national powerhouse in economic development.
Our ongoing and unprecedented success speaks for itself, but others have not hesitated to point it out. Kansas recently won its first Governor’s Cup for the most economic development investment per capita of any state in the nation. Kansas also received back-to-back coveted Gold Shovels in 2020 and 2021 for excellence in attracting high-value investment projects creating a significant number of new jobs in Kansas communities, among other national honors.
In addition, the legislature’s bipartisan passage of Governor Laura Kelly’s APEX legislation created an incentive tool to help Kansas compete for companies investing $1 billion or more in expansion or relocation projects. This resulted in a huge win for Kansas with Panasonic Energy’s announcement that they will build one of the largest electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing facilities of its kind in De Soto. The $4 billion plant represents the largest private-sector investment in state history. The Panasonic project will bring 8,000 total jobs to the state – 4,000 with Panasonic and 4,000 indirect jobs with suppliers and community businesses. There will be an additional 16,500 workers hired during the construction phase, which already has begun.
This win for Kansas creates a new industry in the state – EV battery production – similar to the aviation industry that was established a century ago in Wichita. Kansas sees immense opportunity for additional growth in the EV battery manufacturing industry. Other clusters continue to grow in key sectors as varied as animal health, cybersecurity, bioscience, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, logistics and transportation, and many others.
We know we are a state with a business-friendly climate, skilled and educated workforce, innovation, inclusivity, strong infrastructure and strategic central location – strengths that have helped Kansas achieve one record-breaking year after another in economic development. Since 2019, Kansas has won 816 economic development projects representing more than $15 billion in capital investment.
In addition to business success, our team at Commerce has been working to cultivate the skills and readiness of the Kansas workforce through individualized service to jobseekers, additional apprenticeship offerings and new training partnerships statewide. Our team also works closely with local leaders to foster strong communities, equipped with great infrastructure and an outstanding quality of life that supports residents and attracts new visitors to our state. By continuing to partner with communities of all sizes, we are fueling this new era of economic development all across Kansas. With special attention focused on rural areas of the state, we are leveling the playing field so all Kansans have the opportunity to success. We are committed to ensuring access exists to services such as childcare, housing, healthcare and broadband internet regardless of where one chooses to call home.
As you read our Annual Report, you will see significant accomplishments in all of Commerce’s divisions. These accomplishments, strengths and accolades showcase that we have truly become the “state of unexpected” as we work to make Kansas the nation’s best place to live, work and do business.Astra Per Aspera, David C. Toland Lt. Governor and Secretary of Commerce Ad
2022 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IMPACT
Business Development Recruitment and In-State Team
Economic Development Successes International Division Kansas International
Trade Show Assistance Program Kansas International Trade and Marketing Assistance Program Webinar Participants Exporter of the Year Finalists
Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission Grants
Community Development Block Grants
Community Service Tax Credits Kansas Main Street
Rural Opportunity Zones
Workforce Development Workforce Centers
2022 has been a true breakout year for Kansas in terms of both in-state and newly recruited capital investments being made by private industry. More than $7 billion of capital investment in the state - compared to just $1.3 billion in 2019 - serves as a statement that business owners have the confidence in Kansas, its workers, its regulators, its leaders and its frontline economic development staff. Together, we have created the best place in the country to put business investments to work. In doing so, more meaningful jobs are being created and new industries are taking hold, making Kansas an increasingly attractive destination for talent to congregate.
As 2023 approaches, you will hear more of a calling for former Kansans to return home and participate in the prosperity we are working so hard to create for them in Kansas. New industries will continue to emerge in Kansas built entirely on Midwestern grit, a sensible cost of living and a powerful trajectory in wage growth. We’ll also be working to continue the modernization of our incentive programs to ensure the industries of tomorrow have a place in Kansas. All of this requires a guiding vision - our Framework for Growth - and leadership from all levels of government to make it possible. We can do all of this because, as a state, we have already demonstrated through the APEX legislation that we have a shared vision of making Kansas the best state to do business.
TOP 10 DOMESTIC WINS
• Panasonic Energy
Capital Investment: $4 billion Jobs: 4,000
• Scorpion Biologics
Capital Investment: $650 million Jobs: 500
• Barlett Grain
Capital Investment: $322 million Jobs: 50
• Coca-Cola Bottling
Capital Investment: $326 million Jobs: 0
• Summit Sustainable Ingredients
Capital Investment: $250 million Jobs: 60
• Pratt Industries
Capital Investment: $200 million Jobs: 58
• Goodyear Tire
Capital Investment: $125 million Jobs: 40
• Simmons Pet Food
Capital Investment: $115 million Jobs: 177
Capital Investment: $110 million Jobs: 4
• McCarty Dairy
Capital Investment: $98 million Jobs: 44
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1APEX Successfully Deployed with Panasonic
The APEX bill was passed in record time in a bipartisan effort to enhance the state’s competitive position on megaprojects over $1B in capital investment. APEX was signed by Governor Kelly in February 2022 and the $4B Panasonic project was announced in July. Kansas has one remaining APEX project to be approved by the State Finance Council
280 Percent of Counties see Project Wins
A total of 83 of 105 Kansas counties have recorded economic development successes since January 2019. The breadth of participation in the state’s growth and prosperity continues to widen as more programs designated for rural markets are deployed.
3Record Capital Investment in Kansas
With the announcement of several large projects in the state, the cumulative total of private sector capital investments in the state doubled from the previous year, which itself was a record. In 2022, Kansas saw over $7 billion in capital investment, half of which was made possible via foreign direct investment (FDI) in the state.
Creation of the APEX program has generated a surge in megaproject activity with projects investing more than $1 billion. Commerce began 2022 with just two projects meeting this designation, and as of December 2022 there are nine megaprojects open and one win, with Panasonic.
“Recruiting quality employers and meaningful jobs to the state of Kansas”
What a difference a year makes. And that is especially true when that year follows nearly two years of pandemic related international travel restrictions and trade event cancelations. While it took a few months for various countries to open back up to travel, many now only require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results prior to arrival and no longer require a post-arrival quarantine. As a result, late spring and early summer ushered in a dramatic uptick in Kansas business travel and international trade and investment related activity that continues even as the year draws to a close.
In fact, many of the international trade shows that were canceled or postponed over the last two years have returned. That enabled Lt. Governor Toland to not only visit Japan to close the Panasonic deal, but to also lead an aviation-related delegation to this year’s Farnborough Airshow in England and continue to Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein and meet with investment prospects to encourage them to locate in Kansas. It also enabled the International Division to team up with the Greater Wichita Partnership to provide a State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) supported booth at the Airshow as well as conduct an additional STEP supported trade mission to Thailand and Vietnam featuring a group of Kansas manufacturers selling into the burgeoning aquaculture market in Southeast Asia. This return to business as usual has also been reflected in the higher numbers of companies participating in our programs that provide support for international trade show participation (KITSAP) and international market and partner search activities (KITMAP).
The Kansas International Trade Marketing Assistance Program (KITMAP) assists Kansas companies in accelerating their export business. The program will reimburse 50 percent of a company’s direct expenses up to $5,000 per eligible activity each fiscal year. In 2022, $40,391 was provided to 30 approved companies to assist with international sales and marketing.
The Kansas International Trade Show Assistance Program (KITSAP) helps introduce Kansas companies to foreign markets through participation in international trade shows. Companies can receive up to $3,500 per trade show, up to $7,000 total, per fiscal year in reimbursement for trade show expenses. In 2022, $25,576 was provided to 19 approved companies to encourage sales through trade show participation.
While the pandemic is largely in the past, both positive and negative legacies of its impact on international trade and investment in the state are still with us. Supply chain shortages and country lockdowns have led to an increased interest in reshoring manufacturing to the U.S. Significant investments are being made to build up U.S. capacity in key sectors like electric vehicles, semiconductors and other advanced manufacturing by moving production from overseas. Global companies like Panasonic, Kubota and others making these reshoring decisions are benefitting from proximity to customers, as well as improving supply chain flexibility and reliability.
2022 Governor’s Exporter of the Year
Textron Aviation, in Wichita, is home to Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands. Textron Aviation has one of the most versatile and comprehensive aviation product portfolios in the world, providing customers with more than 250,000 aircraft in more than 170 countries. Chosen for the award from a group of three finalists, Textron underwent a rigorous selection process that included a site visit to the Textron facility, an in-person presentation and a thorough review of export performance indicators.
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1Panasonic Energy Electric Vehicle Battery Plant
This state-of-the-art facility in De Soto will create and supply lithium-ion batteries and accelerate the future of electric vehicle innovation on a global scale. The project is expected to create up to 4,000 new jobs and result in an investment of up to $4 billion, which represents the largest economic development project in Kansas history. The development will also have ripple effects throughout the regional and state economy, supporting an estimated 4,000 additional jobs created by suppliers and community businesses.
2Kansas Renewable Energy Conference
After a two-year pandemic-related hiatus, this year’s conference showcased the latest trends and developments in the renewable energy industry. This year’s conference focused on the topics of wind energy and transmission, solar energy and storage, hydrogen development, electric vehicles, and renewable natural gas. Conference attendance surpassed expectations, setting a new record with more than 275 attendees from around the country.
3Southeast Asia Trade Mission
The aquaculture industry in Southeast Asia is booming and Kansas producers of extrusion equipment and dry bulk material handling systems aggressively are pursuing the sales opportunities available in the region. To provide a unified front and help companies gain access to prospect facilities, the International Division conducted a trade mission to Thailand and Vietnam. Now that travel restrictions have eased, more such missions will follow.
“Fostering export growth and foreign direct investment through greater engagement across the state.”
Building thriving communities drives the Community Development Division. Our programs strive to provide flexible funding resources for communities to address their needs and build on their assets. Our team works to provide responsive assistance, by facilitating education and communication about our programs and evaluating needs for additional services.
To serve communities best, we have continued to deepen our bench with the addition of a Design Specialist position on the Kansas Main Street team, offering technical design assistance and guidance for communities. We have also welcomed two Community Development Specialists working in communities across the state focusing on placemaking, childcare, downtown revitalization, housing and more. These positions are key to assisting communities and other sources developing thriving communities.
For the first time, the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) hosted the Mural Making event that featured artists, leaders, community coordinators and funders for community-led murals. This event brought together public and private resources for communities interested in creating high-quality public art to celebrate their unique heritage and culture.
This year has been one of growth and change. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program made significant changes to address the shortage of quality childcare facilities, develop additional youth job training opportunities, fund the planning of regional water systems, rehabilitate housing, improve libraries, and develop sidewalks and trails that connect community members to essential goods and services.
Patterson Family Foundation, we also successfully
Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grants to provide matching funds to
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1 2 3
The first ever Mural Making conference was held in March with 85 registrants and 45 community participants. The event was coordinated by KCAIC and featured mural artists and organizer panels, speakers and breakout sessions. Through KCAIC programming, 13 murals were completed in 2022 and 16 new murals were awarded in 2022 that will be completed in 2023.
Kansas Main Street
Seven communities were added as Designated Kansas Main Street communities bringing the total number of Designated Communities to 35. This is an increase of 10 communities in just under three years, and is the highest number in the history of the Kansas Main Street program.
Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL)
After the successful creation of the HEAL grant program in late 2021 with 32 awards in the spring of 2022, Community Development partnered again with the Patterson Family Foundation to offer another year of grants to revitalize downtown buildings. The new program includes a façade grant and building grant option for fall 2022 and up to $850,000 in funding available.
“Empowering Kansas communities through programs, partnerships, and support.”
2022 was a historic year for KANSASWORKS. While many of our services have returned to an in-person function, KANSASWORKS continues to see an increase of interaction across our virtual services. In the last year, we saw a 49% increase in the number of live chats conducted by our workforce specialists. Additionally, we saw a historic 67% increase in the number of employers served, meaning more companies and job listings available to our job seekers.
Our staff continues to see success providing support for jobseekers, as well as providing opportunities such as: registered apprenticeships, assistance for veterans and their spouses, services for those recently released from a correctional facility, and help for employers to retain employment after injury or illness.
Kansas Workforce Centers provide a wide range of free services for workers and employers across the state, both virtually and in-person. Workforce specialists have helped to connect workers and job seekers to employment, training and educational opportunities, and available funding. Kansas’ two Mobile Workforce Centers have focused on providing services to areas that lack a permanent workforce center or face unusually high demand for workforce center assistance. Employers have been able to utilize the Mobile Workforce Centers for hiring events, helping to connect them to skilled talent.
In 2022, we approved a unified branding for KANSASWORKS, helping to tie together all social media accounts, marketing materials and websites. We are in the process of implementing this branding and working with our local workforce areas to provide assistance and resources through this change.
We also expanded our relations with the Kansas Department of Corrections through ReSpECTWORKS (Reentry Speclialized Employment Counseling and Training). The program was awarded nearly $4 million in grants through Commerce from the U.S. Department of Labor
Training Administration aimed to provide “inside-outside” workforce
individuals. ReSpECTWORKS participants reside in one
facilities and receive services from one of five Career
participating Local Workforce Development Boards.
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1Established Office of Registered Apprenticeships
In September, Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order #22-07, establishing the Office of Registered Apprenticeship within the Kansas Department of Commerce. The creation of this office will help retain talent in the State of Kansas and serve as the main connection between industry partners and training providers to prepare Kansans for jobs of the future.
2Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Backlog Reduced
In 2022, the WOTC Program was able to decrease the amount of applications that were in backlog. Through a partnership with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the program developed an interface system to verify eligibility for job applicants that are receiving SNAP and TANF benefits within Kansas. In January 2022, the backlog was sitting at a total of 125,491 applications from 2017-2022. WOTC was able to reduce this backlog from 125,491 down to 12,174 applications from 20202022. In addition, doing quarterly processing resulted in federal tax savings for Kansas businesses of almost $7 million.
3RETAINWORKS Partnership Building
RETAINWORKS (Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network), is a nearly $22 million initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration.
RETAINWORKS aims to increase employment retention and labor force participation, reduce long-term work disability, and bring about a cultural change of viewing employment as a medical outcome.
“Connecting businesses, job seekers, schools and training providers to ensure the state’s workforce meets industry needs and helps create economic success for residents and businesses throughout the state.”
The Office of Rural Prosperity has been busy this year, and we are only getting started. We have added new staff to our team: a Program Manager, Grassroots Strategy Developer and Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) Program Manager. With programs like ROZ, HEAL, SEED, RuralbyChoice Champions, and Rural Murals, our team has been busy helping rural communities take advantage of funding opportunities to help their towns prosper and grow.
A key priority for our office has been to increase capacity for rural communities, so that they can better compete for an economic development project or apply for state or federal funding for housing, childcare or new downtown revitalization projects. We also have partnered with foundations and other Commerce divisions to address the challenges that communities identified in the 2019 and 2020 Listening Tours, and the 2021 Power UP and GO report. With this collaboration and partnership, we have been able to find funding for housing, new murals and public art projects and downtown buildings. We are seeing so many new opportunities for rural prosperity in Kansas than ever before. There is still a lot of work to be done, especially around workforce, childcare, broadband and health.
In 2022, ORP, in partnership with the Patterson Family Foundation, launchd the #RuralbyChoice Champions to create guidebooks so that all rural communities can collaborate, share, and advocate for their communities in a way that fosters creativity, inclusion, and reminds Kansans how much they love their community. It’s this love and pride that makes a community stand apart, thrive, and grow, and rural Kansas has a lot to love and be
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1#RuralbyChoice Champions Grant
ORP partnered with the Patterson Family Foundation and Kansas Sampler Foundation to create a program to fund 12 individual champions who will work to address critical challenges hindering progress in their community or region. The champions will be supported by customized resource teams to help them make progress on this challenge. Each Champion will document and share the process so that other communities can follow their progress and implement similar strategies in their regions as well. The Champions identified Housing, Childcare, Community Development, Entrepreneurship, Trails/Wellness, Mental Health and Placemaking/Arts as their focus project areas.
2Grassroots Economic Development Training 201 Grassroots Economic Development training was designed to serve rural communities that expressed the need to better understand and use available resources and programs. Following the completion of the very successful 101 series, 201 was developed to dive deeper into the utilization of key programs that were identified by participants. This training provides a base of knowledge for all rural champions to be able to have an impact in their communities.
3Rural Grant Programs
ORP partnered with several divisions and departments in Commerce to create new funding opportunities to address rural prosperity issues across our state. From 42 new murals to 33 Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grants to revitalize downtown buildings, amazing momentum is being seen around rural revitalization. In the fall of 2022, the Technology-Enabled Fiduciary Financial Institutions (TEFFI) Development and Expansion Fund Strategic Economic Expansion and Development (SEED) grant program and another round of HEAL grants were launched to help get almost $4 million into small towns across our state.
“Advocating for and promoting rural Kansas and focusing on ways to guide rural improvements toward prosperity.”
The Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD) moved aggressively to gain approval from the U.S. Department of Treasury for the state’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF) for Infrastructure Program, becoming one of the first eight states to launch a CPF program. This program will distribute $83.5 million to bring high-speed internet to unserved areas of the state. Response to the program from providers was overwhelming, with nearly $600 million in requests. We look forward to reporting on these awards and the progress of projects over the next two years.
In May, awards for the second round of the state-funded Broadband Acceleration Grant (BAG) program were announced. Eleven recipients will bring broadband to 10 communities over the next 18 months. The 2021 Broadband Acceleration Grant program wrapped up with a state investment of $4.6 million that was matched with private funds for a total impact of more than $10.7 million toward projects in areas that lack broadband connections of 25Mbps/3Mbps. The program funded 14 projects to bring internet access to more than 3,200 unserved premises, including 361 businesses and 29 community anchor institutions. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) sets aside $65 billion for broadband. The majority of these funds will be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) through state broadband offices. KOBD submitted successful applications to participate in the two major block grants: the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) and Digital Equity Act (DEA). KOBD also submitted an application for the competitive Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure (EMMBI) program. Our office will receive BEAD and DEA planning funds in late 2022 to build office capacity and begin the creation of five-year statewide broadband access and digital equity plans.
anticipate award announcements for EMMBI in late March 2023. Additional capacity grants and infrastructure grants will be awarded to Kansas in late 2023.
1ARPA CPF Fund Approval and Program Launch
Kansas was one of the first eight states in the country approved for funding under the ARPA CPF for broadband infrastructure, providing the state with $83.5 million in funding to strengthen and improve internet infrastructure. KOBD launched a competitive grant program in July that offered a sliding scale for subsidy to incent providers to deploy service in the most unserved, economically distressed areas of the state. KOBD received 141 applications totally nearly $600M in requests 700% oversubscription rate.
2BAG 1.0 Completion, BAG 2.0 Awards Allocation
The second year of Broadband Acceleration Grant (BAG) awarded 11 recipients funds to deploy high-speed broadband access across 10 rural counties. Launched in 2020, the BAG is a 10-year, $85 million program funded via the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation (IKE) Program. 2022 also marked the completion of 14 BAG award deployments to rural communities lacking 25/3 Mbps service.
3KOBD Building Capacity
KOBD onboarded three new staff members to help build office capacity and support the mission of connecting all Kansans to high-speed and affordable broadband: Digital Equity Program Manager, Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach Coordinator and Broadband Program Manager. With the addition of these three individuals, KOBD will ensure that Kansas stays competitive and at the cutting edge of the broadband work happening in the country.
Grant 2.0 Project locations
“Connecting Kansas to the World”
Last year, I reported that it had been a year of rebirth for Kansas Tourism, as we continued to implement new strategies for our division. This year - 2022 - has been a year for Kansas Tourism to thrive.
Tourism is our state’s welcome committee. Being a part of the Department of Commerce has provided us with new energy and connections. We realize that economic development achievements and growth start with a visit to Kansas and a successful tourism industry enhances the quality of life for both visitors and residents. Tourism is an economic driver for Kansas and being a part of the state’s economic development agency
has helped us achieve greater success and partnerships.
The To The Stars campaign continues to grow in popularity and recognition. This year, we launched a full-fledged spring leisure visitor campaign in surrounding states. This was the first campaign to include TV, radio, digital, social and billboards from Kansas Tourism in many years. We were even able to run a TV ad during the KU basketball finals. It is the mission of Kansas Tourism to let the rest of the world know what a fantastic state we have and to inspire travel to Kansas. Specific campaigns like this are necessary for us to tell that story.
One of the most important roles we have at Kansas Tourism is to provide support and resources to our local community tourism partners. This past year, Kansas Tourism provided more than $2.3 million in tourism grants, including TASK, Attraction Development and Marketing to 34 local communities. We have increased our number of registered agritourism businesses to 433 and KANSAS! magazine subscribers have increased by 6% in the past year.
Kansas Tourism continues to ascend To The Stars
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
1To The Stars Marketing
Kansas Tourism’s marketing campaign To The Stars continues to grow in popularity and effectiveness. This campaign was created to change the perceptions of Kansas in the minds of travelers, while instilling a sense of pride with residents. To The Stars is fully incorporated in all Kansas Tourism marketing initiatives and continues to bring positive attention to the state.
22022 Spring Campaign
For the first time in many years, Kansas Tourism ran a strategic spring leisure marketing campaign. This campaign targeted surrounding states and included TV, radio, digital, social and billboards. This campaign generated more than 244 million impressions. During the campaign, TravelKS.com user traffic was up 48% and pageviews were up 44% over the previous month.
A vital role that Kansas Tourism plays is to provide support and resources for local tourism industry partners. This year we have provided over $2.3 Million in TASK, Attraction Development, and Marketing Grants to 34 communities. We were able to leverage federal dollars in 2022 to expand our grant funding. This is an unprecedented dollar amount of support from Kansas Tourism and will continue to be a priority in coming years.
“Tourism offers a better quality of life for all Kansans by way of a strong travel industry and economic prosperity.”
Each of the units comprising operations continued to excel over the past year. While often working behind the scenes, the agency couldn’t function successfully without professional dedicated staff across each of the operational units. The department continues to shatter investment and jobs metrics, which result in processing unprecedented numbers of transactions, contracts and agreements. Operations staff contribute enormously to this unparalleled success.
Fiscal, Information Technologies (IT), Legal, Human Resources (HR), Regulatory Compliance and Buildings and Facilities each have their own role in the success of the agency. I’m very proud of the hard work and extra effort our operations group has put into such a record-breaking year. The overall vision is to improve processes that results in doing things faster and more efficiently. For example, Fiscal assisted the agency with fiscal training in order to provide more efficient processes for travel reimbursements, encumbrances, vouchers, etc. We processed over 3,002 documents in DocuSign. The agency wouldn’t be as successful as it is without the most important resource of all -- human capital. Our HR group is at the forefront of state agencies in terms of recruiting quality applicants.
IT is supporting new software packages, dealing with increasing vulnerabilities and everchanging technologies. Over 1,843 service desk tickets were resolved successfully this past year. Regulatory Compliance continues its outstanding work in monitoring WIOA programs, resolving any related Equal Employment Opportunity complaints and another year without a material finding from the Department of Labor. Our Facilities group has overseen major renovations to our office spaces and always ensures our buildings and leased spaces are functioning safely.
The Kansas Athletic Commission (KAC) regulated over 43 events last year with no major injuries or deaths. The KAC was instrumental in bringing WWE Raw to Kansas in June.
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
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New Online Contracting
Implemented a new online contract drafting and routing process. These new processes reduce the length of time for contract requests, which results in improved efficiency and timeliness.
Reviewed applications and provided technical assistance and approval letters for 40 Rural Housing Incentive Districts to expand housing opportunities in rural communities. Drafted and assisted program staff with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funded grant agreements, which led to the investment of several hundred million dollars into economic development and housing projects across the state.
America’s Job Link Allicance (AJLA)
AJLA, which provides data collection and reporting for a consortium of states, transitioned to Agile Scrum, a new software system, to deliver high quality software in a more adaptive and collaborative approach that better meets customer needs. This move will benefit workforce development efforts in more than 10 states.
“Providing exceptional Legal, Fiscal, IT and HR services to support Commerce and our state in achieving maximum economic prosperity.”
The Office of Innovation, now in its second year, continues to make great progress. Working with our partner Network Kansas, Kansas was one of the first five states to have our State Small Business Credit Initiative plan approved by the U.S. Treasury. This allows $69 million to immediately begin to work in Kansas helping our small businesses.
Demand for the Proof of Concept program in FY 2022 was exceptionally strong. In fact, our application pool outweighed our funding capacity with this competitive new funding opportunity. New product ideas and ways to expand, manufacture, or enhance current products are being fostered right here in Kansas with this program.
We also have seen a growing interest in our Angel Investor Tax Credit Program for CY 2022. The program is helping new Kansas companies such as Fair Market Health, LLC reach their funding goals to grow their company in Kansas, and animal science companies such as Elias Animal Health move their research into the final stages of FDA approval with a positive outlook for 2023. These exciting developments in Kansas-grown innovation give a positive outlook for our state economy.
Lastly, we have embarked on a new innitiative that will enhance our small business development efforts by implementing data driven economic development. This initiative will give the Department of Commerce and our partners the data we need to compete in today’s global marketplace.
LLC, Wichita, is developing a wind turbine drivetrain bearing
called Jitterbug to alert turbine operators of potential bearing
occurs. Early detection of bearing failures offers a 30 percent
ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT SUCCESS STORY
Rx Savings Solutions, an Overland Park startup, used Kansas Angel Investor Tax credits to grow their company in 2013 and 2014 and have they grown! In September 2022 it was announced McKesson Corporation has agreed to purchase Rx Savings Solutions for up to $875 million.
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
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Proof of Concept Program
The Proof of Concept program invests small amounts of capital to help advance technology toward commercialization. The 14 for-profit companies and 3 faculty-led awards include new products, adaptations of existing products and new software platforms, all of which are scalable and have market demand.
Small Business R&D Acceleration Grant
This grant program, launched in the fall of 2022, makes small grants to small businesses to advance a product or service toward commercialization by partnering with a Kansas higher education institution. We are excited to watch new relationships form between small businesses and higher education that will result in new technology coming to market.
Angel Investor Tax Credits
The Proof of Concept and Small Business R&D Acceleration Grants help startup businesses get their product ready for commercialization. Once a business has reached the commercialization stage and begins to scale in size, the Angel Investor Tax Credits are a great tool to help raise much needed capital. The increase in demand for tax credits means more businesses are growing and more investment is being made in Kansas’ next great companies.
When I began this position in June, the first thing I learned about the speed of business in Kansas was that it is extremely fast. And non-stop. The sheer volume of business successes, programs and services delivered, and other support the Kansas Department of Commerce offers to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in our state is breath-taking.
The Marketing and Communications team has the privilege of crafting the content that tells the Commerce story. Text and imagery are coordinated to best showcase the information you’ve been reading about on the preceding pages – and every other medium we utilize throughout the year. The team produces news releases, remarks, presentations, videos, booklets, photos, posts for social media, website updates, newsletters, reports, brochures, magazine articles, emails, advertisements, handouts, etc. With so many different audiences, both internal and external, we disseminate content in the most efficient and effective manner possible.PATRICK LOWRY Marketing and Communications Director
Communication, after all, works best when the right message is delivered to the right audience at the right time. The work is made so much easier when that right message repeatedly is great news for Kansas. In order to better align with our best-in-class department, we rebuilt and refreshed the KansasCommerce.gov website.
Our audience relies on us to share not only the great news, but news they can use. And that audience continues to grow – both on the website and across our social media channels. There are people wanting to know what big economic news is taking place, and there are others looking for ways to become the next big economic news. We are committed to connect with both.
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The KansasCommerce.gov site was rebuilt and refreshed to better align with our best-in-class Commerce Department. We are no longer middleof-the-pack Kansas. Kansas is the the State of Unexpected.
Following the dramatic lead of our website and the successful Kansas Tourism brand, we adopted a new, modern look that will be adopted throughout the Commerce Department.
3To The Stars: Kansas Business Awards
We were able to provide a variety of visual and written elements for this standing-room-only event that brought outstanding businesses, organizations and individuals from across the state. The videos of each statewide winner were especially well-received.
LEGISLATIVE HIGHLIGHTSRACHEL WILLIS Director of Legislative Affairs
ATTRACTING POWERFUL ECONOMIC EXPANSION ACT (APEX) APPROVED
• Incentives for firms investing $1 billion or more.
• Incentives for the qualifying suppliers.
• .5% reduction in corporate income tax each time an APEX agreement is signed.
• One APEX agreement per year / sunsets December 31, 2023.
H SUB FOR SUB FOR SB 84 SPORTS WAGERING
• Authorized sports wagering under the Kansas expanded lottery act and historical horse race machines under the Kansas pari-mutuel racing act.
• Created the Attracting Professional Sports Teams Fund overseen by Commerce.
MEGA TAX BILL
• Increased the Research and Development Activities Tax Credit from 6.5% to 10% of qualified expenditures, made it transferable and available for all income taxpayers.
• Extended Rural Oppotunity Zone (ROZ) student loan repayment program until 2026 and the income tax credits to 2027.
• Gave agritourism designees additional benefits to farm wineries and property tax relief.
• Established the Aviation and Aerospace Tax Credit program.
Approximately $100M in credits over the next ten years to encourage invesmtnet and accelerate development.
• Expanded the Kansas Rural Housing Incentive Act to include economically distressed urban areas and Topeka.
• Housing Investor Tax Credit ($13M)
• Affordable Housing Tax Credit (sunsets in 8 years)
• Historic Kansas Act ($10M)
GOVERNOR’S CUP WINNER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
PER CAPITA SITE SELECTION MAGAZINE
This annual award recognizes the state with the most private-sector capital investment per capita in the nation. This is the first time that Kansas has been chosen as a state winner of the Governor’s Cup.
GOLD SHOVEL WINNER
1 OF 6 STATES NATIONWIDE AREA DEVELOPMENT MAGAZINE
This annual award recognizes states for attracting high-value investment projects that create a significant number of new jobs in their communities. After winning a Gold Shovel award in 2021, Kansas repeated its sucess by collecting a second one in a row in 2022. Since Governor Kelly took office in January 2019, over $15 billion in new business investment has been announced in Kansas, with over 53,000 jobs created or retained.
DEAL OF THE YEAR BUSINESS FACILITIES MAGAZINE
Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the Department of Commerce were nationally recognized with a Business Facilities 2021 Deal of the Year Impact Award. The award received was for the Specialty Manufacturing category for Hill’s $325 million expansion and investment in Tonganoxie, along with 80 new jobs by 2025.