KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE 2021 ANNUAL REPORT
TABLE OF CONTENTS 5
Off ice of Rural Prosperity
Off ice of Broadband Development
Off ice of Innovation
Marketing and Communications
Framework for Growth
Awards and Accolades
LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY Our state’s motto, Ad Astra Per Aspera — to the stars through difficulties – has long served as a source of inspiration in our great state, and never more so than today. Kansas, like every other state, has faced unprecedented economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Kansas, we didn’t sit back and simply hope for the best. Instead, we accelerated in promoting Kansas’ unparalleled strengths to business prospects worldwide – and those efforts have produced major business announcements in all parts of our state. We have been determined to reach for the stars, and the results have been historic. In 2020, Kansas achieved a record-breaking year for planned business investment – more than $2.5 billion. This past year we surpassed the 2020 mark by more than $1 billion, with more than $3.7 billion announced in new business investment in Kansas. The more than 300 economic development projects announced by Governor Kelly included over 13,000 new or retained jobs. We’re also proud of our many community-based achievements in 2021. Participation in the highly successful Kansas Main Street program grew; the first round of Broadband Acceleration Grants awarded this past year has spurred needed projects to increase connectivity in underserved areas; and efforts to focus on housing options across Kansas intensified. The reorganization of Kansas Tourism under Commerce was another important step forward this past year in coordinating economic development and destination development across the state. Also, a pressing housing shortage in our state is being tackled on various fronts, including work on the Kansas Statewide Housing Needs Assessment, the first comprehensive statewide housing study in nearly 30 years. And, we have implemented multifaceted efforts to strengthen the workforce and connect Kansans with good jobs statewide. This report outlines these achievements and many more in 2021 at the Department of Commerce, and details how we have aggressively sought opportunities to do good things for our communities and our people. Working with our partners statewide, we achieved historic results in 2021. We see our momentum pushing us toward even greater heights this new year and beyond as we make Kansas the best place in the nation for businesses and families. Ad Astra Per Aspera,
David C. Toland Lieutenant Governor/Secretary of Commerce
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IMPACT
LEGEND Business Development
Recruitment and In-State Team
In-State Offices 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
Community Development Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission Project Grants Community Development Block Grants Community Service Tax Credits Kansas Main Street Rural Opportunity Zones
Workforce Development Workforce Centers
BY THE NUMBERS
LEADERSHIP NOTE Business Development continued to strengthen in
2021 with over $3.7 billion in capital investments made by private sector businesses. This led to 13,483 new and retained jobs through 321 separate economic
TOTAL PROJECTS IN THE PIPELINE
development projects dispersed among 63 counties across the state. This truly is an exceptional performance, and our team is aggressively poised to do more.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUCCESSES
We expect this success to continue in the coming year PAUL HUGHES
Business Development Deputy Secretary
as our deal flow now has more than 210 out-of-state companies considering making Kansas their new place of business. Some of these projects qualify as true mega-
projects with capital investment of over $1 billion each, and we must compete with
NEW AND RETAINED JOBS
the most aggressive of states to win these major opportunities. In 2022, the team will continue to execute the Framework For Growth and recruit new companies to the state that create jobs with wages above county averages. Companies already in Kansas can expect ongoing support from our team as they invest in their businesses, upskill their workers, and continue to thrive here. Our team is taking a comprehensive approach to helping grow these businesses through
$3.78B IN CAPITAL INVESTMENTS
collaborative efforts with Kansas Manufacturing Services (KMS), the state’s Small Business Development Centers, KANSASWORKS and the new supply chain tool, CONNEX. Lastly, as we embark on a year of continuous improvement, we will be vigilant in identifying better approaches to our daily work through the use of enabling technologies, improved workflows and enhanced communications.
COUNTIES WITH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUCCESSES
In-State Business Development Regions
Business Recruitment Regions
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TOP 10 DOMESTIC WINS • Hilmar Cheese Capital Investment: $459 million Jobs: 247
• Bartlett Grain Co. Capital Investment: $322 million Jobs: 50
“Recruiting quality employers and meaningful jobs to the state of Kansas”
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS Record Business Investment In The State $3.78 billion: Business Development continued to strengthen in 2021 with over $3.7 billion in capital investment announced by private sector businesses. This led to 13,483 new and retained jobs through 321 economic development projects throughout the state.
• Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. Capital Investment: $251 million Jobs: 85
• Summit Sustainable Ingredients, LLC Capital Investment: $251 million Jobs: 55
• Medline Industries Capital Investment: $77 million
Far-Reaching Success Across Kansas: The dramatic surge in business project announcements covers the majority of the state. In 2021, the state’s 321 successful projects were announced in 63 different counties – covering 60 percent of the state. The number of Kansas counties with major business announcements this year is up 91 percent since 2019. Whether rural or urban, success is widespread across Kansas.
• TriRx Pharmaceutical Services Capital Investment: $70 million Jobs: 250
• Berry Global Capital Investment: $61 million Jobs: 99
• BNSF Railway Company Capital Investment: $59 million Jobs: 0
Passage of High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP) Sellable/Transferable Credits: During the 2021 legislative session, Governor Kelly signed Senate Bill 65, which permits an HPIPcertified company to transfer HPIP tax credits, under certain conditions, to another entity or individual. This can be a significant incentive for new projects. It has been over 30 years since substantive changes were made to the HPIP program including the ability of a company to transfer part of its tax credits and in removing the unnecesary linkage between HPIP and Kansas Industrial Training (KIT) and Kansas Industrial Retraining (KIR) programs to address training needs.
• Netrality Data Centers Capital Investment: $58 million Jobs: 7
• Koch Fertilizer Dodge City, LLC Capital Investment: $56 million Jobs: 80
BY THE NUMBERS
LEADERSHIP NOTE This year’s international business landscape again posed
significant challenges to Kansas companies seeking to expand export sales and business collaboration
opportunities. Many international trade shows were
AIRCRAFT MEAT PRODUCTS CEREALS INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY ELECTRIC MACHINERY
the onset of the pandemic and international travel
canceled or postponed for the third or fourth time since continued to present challenges. As a result, more Kansas companies made use this year of our recently retooled export promotion programs and found other new ways to JEFF WILLIS
engage with international customers. Their perseverance
International Division Director
has paid off and exports have rebounded from the lows of 2020 and now seem back on track to match or even
JAN - OCT EXPORTS
exceed the levels achieved before the pandemic. The International Division also forged ahead with expanded use of virtual media to communicate directly with Kansas companies and the world. Our monthly webinars have continued to pick up steam, with the most recent session on international supply
chain problems attracting over 100 attendees from around the state. Of significance, Governor Kelly and Lieutenant Governor Toland led a virtual meeting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our sister-state relationship with Henan province in China. The result of this relationship is that Kansas soybeans now are being sent directly to a Henanbased buyer via shipping containers.
TRADING PARTNERS MEXICO CANADA CHINA JAPAN REPUBLIC OF KOREA GERMANY UNITED KINGDOM SINGAPORE AUSTRALIA TAIWAN
Our innovative response to the pandemic has not gone unnoticed. This year, the International Division was recognized by the Greater Kansas City Chamber World Trade Center as the Outstanding Service Provider in our region. The Division also received another sign of support as, in 2021, we again received our full request for State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) money from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
INTERNATIONAL “Fostering export growth and foreign direct investment through greater engagement across the state.”
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS Virtual International Marketing (VIM): COVID-19 increased the need for companies to elevate their virtual presence and strategies. In partnership with Kansas Global Trade Services, the International Division designed the Virtual International Marketing (VIM) program for Kansas exporting companies to learn best virtual international marketing practices such as search engine optimization, website localization, eCommerce platforms and virtual trade activities. Through webinars and the development of a Best Practices Guide, VIM helps companies increase their global sales, based on guidance from experts in the
trade and finance industries. Outstanding Service Provider Award: In October, the World Trade Center Kansas City (WTC-KC) recognized the International Division as an Outstanding Service Provider. Each year, the WTCKC awards one trade organization with this honor to recognize their contributions to export promotion in
2021 Governor’s Exporter of the Year: On December 6, Governor Laura Kelly announced Black & Veatch of Overland Park as the top export business award winner. Black & Veatch successfully competed against several other well-qualified finalists to be named the 2021 Exporter of the Year. Exporting to over 173 countries, Black & Veatch contracts with the federal government to tackle massive
the region. Farmada’s Reverse Trade Mission: Assaria-based agricultural machinery manufacturer Farmada, along with Hutchinson-based ShieldAg Manufacturing and Atwood-based SureFire Ag, . hosted a group of Ukranians in business who are interested in buying their machinery for agricultural
infrastructure projects around the world, thereby
use in Ukraine. Daniel Rauchholz, President of
exporting their expertise by way of professional
Farmada, saw an opportunity to collaborate with
consulting, engineering and construction services.
other Kansas manufacturers in bringing farm implements, toolbars and fertilizer technology together for interested customers. The Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and offices of U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall helped make the case for the Ukranian customers to travel to Kansas during the pandemic, and succeeded in facilitating business.
BY THE NUMBERS
KANSAS MAIN STREET
MAIN STREET COMMUNITIES
MAIN STREET AFFILIATES
The Community Development Division launched a variety of programs and initiatives to help communities in Kansas become stronger and more vibrant. We can’t grow our state’s economy without thoughtful plans for community development, so we’re determined to be more innovative and visionary in partnering with communities of all sizes and in all parts of Kansas.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS
Examples of stronger bonds with our communities included KAYLA SAVAGE Community Development Director
OVER $14M AWARDED
Kansas Main Street growth in its Designated and Affiliate community memberships. Through Kansas Main Street, more of our rural communities now have tools proven to help
recruit and retain businesses, and restore and preserve the unique history of downtown corridors.
Another timely strategy for economic growth unfolded as Community Development,
CBDG CV ROUND 3 GRANTS
Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grant program, which will help building owners and cities
Kansas Main Street and the Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP) launched the Historic turn dilapidated, vacant or underutilized downtown buildings into economic drivers for their communities.
COMMUNITY SERVICE TAX CREDIT PROGRAM
OVER $4M AWARDED
KANSAS CREATIVE ARTS INDUSTRIES COMMISSION
SHORT-TERM OPERATIONAL SUPPORT AWARDS
Our work to counter the ongoing housing shortage has focused in part on giving local leaders tools to tackle their community’s housing needs. Community Development enhanced access to these critical housing resources through a new, more user-friendly webpage on kansascommerce.gov featuring all housing programs available from agencies that serve Kansas. Also, the passage of SB90 revised the Rural Housing Incentive Districts (RHID) program to include upper-story development in downtown buildings. Our Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program continued to disperse federal funds that are making numerous community improvements possible throughout Kansas. Increased awareness of CDBG opportunities was made possible by a series of application workshops; online training videos; and “3rd Thursdays at 3 with CDBG” – a monthly question-and-answer session with the CDBG team open to anyone interested in learning more about community development block grants. Also this past year, we placed renewed focus on arts and culture that truly showcase the uniqueness of our state and its communities, while also serving as catalysts for growth. Farranging initiatives from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) included symposiums and events for community theatres and arts councils, and other highlights such as expansion of the Re-Imagined Spaces grant program to bring new murals to rural communities. Communities are the heart of Kansas, and we will continue to provide the best possible resources and tools our towns need to move forward and prosper.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT “Empowering Kansas communities through programs, partnerships, and support.” TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Kansas Main Street Grows: Kansas Main Street added Junction City, Atchison and Baldwin City as designated Main Street cities. Within the first year of creating the Main Street Affiliate City program, 39 communities have joined, giving them access to additional resources for downtown development.
Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL): The HEAL grant was created to strategically invest in dilapidated, vacant, or underutilized downtown buildings and turn them into economic drivers for their communities. For the first time ever, the Patterson Family Foundation became a private philanthropic partner through HEAL, creating additional impact for rural communities.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): A total of 37 grants totalling over $14 million were awarded throughout the state. There was increased engagement across the state in CDBG through a series of application workshops, recorded training videos and the launch of “3rd Thursdays at 3 with CDBG” – a monthly live virtual session for the public to ask questions and receive updates from the CDBG team. In addition, all CDBG applications are now available online at kansascommerce.gov/cdbg.
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LEADERSHIP NOTE While job seekers and employers still are feeling the
effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges in
2021, KANSASWORKS has remained dedicated to helping
By combining virtual services with in-person assistance,
Kansans and the state move forward with services provided virtually and in person.
JOB SEEKERS SERVED
CUSTOMER SERVICES PROVIDED
12,240 EMPLOYERS SERVED
staff and workforce centers continued helping employers and prospective employees alike with several new MIKE BEENE
Workforce Services Director
opportunities such as registered apprenticeships; services to those recently released from a correctional facility; help for employees to retain employment after injury or illness;
assistance for veterans and their spouses; and more. 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 permanent workforce center offices or face unusually high demand for workforce center assistance. Employers also benefit in
KANSASWORKS.COM MOBILE APP
14MIN 19SEC AVERAGE CHAT DURATION
being connected to skilled talent. In 2021, a continued emphasis was placed on the importance of providing virtual services in addition to the more traditional in-person connections associated with a Workforce Center visit. With the launch of the new KANSASWORKS.com website, we were able to provide a more user-friendly experience with easier navigation and improved accessibility. The live chat function on KANSASWORKS.com, the KANSASWORKS Mobile App and virtual job fairs and meetings were beneficial tools used by job seekers and employers throughout the year.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT “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.” APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS In June, the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration announced that the Kansas Department of Commerce Registered Apprenticeship program had been awarded $5,681,403 for the State Apprenticeship Equity, Expansion and Innovation Grant. Kansas will implement justice-involved Registered Apprenticeship and continue to cultivate Youth Apprenticeships. Kansas Registered Apprenticeship has also added new sponsors with non-traditional occupations in the Healthcare and IT industries.
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Mark Sanders Award 2021: Kansas’ Local Area II West received the Mark Sanders Award for Exceptional Service to Veterans with significant barriers to employment – the Workforce Centers recognized include those at Fort Riley, Junction City and Manhattan.
New KANSASWORKS Experience Launched: A new KANSASWORKS.com was launched in February. The improved website included an updated look, a more user-friendly experience with easier navigation, better experiences on phone and tablet and improved accessibility. The website contains tools and resources necessary to assist people seeking employment and to support employers and training providers.
My (Re) Employment Plan (MRP): In June, the My (Re)Employment Plan (MRP) was revived after the passage of HB2196. MRP remains a collaboration between the Kansas Departments of Commerce and Department of Labor and KANSASWORKS Workforce System and provides enhanced reemployment services to Kansans who are unemployed and looking for work. MRP connects unemployment recipients who have received three consecutive Unemployment Insurance payments with KANSASWORKS.com for assistance with resumes and a Job Search Plan. The program is designed to help people achieve their reemployment goals and to reduce time spent on unemployment.
BY THE NUMBERS
LEADERSHIP NOTE The Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP) is passionate about
the opportunities and assets that make rural Kansas an
incredible place to live, work and prosper. With new support programs to train grassroots champions interested in helping their communities thrive; innovative strategies to
ORP FACEOOK FOLLOWERS
revitalize rural downtowns; and strong new housing data to help communities increase housing opportunities in
ORP TWITTER FOLLOWERS
their communities, ORP evolved this past year to become an even better partner, a champion and a switchboard TRISHA PURDON Off ice of Rural Prosperity Director
to rural communities. When rural Kansas prospers, the Sunflower State as a whole prospers.
OVER 6,200 MILES TRAVELED ACROSS KANSAS
GRASSROOTS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COURSES
NEW MURALS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES
This past year, ORP partnered with the Kansas Sampler Foundation to produce the Power Up & Go report. Over 400 Kansans ages 21-39 were asked about their challenges, successes and dreams for living in rural Kansas. #RuralByChoice is a movement we want to encourage and grow. We believe there is no better way to tackle communities’ critical challenges in housing, childcare, broadband, healthcare and economic development than to support the creation of training programs and funding mechanisms, and
PRIORITY AREAS RURAL HOUSING CHILDCARE AND EARLY EDUCATION BROADBAND AND INFRASTRUCTURE WORKFORCE AND RURAL LIVING ART, CULTURE AND DIVERSITY HEALTHCARE AND WELLNESS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
dedicate an ORP staff person’s time to this work. We are rolling out a new Economic Development 101 training program to help train these rural champions so they have tools they need for this important work. We want EVERY rural community to have at least one champion ready to help their community prosper!
OFFICE OF RURAL PROSPERITY “Advocating for and promoting rural Kansas and focusing on ways to guide rural improvements toward prosperity.” TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Housing Market Analysis: ORP partnered with Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) to complete the Kansas Housing Market Analysis, which is providing key data to communities for use in developing housing opportunities as well as strategies and program proposals to encourage housing development across Kansas.
Power Up & Go Report: This report, in partnership with the Kansas Sampler Foundation, addressed key strategies that both ORP and communities can use in recruiting and retaining young people. Based on recommendations from the Power Up & Go Report, the position of Grassroots Strategy Developer was established to aid in local support programs across rural Kansas.
Block 22 Innovations: Kicked off the expansion of the Block 22 Innovations in Rural Housing program designed to assist communities with higher education institutions in establishing downtown housing.
Grassroots Economic Development Training 101: This course is designed to train rural champions on the basics of economic and community development so they can be stronger advocates for initiatives in their communities. Since its launch, 200 people have participated in the training.
THE OFFICE OF RURAL PROSPERITY COVERS 100 KANSAS COUNTIES! 14
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LEADERSHIP NOTE The Kansas Office of Broadband Development (KOBD)
launched the first state-funded effort to expand broadband infrastructure with our 10-year Broadband Acceleration Grant (BAG) program, awarding 14 projects
GRANT TOTAL CATEGORIES INVESTMENTS
across the state and bringing high-quality fiber to many areas for the first time. The BAG program promotes
SMALL BUSINESS WORKING CAPITAL TOTAL GRANT GRANTS AWARDS
public/private partnerships and co-investment with local communities to maximize impact. STANLEY ADAMS Off ice of Broadband Development Director
We also completed closeout of over 60 infrastructure Connectivity Emergency Response Grant projects that were implemented last year as part of our pandemic
response efforts. Driving economic impact means we must focus not only on the physical infrastructure, but also ensure affordable access to quality infrastructure. Affordability continues to represent a significant barrier to connectivity across the state. To that end, our overall strategy focuses on Digital Equity and Adoption and Robust Infrastructure.
To weave these priorities together, we have focused on data analytics and mapping to
person to remain mission-focused. We were able to expand our working relationships
CONNECTIVITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE GRANTS CITIZENS, BUSINESSES BENEFITED AWARDED
ensure we are properly deploying resources to finally close the digital divide by 2030, so that all Kansans can fully participate in the digital economy and make Kansas the go-to destination for business growth. Throughout 2021 we continued to adapt to the environment, working virtually and in and partnerships with key stakeholders from the internet service provider community as well as with those in education, healthcare, agriculture and economic development. Overall, our efforts and programs have helped connect over 50,000 Kansas homes,
BROADBAND FIBER MILES BUILT PARTNERSHIP ADOPTION GRANTS
103 $8,196,894 AWARDED TOTAL PROJECTS
businesses and community anchor institutions, and we have helped 40,000 students and low-income households get access to affordable internet services and devices.
OFFICE OF BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT “Connecting Kansas to the World”
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS Broadband Programs: Launched in 2020, the BAG program is poised to invest $85 million over 10 years to bridge the digital divide in Kansas, thanks to broadband modernization
Broadband Acceleration Grant (BAG) As part of Governor Kelly’s 10-year inf rastructure plan, BAG is currently investing $5 million in 14 inf rastructure projects to deploy robust broadband networks in Kansas.
funding provided by the Kelly Administration’s bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). KOBD opened the second round of Broadband Acceleration Grant (BAG) funding critical in Kansas’ plan to address broadband gaps statewide.
Connecting Kansans: KOBD completed 91 pandemic response projects. This included 66 infrastructure deployments (Connectivity Emergency Response Grants) and 25
Broadband Partnership Adoption Grants (BPAG) As part of our pandemic response, the BPAG program, launched in 2020 with a $10 million investment, continued in 2021 with projects to improve access to broadband services for low-income households across Kansas.
digital equity and adoption (Broadband Partnership Adoption Grants) projects to improve broadband access for Kansans.
Positioned Kansas for future investments: KOBD effectively managed over 100 construction and connectivity projects across the state as part of Governor Kelly’s commitment to getting every Kansas home and business connected. Working with stakeholders in education, healthcare, agriculture, economic development, the internet service provider community and across state
Connectivity Emergency Response Grant (CERG) CERG was another important part of our pandemic response that resulted in the investment of $50 million in over 60 projects to improve connectivity across Kansas.
agencies, KOBD developed a comprehensive state broadband strategy to make Kansas a leading state in connectivity by 2030.
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LEADERSHIP NOTE The past year was a time of rebirth for Kansas Tourism, as
we continued implementing a number of changes and seeing great returns for the state of Kansas.
WEBSITE GRANT PAGE CATEGORIES VIEWS
SMALL TRAVEL BUSINESS GUIDES WORKING PRODUCED CAPITAL GRANTS
$56,941,741 12 VIRTUAL AWARDED HUDDLES
The most significant change was the reorganization of Kansas Tourism into the Department of Commerce. Tourism
connecting us with the state’s economic development agency set us up for even greater success and partnership. BRIDGETTE JOBE
Every new resident is a visitor first and each new business
investment begins with it a trip to Kansas. Having a quality
visitor experience while in Kansas spurs growth in all areas
of economic development. Over the past couple of years, Kansas Tourism has completely transformed the state’s marketing through a new brand and messaging. The “To The Stars” campaign resonates very well with residents and visitors. Kansas Tourism programs and staff have been realigned to elevate our marketing strategies to make sure every position is more
CONNECTIVITY TRAVEL TALK E-NEWSLETTERS EMERGENCY RESPONSE GRANTS
VISITOR E-NEWSLETTERS SENT
BROADBANDSENT PR NEWSLETTERS PARTNERSHIP TO 22,800 INDIVIDUALS ADOPTION GRANTS
efficient. For the first time in many years, we have a dedicated staff member whose primary role is to work with media, travel journalists and influencers; a dedicated staff member focused solely on marketing; plus a dedicated staff member focused solely on providing support and education to our tourism industry partners and communities across the state. These changes were all strategically implemented to make Kansas Tourism more effective and successful. Kansas Tourism now has a strategic plan that defines its mission, vision, values and focus areas and guides us to produce quality and effective marketing efforts.
KANSAS TOURISM “Tourism offers a better quality of life for all Kansans by way of a strong travel industry and economic prosperity.”
TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS New Kansas Tourism Campaign: Kansas Tourism officially unveiled its new “To the Stars” campaign on Kansas Day 2021. This campaign was created to change the perception of Kansas in the hearts of travelers. With a new Kansasinspired color palette, flexible slogan and updated aesthetic standards, the campaign brought a fresh approach to marketing Kansas to travelers. When residents know and own their identity, they become enthusiastic about sharing their love and pride in a
way that attracts out-of-state attention. A Re-engaged Toursim Division: Tourism worked with travel journalists and influencers, invested in our full-time PR and communications staff, hosted four group familiarization tours and sponsored four influencer campaigns. Grants and More: Awarded $200,556 in Attraction Development Grants and Marketing Grants to local communities, and was an Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) finalist and KANSAS Magazine Gold Award Winner.
BY THE NUMBERS
LEADERSHIP NOTE The Kelly Administration and Commerce were historically
successful in 2021 in all facets of economic development. This success included recruiting new companies, attracting capital investment, creating quality jobs and
NEWGRANT EMPLOYEE ORIENTATIONS CATEGORIES
NEW INTERNS SMALL BUSINESS WORKING CAPITAL GRANTS
$56,941,741 CANDIDATE APPLICATIONS PROCESSED AWARDED
SERVICE DESK TICKETS RESOLVED CONNECTIVITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE GRANTS
retaining existing businesses. This unparalleled success would not have been possible without the support of the Operations Division, which includes Fiscal, Information Technology (IT), Legal, Human Resources and Regulatory Compliance. Operations strives to reduce bureaucracy, ROBERT NORTH
provide efficiency and is the “engine” that allows the
Chief Legal Counsel
agency to meet its goals and objectives.
A focus on modernization of processes, including electronic signatures, contract routing and related processes allowed the agency to move forward at the speed of business rather than be slowed down by bureaucracy. Responding to the technological challenges of remote work was a top priority for the IT group. Those challenges were successfully met as IT ensured all staff were able to work effectively from home or in the office. Similarly, the Human Resources team implemented new recruiting methods so the agency could attract high level and qualified staff. Any organization is only as good as its people and Commerce was able to recruit and retain highly talented employees across the agency. Throughout the second year of the pandemic, the Buildings and Facilities team kept our buildings safe, clean and fresh and oversaw several renovations and improvements. Commerce has a physical presence across the state and each building was kept in good condition, allowing our employees to focus on what they do best.
FISCAL PAYMENTS PROCESSED
The Fiscal group provided accurate and reliable budget numbers and oversight, which
operations and new processes were used to rise to the challenge of meeting a growing
BROADBAND PARTNERSHIP ADOPTION GRANTS CONVERSATIONS
08:19 $8,196,894 AVERAGE CHAT AWARDED DURATION
allowed the agency to maximize its fiscal resources to the highest level. The timely and accurate processing of grant and contract payments is a key part of Commerce number of transactions and ever shorter timelines. The Regulatory Compliance group deftly performed all required audits and fiscal reviews of the federally funded Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Wagner Peyser workforce programs that are critical to training and providing job placement services to employment-challenged Kansans. This contributes to the most effective and efficient use of those valuable program dollars. Working proactively, the group provided training and technical assistance encompassing discrimination issues, accessibility and related areas across the state. Operations looks forward to meeting the coming challenges and supporting Commerce as we work to become the best economic development agency in the nation.
OPERATIONS “Providing exceptional Legal, Fiscal, IT and HR services to support Commerce and our state in achieving maximum economic prosperity.” TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Contract Efficiencies: Implemented a new legal contract routing process that included the use of DocuSign to essentially move to paperless agreements. DocuSign allowed Commerce to save well over 10,000 pieces of paper. Constituent Services: The newly created Constituent Services Manager assists constituents - both internal and external to Commerce. Constituent Services has been essential in helping resolve unemployment claims and helping individuals regain their Unemployment Insurance benefits. Constituent Services is also in charge of the Commerce online chat, an integral part of the public-reaching portion of Commerce. Through the chat, Commerce employees are able to talk in real time with members of the public, answering their questions and connecting them to
the proper areas of government. Fiscal Training: Created and facilitated quarterly fiscal training with employees and new staff to ensure that all employees understood the fiscal process.
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LEADERSHIP NOTE The Office of Innovation was launched in 2021, a result of the
Kansas Framework for Growth, which identified Innovation as one of the four pillars critical to the future of the Kansas economy. The data is very clear: Kansas has fallen behind
PROOF OF CONCEPT GRANTS AWARDED
in all aspects of innovation and commercialization but we are taking swift action to rebuild the innovation and
commercialization ecosystem in Kansas. The creation of the Kansas Innovation & Technology Enterprise (KITE)
within the Office of Innovation houses our support TRENT ARMBRUST
programs including the newly formed Proof of Concept
Chief Strategy Off icer
(POC) Fund. Office of Innovation staff are taking a lead
increase the capacity and expertise Kansas can provide to our innovative, high-growth
PROOF OF CONCEPT GRANT AWARDED
in 2022 with new resources providing direct support to Kansas entrepreneurs; specific
role in rebuilding the network of local support partners to entrepreneurs. We expect the momentum gained in 2021 to carry us to greater heights programs focused on diversity and inclusion; and expanded support programs to assist with commercialization.
$169,500 TOTAL PROOF OF CONCEPTS AWARDED
PROOF OF CONCEPT SUCCESS STORY: JogAlong Stroller had developed a new stroller design that embraces the flow of a runner’s natural arm movement. With four global patents and the world’s first stroller that accommodates the natural running and walking form, JogAlong is ready to build and validate a pre-production version of the JogAlong Stroller with a low-cost entry to market through reduction of tooling costs. Working with a Kansas Department of Commerce Proof of Concept Innovation Ecosystem partner in Wichita – Groover Labs – JogAlong defined their needs and applied for a Proof of Concept grant. Founder Mike Dresher said: “Working with Groover Labs and the Kansas Department of Commerce was a valuable learning experience, and the Proof of Concept funds will help us take a significant step toward launching our product into the marketplace.”
OFFICE OF INNOVATION TOP 3 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Office of Innovation Creation: The Office of Innovation was launched to help spur innovation and support entrepreneurs in Kansas. The office expanded with the hiring of Director of Innovation Wade Wiebe, who has experience and expertise in tech transfer, commercialization and
ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT SUCCESS STORY:
Knowledge as a Service, Inc. (KaaS), a transplant from San Diego, CA, to Wichita, is growing in Kansas thanks to investments in innovation and entrepreneurial assets like the Angel Investor Tax Credit program. KaaS co-founder and COO B.W. Barkley gives credit to the angel tax credit program: “The Angel Investor Tax Credit Program is a win-win for both investors and entrepreneurs, incentivizing investors to fund startups by receiving 50 percent of their investment back in tax credit.” In 2022 KaaS will move into newly renovated space
Kansas Innovation & Technology Enterprise (KITE): KITE was created to help cultivate and support innovation and commercialization efforts in Kansas. Through KITE, companies with advanced, innovative technology can find resources to help them expand,
at the Garvy Center with plans to grow its workforce to 35
creating additional revenue and new jobs in Kansas.
people by the end of the year.
KITE programs are designed to further research, spur commercialization and assist entrepreneurs in raising funds to expand their businesses.
Proof of Concept (POC): The KITE POC directly invests small amounts of capital into for-profit startup companies and university faculty-led efforts to help advance their technology toward commercialization. Through an application process, funding opportunities are accepted throughout the year. The POC review committee meets on a quarterly basis to review proposals and make recommendations for funding.
BY THE NUMBERS
LEADERSHIP NOTE The Marketing-Communications team continued to achieve impressive growth in quantity and quality of content. The team’s efforts in producing timely
digital and print content helped showcase the good work of the agency in areas ranging from community
development programs and services to workforce and, of course, a record-breaking year for business investment announcements in Kansas.
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
25,431 AVERAGE MONTHLY WEBSITE USERS
17,478 FOLLOWERS ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
62.5% AUDIENCE GROWTH OVER 2020
15,524 NEW WEBSITE USERS MONTHLY
DENA SATTLER Public Affairs Senior Director
The team produced special standalone products including a comprehensive booklet detailing the new Framework for Growth, the state’s first economic development plan in more than three decades, and also
the agency’s first Annual Report in recent memory. Interest in online content rose in 2021, as evidenced by increased traffic and time on site for kansascommerce.gov. The website also saw substantial content updates in 2021 after the redesigned site rollout in early 2020, including the addition of programs and services for the people of Kansas, as well as more engaging content by way of video on the site. The Marketing-Communications team envisions still more growth in the coming year to help connect Kansans and communities with resources they need, while also highlighting the good work being done in the state’s effort to support more business investment and community improvements throughout the state. Marketing-Communications also received a Certificate of Merit in the Southern Economic Development Council Communications Awards competition for Commerce’s Annual Report in 2020.
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
MOST SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS YEAR IN KANSAS HISTORY
JOIN THE TEAM
FRAMEWORK FOR GROWTH OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE This past year was amazing in recovery and expansion efforts for the Kansas economy, which demonstrated how our collective resilience and hard work can pay off. It also became clear the world we left in 2020 is now very different. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of technology in every aspect of our lives, driving unprecedented changes in our homes and businesses. This past year also highlighted the importance of innovation to the future of our economy. The Framework for Growth, developed during the pandemic, has been on target with its pillars of Talent, Innovation, Community Assets and Policy. Talent: We all need to develop new skills to be successful in our increasingly automated world, which is creating unimagined opportunities. Innovation: Now more than ever, Kansans need to use their ingenuity to create new technologies and businesses. There has never been a more favorable time for Kansas to develop the next generation of great global businesses. Community Assets: Broadband, incubators, business parks and vibrant downtowns are needed to help grow new businesses and retain our families with high-paying careers. Lastly, Policy: Our state policies must be reviewed and changed on a regular basis so Kansas can successfully participate in a rapidly evolving, highly competitive global economy. Blockchain, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, clean energy, cybersecurity, artif icial intelligence, robotics and 5G are shaping our world today and with the Framework for Growth as a guide, alignment with our partners, and the appropriate investment of our time and treasure, Kansas will prosper.
5 YEARS STABILIZE AND REPOSITION (2021 – 2025) Reverse negative trends and set a clear growth trajectory by building a foundation through initiation of new programs, policies and investments.
10 YEARS PUNCH ABOVE OUR WEIGHT (2026 – 2030) As investments begin to yield substantive gains, they drive our competitive position in key economic outcomes to the top half of all states.
15 YEARS REALIZE A “FUTURE PROOF” ECONOMY (2031 – 2035) Modernized approaches will become ingrained, effects will be compounded and the return on investment will be evident as our state has emerged in an elite tier, positioning itself for long-term competitiveness, and gaining a national reputation as a disruptor rather than the disrupted.
Distribution, Logistics and Transportation
Food and Agriculture
Professional and Technical Services
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN The Kansas Framework for Growth is intended to be a flexible and responsive model to guide our state’s investments in a manner that supports its long-term growth and competitiveness. Capacity Supporting the Framework: Kansas Competitiveness Project – An aggressive new program to focus and direct resources toward the development of new skills and technologies that can drive our performance in the state’s target sectors. Regional Excellence Initiative (REI) – The Regional Excellence Initiative (REI) is a new effort to direct state resources and technical assistance in support of regional planning efforts that align with the Framework for Growth. Chief Strategy Officer – A new position within the Department of Commerce that serves as the organizational backbone to the Framework for Growth and a resource to various state agencies, regional partners and private industry to help accelerate and align the state’s investments around the Framework. Measuring Progress: Measure our relative competitiveness and its change over time.
SB 65 TWO HIGH PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE PROGRAM (HPIP) BILLS APPROVED
SB 66 ANGEL INVESTOR TAX CREDIT •
Five-year extension of the program.
Increased tax credits for both the program
Removed the linkage between Kansas
and the investor.
Industrial Training (KIT)/ Kansas Industrial Retraining(KIR) and High
Easier transferability .
Perfomance Incentive Program (HPIP).
Removed the 2% training requirement
Allows for up to 50% of HPIP Credits to be transferred, for projects placed into service as of January 1, 2021.
SB 90 RURAL HOUSING INCENTIVE DISTRICT (RHID) APPROVED •
KANSAS TOURISM APPROVED •
can now create an RHID.
Department of Commerce.
Revised the program to include vertical construction on Main Street.
The Governor’s Executive Reorganization Order moved Kansas Tourism back to the
Any city under 60,000 or any county under 80,000
SB 124 STAR BONDS APPROVED •
Extended the program and included numerous reforms related to transparency, community input and effectiveness.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES
GOLD SHOVEL WINNER
TOP 20 STATES
The annual award recognizes states for attracting
After winning the coveted Gold Shovel award earlier this year,
high-value investment projects that create a
the Top 20 States for Doing Business accolade further validated
significant number of new jobs in their communities.
Kansas as the best place to do business, and 2021 marked the
After previously winning Silver Shovel awards, Kansas
first time Kansas was listed in the Top 20 States since Area
in 2021 collected the more prestigious Gold Shovel.
Development started the award in 2011.
1 OF 8 STATES NATIONWIDE SITE SELECTION
FOR DOING BUSINESS AREA DEVELOPMENT
Since Governor Kelly took office in January 2019, over $7.6 billion in new business investment has been announced in Kansas, with over 40,000 jobs created or retained.
#1 BUSINESS CLIMATE
MOST IMPROVED STATE
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SITE SELECTION
In 2021, Kansas jumped 3 spots to take the No.
Kansas had the most dramatic jump in economic
1 ranking in the West North Central region
development success of any state in the country in 2020.
for business climate. Kansas was followed by
After improving from No. 20 in 2019 to No. 10 in 2020, Kansas
Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota,
was named “most improved” for its year-to-year progress in
and North Dakota.
per capita economic development projects.
IN OUR REGION
NO. 10 STATE IN THE NATION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS PER CAPITA SITE SELECTION Along with being the Most Improved State, Kansas jumped dramatically in the rankings because of projects like headquarters, manufacturing plants, research and development operations and logistics sites, among others. Also, several Kansas communities were recognized as top-performing “micropolitan” areas, including Coffeyville, Hutchinson, McPherson, Pittsburg and Salina.
1000 SW JACKSON, SUITE 100 TOPEKA, KS 66612-1354 PHONE (785) 296-3481 | FAX (785) 296-3665
1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 100 Topeka, Kansas 66612-1354 785.296.3481 | kansascommerce.gov