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w i n d

The Arts as an Economic Power

Lee Aerospace Global in Wichita

p o w e r

Pinnacle Technology Aiding Brain Studies

A New Rail Hub In Edgerton and KC issue 3 / volume 1 / fall 2017


issue 3 / volume 1 / fall 2017

a welcome. Kansas Department of Commerce Sam Brownback GOVERNOR

Jeff Colyer

LT. GOVERNOR

Nick Jordan

KDC INTERIM SECRETARY

David R. Soffer

Alicia Hutchings

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND RESEARCH

MARKETING EXECUTIVE

Emily Fitzgerald

OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Tim Hutton

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Emily Fitzgerald

OUTREACH COORDINATOR

Peter Jasso

DIRECTOR, KANSAS CREATIVE ARTS INDUSTRIES COMMISSION

Susan NeuPoth Cadoret

ACTING DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Randi Tveitaraas Jack INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

April Chiang

INTERNATIONAL TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

WWW.SUNFLOWERPUB.COM LAWRENCE, KANSAS

WWW.MCAPRINT.COM WICHITA, KANSAS

DESIGN & PRODUCTION

PRINTER

Bob Cucciniello

Cheryl Wells

DIRECTOR

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Shelly Bryant

DESIGNER/ART DIRECTOR

Nathan Pettengill EDITOR

Nathan Peterson

MARKETING, (785) 832-7109

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Fally Afani | Amber Fraley Suzanne Heck | Carolyn Kaberline CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Kevin Anderson | Justin Lister | Aaron Patton Sarah Reeves | Michael C. Snell | Bill Stephens Please mail all editorial inquiries to: Kansas Commerce, 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 100, Topeka, KS 66612 e-mail: editorial@sunflowerpub.com The articles and photographs that appear in Kansas Commerce magazine may not be broadcast, published or otherwise reproduced without the express written consent of Kansas Department of Commerce or the appropriate copyright owner. Unauthorized use is prohibited. Additional restrictions may apply.

The state of Kansas is the center of innovation for aviation not only for the United States, but for the world. From our brilliantly thriving businesses, to our top-notch education system and research institutions, the Sunflower State is the location to be if you want to be a local or world-wide aviation innovator or manufacturer. The aviation industry exemplifies an attitude of excellence and aptitude that all Kansas businesses share. There is no greater responsibility than holding lives in your hands. That is exactly what aviation and aerospace innovators, researchers, engineers and technical workers do every day when they design or build an airplane. Every time a piece of equipment is designed, engineered, manufactured or tested in Kansas, it is a testimony to the level of excellence and quality that is accomplished when a superb business climate and infrastructure, a skilled workforce and a world-class education system are combined. From aircraft to engines and engine parts, Kansas is home to one of the great aviation clusters of the world. In the Wichita-area alone, there are over 350 aviation and aerospace related businesses, of all sizes. These businesses support one another with a technological proclivity and a motivation that goes unrivaled around the world. Companies like Spirit AeroSystems, Textron and Boeing as well as overseas companies like Leonardo-Finmeccanica and Airbus have seen the overwhelming advantage of choosing Kansas as a place to grow and lead in this industry. These advantages are also due, in part also due, in part, to the skilled and dedicated workers that Kansas prizes above all else. With the skills, education, knowledge and experience to craft the most intricate parts to the largest of sections, Kansas workers are secondto-none. The aviation and aerospace industry employs nearly 33,000 people in Kansas, all of which are dedicated, hard-working and highly-trained. From open space to aerospace, the aviation sector in Kansas is a hive of innovation and dedication to excellence and quality with a heartland touch that can only come from Kansas.

Nick Jordan

Interim Secretary, Kansas Department of Commerce KansasCommerce.gov

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Tricia Kensinger-Rice

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT RECRUITMENT MANAGER


Departments

06 | Now Open

Working to expand the economic footprint of Kansas businesses

08 | Powered By

Providing energy to Kansas with traditional and new-generation sources

09 | WorkForce

Helping workers and employers find perfect matches

10 | Ad Astra

Exploring the ways hi-tech industries expand the frontiers page

12 | Palette

10

04

Examining the arts as an economic force in Kansas

14 | Made in Kansas

what’s inside.

Bringing the products and identity of Kansas to the market

16 | Hometown

Surveying successful local business initiatives in Kansas towns

Features

18 | The Wind Way

page

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Development of wind energy in Kansas boosts commerce across the state

24 | Cultural Capitols and Capital

New Kansas Art Centers Improve Life and Economy

Back of the Book

30 | Wind Resources of Kansas page

Mapping out the strong winds of Kansas

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w i n d

The Arts as an Economic Power

Lee Aerospace Global in Wichita

p o w e r

Pinnacle Technology Aiding Brain Studies

A New Rail Hub In Edgerton and KC issue 3 / volume 1 / fall 2017

On the cover Wind turbines in central-south Kansas. Photograph by Michael C. Snell


page

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nowopen THE BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE AND LOGISTICS PARK KANSAS CITY INTERMODAL FACILITY

RAIL ADVANTAGE

64,000 feet of BNSF railroad track on the facility

4,300 number of container stacking points

1,810 number of paved parking spaces for distribution vehicles

8 wide-span, all-electric loading cranes

Our partnerships in Kansas have been unparalleled to anything we’ve seen.

Being in the center of it all has advantages. For the past five years, Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) has flourished by taking advantage of Kansas’ middle-of-the-nation geography to get products quickly to clients across the nation. This 1,700-acre facility in the northeastern Kansas City suburb of Edgerton combines a railroad hub run by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) with a business park hosting distribution centers for top national companies such as Amazon, UPS, Smart Warehousing, Flexsteel and Kubota. By being in immediate proximity to rail distribution lines, these businesses save time and money on distribution. The location also allows easy access to four interstate highway routes that branch out across the United States. Colby Tanner, BNSF’s assistant vice-president of economic development, points out that LPKC has the unique ability to load products directly from the manufacturer to rail cars. For example, frozen meats exporter ColdPoint Logistics has a refrigerated warehouse on the LPKC grounds where they can load meats into rail containers on a truck spur that leads directly to the BNSF mainline. Other perishable products can be delivered via a four-lane roadway overpass and directly to railcars. That overpass, a recent construction, was made possible through coordination with local, state and national officials. “Our partnerships in Kansas have been unparalleled to anything we’ve seen,” says Tanner. “The Kansas legislature, the Department of Transportation, the local community of Edgerton and those nearby are just a few of the groups that helped make the park a success. LPKC has far exceeded our expectations for growth, and it would not have been made possible without the collaborative effort of the helping agencies that got the park going.” The local economy has also benefited greatly as well. Some 3,000 jobs are estimated to have been created in the Edgerton region since the creation of the rail distribution park.

PHOTOGRAPHS Courtesy BNSF

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BY THE NUMBERS


nowopen 07 OPPOSITE Distributors can locate warehouses on the grounds of the logistics park to take advantage of the (ABOVE) intermodal rail facilities for immediate deliveries.


poweredby 08

CLEAN TO GREEN: RENEWABLE ENERGY MEANS BIG BUCKS FOR KANSAS Every autumn, Kansas gets a little greener. That’s because for the past years, every September, the Kansas Department of Commerce has hosted a conference focusing on renewable energy. This year’s event, September 26–27, focused on the theme of advanced energy and technology innovations, features sessions on energy trends, policy issues, solar development and biofuels. With more than 200 attendees—primarily vendors, utilities, developers, and manufacturers— the event’s goal is to keep the state looking forward (and saving money) with energy sources. “The most important thing is that we’re keeping our businesses current on opportunities in innovation and renewable energy, even traditional energy,” says Susan NeuPoth Cadoret, acting director of business and community development for the Kansas Department of Commerce. “Those are all opportunities to help keep their operating costs down as they go forward and to grow our economy overall.” One of the more popular opportunities for renewable energy comes from a sector where Kansas excels. “Kansas is already a leader in the wind industry. We’re second in wind potential, and fifth in the amount of installed wind capacity in the state,” says Randi Tveitaraas Jack, international development director for the Kansas Department of Commerce. Tveitaraas Jack notes that wind energy has brought in $10 billion worth of investment thanks to construction jobs, subcontractors, and lease payments to land owners. “So we’re already a leader in that area, and a lot of companies who come to the energy conference have done some business in Kansas and are looking for more activity.” Some of that activity will come from other sectors the conference hopes to spotlight. “We have new wind farms coming online, or solar farms will do updates,” says NeuPoth Cadoret. “A lot of focus has recently been involved in transmission issues and energy storage, especially with renewable energy. So we’re trying to tap into what’s happening in the industry in those sectors.”

20, 30 AND 50 GOALS

The most important thing is that we’re keeping our businesses current on opportunities in innovation and renewable energy, even traditional energy.

Kansas has already met the goal of having 20% of its energy come from renewables, and is currently at 30%, ranking among the top 3 states in the nation. Governor Sam Brownback has announced a new goal of 50%, demonstrating the state’s continued interest in renewable energy.

Numerous wind farms are located throughout the Kansas plains.


We knew Amazon was going to come with expectations and requirements, and we wanted to ready the community for that.

PHOTOGRAPHS (LEFT TO RIGHT) Shutterstock, Bill Stephens

WIN-WIN JOB FAIRS

Matt Campbell, former business services manager of Workforce Partnership, says KansasWorks and Workforce Partnership saw an additional benefit to the Amazon community job fairs. Local partners were able to meet with potential employees who did not meet Amazon’s parameters but who still offered valuable skills. This allowed both job-seekers and community employers to walk away with their next step in mind. “There’s a very large, diverse population in Kansas City, Kansas, and there are 60 or 70 languages spoken in that city,” says Keely Schneider, executive director of Workforce Partnership. “That was an interesting challenge for us around this community as one of the requirements Amazon had was the ability to speak and understand English proficiently.” To help with this, Workforce Partnership brought in its local adult basic education and English as a second language partner, Kansas City Kansas Community College, to each of the Amazon job fairs. Schneider says her staff and partners advised job-seekers who were not immediately hired to take a long-term view. Because Amazon likely will continue to hire, potential employees should not give up hope, but instead let Workforce Partnership help them develop qualifications that will make them more attractive candidates.

WorkForce employees assist candidates to prepare for job interviews.

workforce

Before national retail giant Amazon entered Wyandotte County, the Kansas Department of Commerce KansasWorks program and Workforce Partnership teamed up with community organizations for a collaborative, grassroots effort to ensure local residents were qualified to meet Amazon’s hiring standards. With hopes of first filling as many as 1,500 entry-level jobs with qualified local residents, KansasWorks and Workforce Partnership hosted eight job fairs, one in each of the county’s districts, throughout June. These events were designed to get residents immediate access to the online job applications and assessment tests and to support those individuals who may not meet Amazon requirements, such as a high school diploma or GED, English language proficiency or other basic educational needs. “We knew Amazon was going to come with expectations and requirements, and we wanted to ready the community for that,” says Keely Schneider, executive director of Workforce Partnership. “So this idea originated with the thought of moving as many people out of unemployment or out of a very low paying job with no future, no career path and no benefits and move them into a position with Amazon that is full time with benefits.” Shevaun Brown, the regional operations PR manager for Amazon Strategic Communications, says Amazon is excited to be an employer of choice in Wyandotte County. In addition to highly competitive wages, Amazon employees receive comprehensive benefits starting on day one that include medical, dental and vision insurance as well as 401(k) and company stock awards. Throughout the month of June, Workforce Partnership and KansasWorks saw 2,400 local individuals come through the Amazon job fairs. Amazon began their soft, rolling launch of the new facility at the end of July and had received 8,200 applications for the 1,500 available positions. With the effort made to promote this event to Wyandotte County residents, Schneider said she was happy to see that 40 percent of those applications were from individuals in Wyandotte County and 54 percent of the applications were from Kansas residents. With the great success of the first round of applications, Schneider says Amazon was able to announce the hiring of an additional 800 employees and an increase in the wage for entry-level positions by $1 per hour. “We’re always looking for enthusiastic, hardworking individuals who have a strong work ethic and commitment to customer service,” Brown says. “And we’ve found that here in Kansas City.”

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Qualified Up


adastra

AWARD WINNING ADVANCES

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TIBBETT’S AWARD (a national award from the Small Business Administration for technology companies) SUCCESS AGAINST ALL ODDS AWARD (from the Association of Caring Entrepreneurs in Kansas City) 150 KANSAS SCIENTISTS LIST (by Ad Astra Kansas, an affiliate of the Kansas Space Grant Consortium) EXCELLENCE IN COMMERCE AWARD FOR TECHNOLOGY (from Lawrence Chamber of Commerce)

PINNACLE TECHNOLOGY INC. HELPS STUDY THE BRAIN It started as a business in the basement of Donna Johnson’s house, but in 22 years, Pinnacle Technology, Inc. has grown into an award-winning high technology company with an international reach. Johnson, who is president and CEO of Pinnacle, was an energy expert and oceanographer who had worked for the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory before coming to Kansas City. By 1995, Johnson decided to strike out on her own and chose Lawrence for its proximity to metropolitan areas, the presence of the University of Kansas and, its great quality of life. One year later, her brother, David, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, joined the business as a co-owner and chief technology officer. The company creates products that researchers use to better understand the brain, how it works and is affected by different diseases or drugs. The Pinnacle team includes biologists, chemists, electrical engineers and software developers as well as those that have backgrounds in manufacturing, marketing, IT and administration. “Many of them joined us right out of college or the military, and it is because of our employees that we have gained an international reputation for quality products and customer service,” says Johnson. Pinnacle Tech sells its research, instrument and software products to research and government laboratories, universities and pharmaceutical companies. Approximately 40 percent of the company’s overall sales are international, going out to 38 countries. Johnson credits Kansas agencies for helping her firm get off the ground. She says that KU’s Small Development Center helped in the early stages of the company and that the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) kicked in with loans that enabled the company to do initial research. That funding then allowed Pinnacle to compete for federal grants to develop commercially viable products. Next, the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) matched federal grants used for marketing products, a move that exponentially increased sales. “We have a successful business because of the help the state gave us at crucial points in our development,” Johnson says.

[I]t is because of our employees that we have gained an international reputation for quality products and customer service.

PHOTOGRAPHS Sarah Reeves

Pinnacle Technology, Inc., has won these awards for its work that focuses primarily on designing, manufacturing and selling tools for researchers to study the brain.


adastra 11 OPPOSITE Donna and David Johnson lead hi-tech research and development by their employees (ABOVE) at Pinnacle Technology in Lawrence.


A cardboard figure of John Brown, created by artist Wayne Wright, hangs at Harvester Arts in Wichita.


palette

The Business of Art

In Wichita’s Old Town Neighborhood, the Harvester Arts program is working to connect art lovers with the process of art and artists with the process of bringing their art to market. Kate Van Steenhuyse, one of the co-founders and organizers behind Harvester Arts, says the goal of the program is to increase conversations in the community. “One of the main things we provide is access to the ideas and processes of art making,” says Van Steenhuyse. “When you only see finished products, it’s hard to see how someone got from Point A to Point B. So we’re trying to expose people to that whole process. If you can understand why someone did what they did, it makes it a lot more accessible, and I think it empowers people.” One of the key steps is bringing out-of-town artists to Wichita through a residency program. “Artists need feedback for their ideas, and they need thoughtful critical feedback. They also need exposure to each other’s ideas,” Van Steenhuyse says. “Most of the time when you experience artwork, you’re seeing a finished piece in a museum or gallery. What we do is bring the artists in so they can talk about their ideas and their process.” Through the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission, Harvester Arts was able to secure a grant for a program that expands their mission with a two-day event. Artists will speak on a panel, followed by a one-day workshop called “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life in Kansas.” The goal is to show how artists can be of value to the local economy beyond just selling their work. “Too often in communities, artists are thought of as producers of a consumable product. That’s great, but that is not the only value of what an artist does in a community,” Van Steenhuyse says. “Artists are entrepreneurs, and artists are small businesses. There are a lot of ways that artists participate in local economies that are much more complex.”

PHOTOGRAPHS Aaron Patton

Harvester Arts is bringing in out-of-town artists for panels followed by one-day workshops about living as an artist and discussing challenges to living a creative life in the Wichita area.

The first takes place on Friday, November 17, with artist Sharon Louden, author of The Artist as Cultural Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. This will be followed by a workshop on Saturday, November 19, with plans to identify and address challenges.

The program is open to working artists, arts organizers and nonprofit community leaders. The Friday event is free; a fee of $25 is required for the all-day Saturday workshops. Details available at harvesterarts.com

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Artists are entrepreneurs, and artists are small businesses.

LIVING AND SUSTAINING A CREATIVE LIFE IN KANSAS

ABOVE The Harvester Arts center is led by Kristin Beal, Kate Van Steenhuyse and Ryan Gates.


madeinkansas 14 Lee Aerospace produces aviation industry parts from its headquarters and plant in Wichita.


I’m happy and extremely pleased to have it back as a privately owned business in Wichita.

Kansas aviation has a rich history, and that tradition continues to be advanced with success stories such as Lee Aerospace in Wichita. Founded in 1989 by Jim Lee, the company was purchased by the Triumph Group in 2000, and then reacquired by Lee in 2014. “Although it was a great experience being part of a large group, I’m happy and extremely pleased to have it back as a privately owned business in Wichita,” Lee says. “We currently employ 250 people and continue to look for new opportunities in airplane windows and composite assemblies.” Long recognized as a leader in the manufacturing of acrylic aircraft windows, aero-structure assemblies and composite parts, Lee Aerospace currently provides parts to distributors around the world. It also has provided Viking 400 twin fuselages to Canada for the past three and a half years. With this success at home and abroad, Lee Aerospace won the state’s Exporter of the Year Award during this year’s International Trade Day held June 6 at Emporia State University. Lee describes winning this award as “extremely exciting” and attributes it to “the great people working here. They are what create success for our company.” He also said that the city of Wichita, Sedgwick County and the state of Kansas had been essential partners in helping the company win the Viking 400 project that enabled Lee Aerospace to “secure jobs in Kansas and to eventually help us win this award.”

THE EXPORTER OF THE YEAR AWARD

PHOTOGRAPHS Justin Lister

Nominated for the award by Glen Heil, director of after-market sales at Lee Aerospace, the company then underwent a visit by representatives of the Kansas Department of Commerce and gave a video presentation to the Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council about their history and export initiatives. Based on this presentation as well as their use of foreign language promotional materials, network of overseas distributors, and long-range international strategies and prospects for future growth among other criteria, Lee Aerospace was named the 2017 Exporter of the Year during this year’s International Trade Day held June 6 at Emporia State University. OTHER FINALISTS FOR THE 2017 EXPORTER OF THE YEAR AWARD INCLUDED: Bergkamp, Inc. Salina-based manufacturer of equipment to maintain pavement. KSI Conveyors, Inc. Sabetha-based manufacturer of agricultural equipment, including conveyors and seed bins. Schroer Manufacturing Company (Shor-Line) Kansas City-based manufacturer of animal care equipment, such as veterinarian examination tables.

madeinkansas 15

Kansas Aviation Abroad


hometown This year, 68 businesses were nominated for the 2017 Governor’s Award of Excellence in four categories: Manufacturing/ Distribution, Service, Retail and Hospital/Non-Profit. Finalists for the 2017 award included: Certainteed Corporation McPherson Community National Bank and Trust Chanute Boot Hill Distillery Dodge City United Telephone Assn., Inc./ United Wireless Comm, Inc. Dodge City

CHOOSING WHERE TO THRIVE When Cereal Ingredients founder and CEO Robert Hatch was looking for a new location for his Kansas City-based company in 2005, his first choice was Leavenworth, Kansas. Honoring a promise to the Leavenworth County Port Authority to bring job growth in exchange for land, Cereal Ingredients quickly proved an important addition to its new hometown. Since arriving, the specialty food ingredients manufacturer has increased its work force from 32 to 184 and its plant size from 40,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet—with options for additional land in the region. Cereal Ingredients has also been heavily involved in the community through its offer of scholarships, participation in a variety of fundraising events and festivals, and donation of 800 muffins per quarter to one of the city’s churches for distribution to the food insecure. “The state of Kansas has been good to us,” Hatch says. “We are doing super well here. We’re growing at a good rate, both in our physical plant and in our products, with approximately three percent of our income going to research and development.” The holder of numerous domestic and international patents, Cereal Ingredients currently markets more than 250 products—with non-GMO options—that add flavor, texture or color to foods such as cereals, rolls or even ice cream. As a result of its overall success, business growth and community connection, Cereal Ingredients received the 2017 Kansas Governor’s Award of Excellence, the top state recognition given to a state business. In addition to the Kansas Governor’s Award of Excellence, Cereal Ingredients also won the 2009 Kansas Exporter of the Year Award.

The state of Kansas has been good to us. We are doing super well here.

PHOTOGRAPHS Kevin Anderson

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2017 GOVERNOR’S AWARD OF EXCELLENCE


hometown 17 Cereal Ingredients provides food components that are used in products across the nation.


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the

wind way PHOTOGRAPH Courtesy Michael C. Snell

Development of wind energy in Kansas boosts commerce across the state

Story by Amber Fraley


It’s no secret that Kansas is windy. But what’s a nuisance for hairstyles is quickly becoming one of Kansas’ key commodities.

kansas wind facts

PHOTOGRAPHS courtesy Cloud County Community College and Michael C. Snell

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In the last ten years, the wind energy industry in Kansas has gone from almost non-existent to ranking fourth in the nation in total wind power generated. But Kansas has the potential to be the nation’s second-largest wind-energy producer, coming in just behind behemoth Texas. If wind energy investment trends continue, Kansas will meet that potential soon. Development and generation of wind energy have met or outpaced goals set by Kansas governors Sebelius and Brownback, and for now, see no sign of slowing down. In 2005, then-governor Kathleen Sebelius set a goal that Kansas generate 10 percent of its power with wind energy within the decade. In 2012, Kansas had doubled its wind generation. In June 2016, Governor Sam Brownback announced a goal for Kansas to be powered 50 percent by renewable energy by January 2019. Currently, Kansas is generating about 30 percent of its power by wind. According to the American Wind Energy Association, Kansas will generate 5,000 MW of wind energy in 2017, well on track for its goals. In fact, by 2030, the state’s power system could provide 7,000 megawatts for export from wind energy each year. This growth in power has come from direct investment. Since 2001, there have been investments of ten billion dollars of private money in Kansas wind energy. Companies such as NextEra Energy based in Florida; Enel Green Power North America, headquartered in Massachusetts (with roots in Rome); BP Wind Energy with world headquarters in London; and TradeWind Energy headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, have been drawn to Kansas’s prime position in the nation’s wind corridor. In 2010, Siemens Energy chose Kansas as the site of the company’s new wind turbine production facility, citing the state’s transportation advantages, pro-business climate and new financial incentives for wind manufacturing projects. The company has a 300,000 square-foot hub and nacelle (the housing for a wind turbine engine) plant in Hutchinson that employs about 360 people. In early 2017, Siemens merged with Spain-based Gamesa, and the plant has begun manufacturing an updated nacelle design to fit the latest, most efficient turbine design. Since opening, the plant has produced parts for at least 3,700 turbines with ideal access to some of the nation’s prime wind-generation regions. At least six major wind turbine manufacturers have nacelle production plants within a 500-mile radius of Kansas. “Kansas is well on its way to achieving the new, nation-leading goal,” says Kimberly Svaty, the public policy director of the nonprofit Kansas Wind Coalition. Ranks 3rd in the nation in wind Most of the investments into Kansas wind energy have energy (as a percentage of total gone into the wind farms themselves, but development state energy generation) at 29.6% companies have also been responsible for beefing up Kansas’ electricity transmission lines in order to handle the new Ranks 4th in total generation from infusions of electricity to the grid. And outside investments wind power in the nation with 14.1 will also ensure that electricity can be exported to other million Mwh (but Kansas will move states’ grids. Currently, most of the wind power generated in up in this ranking) Kansas is being consumed by Kansans, but there will come a point when we generate more than we need. Corporate clients of Kansas wind “Since Kansas is not a heavily populated state with power include Google, Yahoo! and ever-increasing power needs like many of the larger urban Microsoft centers, if Kansas wants to continue to develop its wind resource, it will need to export our wind energy—just like Source: Kansas Department of Commerce we export our beef, wheat and airplanes,” says Svaty.


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windfall

PHOTOGRAPH Michael C. Snell

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Investment in wind farms means creating lease agreements with individual landowners, farmers and ranchers in Kansas’ rural areas. Though agreements vary, Svaty says that most landowners can expect to be paid $3,000 to $6,000 per MW generated. Steve Stengel, director of communication for NextEra Energy Resources, says his company made its first investment in Kansas wind in 2001 and today has seven wind farms across the state. Its most recently built wind farm is located in Kingman County and came online in late 2016. “All of the power that the project generates is being purchased by Westar [the state electrical energy company], so it’s consumed in the state of Kansas,” says Stengel. “In round numbers, it’s a 200 megawatt project, which means it has the capability of generating enough power for about 50 thousand homes.” Physically, the Kingman Wind Energy Center comprises 120 wind turbines spread out over 25,000 acres and several landowners—though each wind turbine takes up only about an acre of land. “So it’s spread out over a large area, but the foot print is really quite small,” explained Stengel. Currently, landowners benefit from a state tax-exemption on renewable energy equipment. Because of that exemption, most wind farm developers negotiate direct payments to the communities in which they build. Kingman County, for instance, received a $20 million payment known as a host-community agreement. “It’s our way of compensating the county because renewable equipment is exempt from property taxes in Kansas,” says Stengel. In total, NextEra invested a little more than $300 million to get the Kingman wind farm up and running, and the agreements last for 30 years. At the end of 30 years, NextEra will either tear the site down, or more likely, retrofit it with newer, more efficient turbines. The construction of the wind farm also meant jobs for folks in and around Kingman County. “When the project was constructed, it took about 200 construction workers to build the project, and today the site is maintained by eleven full-time employees,” says Stengel. Various estimates place the total number of Kansas jobs associated directly with wind power at 5,000 or even 6,000, with more jobs indirectly tied to the industry. Kansas wind energy Because wind farms necessarily have to be located in the more is generating rural areas of the state, they’re bringing new capital investments, and new life, to areas of Kansas that up until recently, have been —Large cash infusions in experiencing losses in money and population. Whereas most of the rural communities wind turbine equipment itself used to be imported to Kansas, the industry is now creating new manufacturing jobs. —Cash payments to rural The industry has also created an education industry to train Kansas landowners workers. Kansas colleges, community colleges and technical schools have had to meet the challenge of training a new generation —New jobs in of wind turbine technicians. Cloud County Community College maintenance and began one of the nation’s first—and still one of a handful—wind manufacturing technician training programs. “The program,” says Svaty, “is now certified by the American —New programs for Wind Energy Association. It boasts a 100-percent job placement Kansas colleges and rate.” technical schools Other areas of growth spurred by the wind industry include supporting roles in finance, legal, logistical, manufacturing, —Clean, renewable engineering and other professions. And perhaps the best part? All energy for use at home of this growth and job creating is happening in a sustainable, clean and export energy sector that puts out no greenhouse emissions, creates zero toxic waste and requires no use of valuable water resources. Source: Kansas Department That’s a future potential with very few limitations in sight. of Commerce


24 RIGHT Angi Hejduk, CEO of InterUrban Art House, is part of a movement to create artistic hubs that contribute to the growth of local economies. OPPOSITE Detail from The Moment Between, acrylic and oil pastel by InterUrban ArtHouse artist Jill Gapczynsk. Photograph by Jea Reece Hyun.


CULTURAL CAPITOLS &CAPITAL New Kansas Art Centers Improve Life and Economy

Story by Fally Afani Photography by Kevin Anderson


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A little art opening can go a long way when it’s in the right spot. Just ask anyone who’s ever attended an art show, watched a performance, gone out to dinner, tipped a busker, and then recommended an area to friends. Art dollars add up for a community, which is why creative arts districts are popping up in more cities across the state. One of those arts district is in Johnson County, home to InterUrban ArtHouse, an organization working hard to keeping artists and their community financially stable. Currently, the facility is two buildings that offer a community center for art events and affordable workspaces for approximately 40 artists. A recent Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts is helping InterUrban plan a new arts district in the Overland Park area. That creative space can be difficult for artists to find on their own. InterUrban’s chief executive officer Angi Hejduk says the area was facing rapid real estate growth. Developers were buying up property, sending home, office and rental properties up. A good thing for the community, but a development that tends to push out smaller businesses such as individual artists. FILLING A VOID It wasn’t hard to see the need to coordinate on artist space in Johnson County, the prosperous Kansas region along the MissouriKansas border in Kansas City. A feasibility study by the Arts Council of Johnson County just over a decade ago showed a need for a centralized workshop where artists could create. InterUrban founder and artistic director Nicole Emanuel says that art events and collectives in neighboring Kansas City tended to pull attention and resources away from the Overland Park region and the artists who wanted to work there. “There was a void for artists out here. Many artists out here are raising families. We’re out here for the school district, for the affordability of good public education,” Emanuel says. “We need something nearer to our homes.”


The

Economic Impact This year, Americans for the Arts released its Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 Study. This tracked the economic impact the arts have on various regions in Kansas. In the Kansas City Metropolitan area alone, the impact was $276 million. Other results for that region include:

*A 40 percent increase in spending by audiences: $96.6 million spent in 2015

*Patrons spent an average of $25.12 per person, per event

*State and local government revenue generated by the industry was $24.6 million in 2015 (up from $21.8 million in 2010)

*Area nonprofit arts and cultural organizations generated 8,970 full-time jobs in 2015 Source: Arts Council of Johnson County

Detail from Dive In, acrylic and oil pastel by InterUrban ArtHouse artist Jill Gapczynsk. Photograph by Jea Reece Hyun.


Keeping art spaces in a growing residential community can be tricky, but Emanuel notes the key is to keep artists visible. That’s where creative arts districts come in. “There is a need, on the part of communities that are healthy, to have a sense of place, a sense of space, and a sense of culture. Artists that are involved in performance, public art, and cultural expression validate the variety in our community,” Emanuel says. “When you have artist districts and cultural districts and innovative districts, you’re leveraging the proximity of creative people to form an interesting area where people can eat and live and play and have a sense of community.”

THE CREATIVE IMPULSE Creative arts districts, like the one envisioned by InterUrban in Johnson County, are now changing the way developers look at the area. “City planners and urban planners have been asking artist creatives to have a seat at the table for community development,” says Emanuel, noting that arts districts could be the antidote to cookie-cutter communities. “People are really sick of that. When things are cookie-cutter, they seek the artist and authenticity, and that’s representative of the diversity of that area.” Across the state in Wichita, Stevenson knows this, and it’s what keeps her pushing forward. “It’s important for the community that we have art, the creative impulse,” she says. “We all need access to good design and beauty and music and creative thinking. That’s essentially the marker of a successful and productive community. I don’t think you can live without art.”

Department of Commerce Grants

The Kansas Department of Commerce supports art center initiatives such as Fisch Haus, InterUrban ArtHouse and others through the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (CAIC) and its series of grants and matching fund projects. For a full list of projects that have received funds—and used them to benefit the community—go online at kansascommerce.gov/642/Grant-Awards.

PHOTOGRAPH courtesy Fisch Haus

28

COUNTERING THE SOHO EFFECT Like InterUrban, Wichita’s Fisch Haus also provides a space for community art events. Organizer Elizabeth Stevenson has been hard at work in the Wichita arts district battling what is known as the “Soho Effect,” when an artistic area’s popularity makes it attractive, but too expensive for artists to work or rent in the area. “That’s not happening in Wichita because the Commerce Street Arts District is artist-owned,” she says. “Most of the buildings on Commerce Street offer art services. I think all of them are owned by the artists that work there or show there or host events there, so nobody’s going to get evicted by a landlord that wants to sell the building to a developer.” Stevenson says one of the keys to keeping artists in the area, despite rising property values, is the diversity of the environment. “There’s a mixed use district, there’s a wood shop. It’s very industrial/residential/commercial,” she says, noting that Commerce Street is where authenticity matters. “I think sometimes arts districts that are created by the civic endeavor, I think people sense the artificiality of that, and it doesn’t ring true. The Commerce Street district is interesting. People understand that artists still live and work there, and not demonstrating glass blowing for tourists. There are real artists living on Commerce Street making art every day, and I think people really enjoy that. Other artists want to be around that; it’s stimulating. Art lovers want to be around that as well.”


On a

National Level *Arts and cultural

organizations spent $63.8 billion in 2015

*Arts audiences spent $102.5 billion in 2015

*The total economic impact of the arts nationally: $166.3 billion

*Arts and culture represented 4.6 million jobs in 2015

*The arts generated $27.5 Detail from Beyond the Surface, acrylic and oil pastel by InterUrban ArtHouse artist Jill Gapczynsk. Photograph by Jea Reece Hyun.

billion in revenue to local, state, and federal government in 2015


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27 A


Kansas Commerce | Fall 2017  

Wind energy in Kansas | The Arts for economic growth | Pinnacle Technology aids study of the brain | Lee Aerospace and much more in this fal...

Kansas Commerce | Fall 2017  

Wind energy in Kansas | The Arts for economic growth | Pinnacle Technology aids study of the brain | Lee Aerospace and much more in this fal...