Governor Laura Kelly today announced that since she took office in January 2019, more than $6 billion new business dollars have been invested in the state of Kansas and 26,000 new jobs have been created.
“This administration has prioritized rebuilding our state’s economic foundation and supporting services that make Kansas a place where families and businesses want to be – our continued success is proof those efforts are paying off,” Governor Kelly said. “For the third year in a row, we fully funded our schools, we’ve expanded access to broadband to thousands of families and businesses, and more than 130 long-overdue road and bridge projects have been greenlit. These actions, along with the Department of Commerce’s recruitment work, have shown prospective companies why Kansas is a premier business destination. As we once again approach record-breaking business investment in 2021, my team will harness this momentum to create jobs and support businesses that choose to locate to or expand in our state.”
Today’s announcement comes after a series of economic development wins achieved by the Kelly administration, including experiencing a 7.3% growth in Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of 2021. Kansas also received Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel Award for 2021, was recognized by Site Selection Magazine as having the top business climate in the West North Central region of the United States in 2021, and is one of three top states reporting higher employment in rural communities.
Passing the $6 billion mark demonstrates the speed of Kansas’ economic growth, with Governor Kelly having announced the passage of $5 billion in new capital investment as recently as May 11, 2021.
The state has helped secure nearly $2.4 billion in new business investments so far in 2021. In 2020, our state’s most successful economic development year ever – with over 2.5 billion new business dollars invested – Kansas did not pass the $2 billion mark until November.
“Governor Kelly continues to make economic development history in Kansas in a way no Governor ever has,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Success at this level isn’t an accident. This is a testament to the level-headed, consistent approach that Governor Kelly has committed to in growing and strengthening our economy. Her vision for economic development is creating a better future for all Kansans.”
In addition to the major business investments, the 426 economic development projects completed during the Kelly administration have created more than 26,000 new jobs spread across every region of the state.
Investments since the beginning of the Kelly administration include:
Schwan’s Company, Inc. – building a new 400,000-square-foot expansion at its pizza-manufacturing facility in Salina, totaling $600 million in new business dollars;
Hilmar Cheese Company – building a new production facility in Dodge City, totaling $460 million in new business dollars;
Urban Outfitters, Inc. – building a new 880,000-square-foot omnichannel distribution center in Wyandotte County, totaling more than $400 million in new business dollars;
Amazon – two new fulfillment centers in Kansas City and Park City, totaling $210 million in new business dollars;
Merck Animal Health – new facility expansion/enhancement in DeSoto, totaling $100 million in new business dollars;
Pretzels, LLC – building a 146,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Lawrence Venture Park, totaling $88 million in new business dollars;
Great Plains Manufacturing (Kubota) – new manufacturing facility in Salina, totaling $43 million in new business dollars.
About the Kansas Department of Commerce
As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas in 2021 was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award and was named Site Selection Magazine’s Best Business Climate in the West North Central region of the United States.