Governor Laura Kelly Wraps Up Statewide Prosperity on the Plains Tour

TOPEKA – As new private sector investment in Kansas since 2019 tops $14 billion, Governor Laura Kelly today wrapped up her statewide economic development tour. Along her tour, which kicked off in late July, the Governor highlighted efforts to attract new businesses to Kansas and to support existing businesses.

“When I first ran for governor, I promised the people of Kansas that economic development would no longer take a back seat. Lt. Governor Toland and I have delivered on that promise – making Kansas a pro-business, pro-family state that people want to call home,” Governor Kelly said. “These past few months I have met with business owners and community leaders in every corner of the state to discuss how we can build on that progress and ensure our economy works for every Kansan.”

The Kansas Department of Commerce, led by Lieutenant Governor David Toland, has closed 756 economic development projects totaling more than $14 billion in investment and creating and retaining over 51,000 jobs. This $14 billion of new investment is a direct result of private companies choosing to relocate to Kansas or to expand their existing footprint in the state.

Numbers from the Kansas Department of Commerce show economic prosperity has occurred across the entire state. Of the 756 total economic development projects that Commerce officials worked since 2019, successful projects have occurred in 83 out of 105 counties. In 2019 – the first year of the Kelly Administration – successful projects occurred in 43 counties, an increase from the 36 counties with successful projects in 2018.

“Governor Kelly’s strategic plan for economic development, the Kansas Framework for Growth, is paying great dividends for the economy and the hard-working people of Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Companies are flocking to Kansas and bringing new investment and new jobs with them. Kansas is at the top of its game and we aren’t going to stop.”

Along the tour, Governor Kelly also focused on the need to invest in quality-of-life issues like child care, housing, and health care to support and grow the Kansas workforce.

Learn about each of Governor Kelly’s stops on the tour:

Topeka, Kansas; Round Table Bookstore

Holton, Kansas; More Than Lemons Hot Glass

Dodge City, Kansas; Nor-Am Cold Storage

Wichita, Kansas; Wichita Workforce Center Roundtable

Emporia, Kansas; Simmons Pet Food

Phillipsburg, Kansas; Amber Wave

Lindsborg, Kansas; Lindsborg Child Developemnt Center

Kansas City, Kansas; Children’s Mercy Park

Lawrence, Kansas; Peaslee Technical Training Center

Wichita, Kansas; Pearson Family Farm

Edson, Kansas; Schilling Limousin Cattle Ranch

Garden City, Kansas; Housing Development Tour

Johnson City, Kansas; Wholly Cow Market

Liberal, Kansas; Diligence Barber Lounge, Downstairs Salon, and Liberal Chamber of Commerce

Ashland, Kansas; Gardiner Angus Ranch

Dodge City, Kansas; Hilmar Cheese Facility

Wichita, Kansas; Pratt Industries

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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