As part of the Kansas Chamber’s efforts to seek input for our Vision 2025 strategic action plan, we held seven regional roundtable discussions across the state in the fall of 2017. We made stops in Topeka, Kansas City, Pittsburg, Salina, Hays, Dodge City and Wichita.

 

At each stop, business and community leaders, educators and local chamber representatives considered where Kansas ranks in regards to talent supply, competitiveness, innovation and entrepreneurship and business infrastructure, Vision 2025’s four areas of focus.  They then provided their insight and ideas on ways to improve the Kansas economy so it grows faster and creates more jobs for their communities in the coming years.

 

The ideas we collected from nearly 180 leaders across 25 different communities will be critical as we develop and implement the 2018 action items for our Vision 2025 plan. Some ideas discussed are programs already underway in a local community that were suggested to rollout statewide. Others came during brainstorming discussions. And while regional concerns were discussed, several common topics emerged, including:

  • Grow Talent Supply:
    • Create more mentorship, internship and apprenticeship programs;
    • Target students earlier about college and career opportunities and their paths to success;
    • Businesses to better partner with Kansas K-12 educators as well as universities and community colleges and technical schools to identify future workforce needs;
    • K-12 and higher education to teach soft skills and offer STEM focused curriculums;
    • Need to understand the underemployment challenge some communities face.
  • Advance Competitiveness:
    • Reduce cost of doing business in Kansas;
    • Provide a stable and fair regulatory environment
    • Look at other states who are doing better than Kansas and learn what they are doing;
    • Do a better job of marketing our state’s many assets, i.e. its citizens’ work ethic, cost of living, quality of life.

  • Expand Innovation & Entrepreneurship:
    • Target tax breaks and incentives to support innovation/entrepreneurs
    • Universities and community colleges to target entrepreneurial thinking;
    • Identify more Venture Capital funding;
    • Establish business incubators throughout state.

 

  • Improve Business Infrastructure:
    • Identify targeted four-lane highway projects that project the best return on investment for the state;
    • Expand broadband availability, especially in rural areas;
    • Strengthen short-line rail transportation;
    • Improve commercial air service capabilities;
    • Build more affordable and quality housing.

 

The Kansas Chamber will use this input to help identify Vision 2025’s action items in 2018. More regional forums are planned. We hope to see you at one soon.

GROW

Talent Supply

ADVANCE

Competitiveness

EXPAND

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

IMPROVE

Business Infrastructure

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