TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Economic growth in Kansas isn’t meeting the expectations of state leaders. Supporters said the Kansas Framework for Growth is a unified strategy that sets goals of what direction the state wants to go in.
The idea for the framework began in 2019, but the pandemic slowed the Kansas Department of Commerce’s progress. Governor Laura Kelly announced the new development Thursday morning.
Input from 2,000 people with businesses, chambers of commerce, and local governments helped form the plan. Officials said they want to work to modernize the state’s economy.
“We wanted to make sure that we had a plan that reflected the lessons of COVID-19 and how our economy changed,” said Lieutenant Governor David Toland, who also serves as commerce secretary.
The focus will be on jobs in aerospace, distribution centers, and agriculture. State leaders also want to grow technology jobs and digital manufacturing, and recruit companies to set up their headquarters in Kansas.
The plan said the state has to be a place for innovation, show off what communities have to offer, and make sure investments and incentives are up to date and are attractive compared to other states.
But at the end of the day, Toland said with a strong education system in the state, the goal is to keep Kansas kids in the state.
“Make sure that we’re harnessing those systems to create new jobs and to make sure that the children, who are the folks that we have invested in from the time that they were born all the way through, that when they’re done with their education in Kansas, that they see the value of staying in Kansas,” Toland said.
One of the goals is to make sure education at the high school and college level is aligning with the job opportunities that officials hope to be creating in the state.