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2020 marks most successful year for economic development in Kansas



KANSAS – Kansas saw significant economic development during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas will participate in Economic Development Week, which is an annual celebration hosted by the International Economic Development Council.

“Over the last two years, we’ve rebuilt the Department of Commerce and reinvested in critical services like education, transportation, broadband, and health care,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “With over $5 billion in new capital investment, our efforts are paying off in real-time. We’ll continue to reinvest in our foundation and recruitment tools to keep Kansas open for business.”

According to Gov. Kelly, since she took office, the state has seen historic success in economic development, recently exceeding $5 billion in new capital investment by businesses since 2019. Of the $5 billion brought to Kansas, she said $2.5 billion was invested during 2020 alone, making it the most successful year for economic development in state history.

“Governor Kelly has ushered in a new era of economic development in Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “Major business investments ripple through the state by bringing new visitors, residents and dollars to the state. Kansas companies expanding strengthen their communities and provide new opportunities for their neighbors. Our new way of doing business has made Kansas stronger, more secure and more prosperous – period.”

Gov. Kelly said investments since the beginning of her administration include the following:

  • Schwan’s Company, Inc. – building a new 400,000-square-foot expansion at its pizza-manufacturing facility in Salina, totaling $600 million in capital investment;
  • Hilmar Cheese Company – building a new production facility in Dodge City, totaling $460 million investment;
  • Urban Outfitters, Inc. – building a new 880,000-square-foot omnichannel distribution center in Wyandotte County, totaling more than $400 million in capital investment;
  • Amazon – two new fulfillment centers in Kansas City and Park City, totaling $210 million in capital investment;
  • Merck Animal Health – new facility expansion/enhancement in DeSoto, totaling $100 million in capital investment;
  • Pretzels, LLC – building a 146,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Lawrence Venture Park, totaling $88 million in capital investment;
  • Great Plains Manufacturing (Kubota) – new manufacturing facility in Salina, totaling $43 million in capital investment.