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.
Under the leadership of Secretary of Commerce Pat George, the Department comprises a variety of programs and services that create jobs, attract new investment, provide workforce training, encourage community development and promote the state as a wonderful place to live and work. This is accomplished through the department’s two divisions:
In Fiscal Year 2011, the Department of Commerce administered a budget of more than $116.3 million dedicated to programs that benefit the economy and quality of life in Kansas. More than 57 percent of the Department’s funding came from federal sources, with the remainder coming from the Special Revenue Funds and the Economic Development Initiatives Fund, which are derived from Kansas Lottery proceeds, and fee funds. Nearly 65 percent of that money was channeled directly to local communities and businesses throughout the state.
Fiscal Year 2011 Highlights
Our Business Recruitment and Business Expansion teams combined to facilitate 121 successful relocations or expansions, which created or retained 11,811 jobs and $532.6 billion in capital investment. These results earned Kansas unprecedented media coverage from outlets like Area Development, Business Facilities and Site Selection magazines, which in turn has generated several new business leads for future projects.
The Rural Development Division developed regulations and will oversee part of the new Rural Opportunity Zones program and hosted regional agritourism training classes resulting in the creation of more than 20 new businesses.
The Trade Development Division helped Kansas companies export $9.9 billion in Kansas goods in 2010, the state’s third-highest export total in history. The Division also recruited four international projects to Kansas, resulting in 675 new and retained jobs and more than $52 million in capital investment.
The Travel & Tourism Division continues to help Kansas attract about 30 million total person-stays annually, with a total economic impact of $5.46 million. Nearly 75 percent of each tourism dollar spent in Kansas is retained in the state, with tourism directly supporting 125,000 jobs.
The Workforce Services Division continues to help thousands of Kansans with career training during difficult economic conditions, ensuring the state can field a skilled workforce to meet current and future opportunities.
Finally, the Department underwent the transition of some divisions and commissions into and out of the agency in conjunction with the reorganization activities of the Brownback Administration. Effective on July 1, 2011, the Travel & Tourism Division was transferred to the Department of Wildlife and Parks (which as renamed the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism); the Kansas Commission on Disabilities Concerns was transferred to the Governor’s Office; the Rural Development Division’s Agricultural Marketing Program was transferred to the Kansas Department of Agriculture; and the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation was brought under the Department of Commerce and renamed the Innovation Growth Program.