The building blocks of development are here: ample land, clean air, clean water, a temperate climate and good energy resources. Kansas communities have grown many splendid industrial parks and work aggressively to fill them. Our temperate seasons reduce heating and air conditioning costs. And our abundant petroleum and renewable wind resources could soon make us a larger exporter of energy.
Kansas provides competitive business incentives, tools that come with highly skilled professionals and efficient processes for economic development. Kansas business and government are committed to growth – to grow business and to provide better jobs.
Our scientific polling shows that business operators across Kansas are pleased with the quality and quantity of the available workforce, one of the most important factors in capital investment decisions by our current industrial base and by prospects. The National Education Association reports that Kansas students have the 10th highest SAT exam scores in America, 17th highest high school graduation rate. And our businesses and government place a high value on education, increasing funding for education by $250 million in 2005, while not raising taxes. Our businesses and government are working together to make certain that we have all of the available trained workers in the future to prepare the state for growth. That coupled with the Kansas work ethic and its status as a right-to-work state should move the state to the top of the list for capital investments.
It’s no secret that Kansas’ location as the crossroads of America makes the state’s transportation system critical to economic growth. And Kansas has responded with some of the best highways in America. In fact, two were just named as National Scenic Byways. Kansas has the fourth largest number of public roads in America, and is third in the number of bridges. And our latest Comprehensive Transportation Program is the largest public works program in the state’s history.
The Kansas legal climate is changing for the better. The Institute for Legal Reform gives Kansas the relatively high marks for a fair court system. A number of measures to improve the legal climate recently passed the Kansas Legislature, including:
To position Kansas as the best state in America to do business, your Chamber is initiating an ambitious business-driven strategic plan for moving the Kansas economy forward. Senior leaders, representing private sector organizations from throughout the state, will develop The Blueprint for Kansas to enhance the state’s business climate, promote economic development and strengthen educational opportunities.
This private sector initiative will draw upon credible and independent published research and commission academically rigorous studies and surveys using in-state researchers and experts where possible. The mission of The Blueprint for Kansas will be to create a determined business plan that provides opportunities for continuous and significant improvement in economic conditions all across the state.
A sustainable, trackable program of work will serve as a road map to being the best state in America to do business by nurturing the business climate, improving education and advancing economic development through partnerships among business, education and government.