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2020 Progress on Strategic Priorities

July 10, 2020 - October 26, 2020

The Greater Wichita Partnership team is focused on the economic recovery and growth of the region. As we work to fast-forward economic recovery initiatives, we continue to be focused on our three key priority areasjobs, talent and quality of place. These priorities are driven by strategic, research-based plans, including the Regional Growth Plan, the Talent Marketing Blueprint, Project Wichita and Project Downtown. Discover how we are driving progress by viewing a full list of progress below.

Business Growth
2020 YTD

2,510

Total Jobs

2015-2020 YTD: 10,212

$169M

Capital Investment

2015-2020 YTD: $2.47B

$139M

Total Annual Payroll

2015-2020 YTD: $496M

Project Announcements Since July

Since January, the Partnership team has seen an increase in the number of prospects for the Greater Wichita region. The team is aggressively working on each one, providing targeted support and information along with coordinating site visits and business retention and expansion (BR&E) calls. These prospects, while in various stages of development, forecast the opportunity for approximately 5,700 jobs.

Jobs

Business attraction & support

Hosted CMMC event for supply-chain defense diversification
With new regulations from the Department of Defense, the Partnership worked with Ennovar at Wichita State University, Kansas Manufacturing Solutions and FlagshipKansas.tech to host a free webinar, titled DoD Compliance 411, for area manufacturing companies. The webinar focused on how to navigate the complex process of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), a key step into securing defense diversification contract work.

CMMC grant funding secured for local manufacturers
Following the CMMC event in July, our business development team worked with Wichita State to secure grant funding from the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD) to increase the number of CMMC certified local manufacturers. Recommended in the Regional Growth Plan, diversification in aerospace, such as the CMMC program, is important as we continue to fast-forward economic growth within the region.

Virtual foreign direct investment (FDI) efforts
The Partnership’s business development team pitched Greater Wichita’s business advantages to three German companies and one Finnish company in an effort to spur foreign direct investment. The Partnership team plans to follow-up with these companies frequently.

Local economic incentive guidelines advanced
Based upon strategic recommendations by Ady Advantage and the Partnership’s Strategic Advisory Team, the City Council recently approved changes to local incentive guidelines, with the County Commission to review for approval in the coming weeks. This effort was identified in the Regional Growth Plan as a key step in facilitating economic growth and making our region more competitive in company attraction.

Kansas Department of Commerce senior leadership hosted
In September, the Partnership’s business development team provided in-person, socially-distanced tours of Wichita and the region to familiarize Kansas Department of Commerce team members with the area as they sell Greater Wichita throughout the country.

MRO virtual show and digital advertising strategy developed
With the cancellation of many in-person events and conventions, the 2020 Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Americas Convention & Exhibition was transitioned to a virtual format. In order for exhibitors to reach typical event attendees, MRO offered the opportunity to provide strategic digital advertisements. The Partnership team will be participating in the virtual show with a virtual booth, which will run from Oct. 27-29. For the month following, the Partnership will have Air Capital of the World digital advertisements targeting event attendees, three target markets – including Oklahoma City, Los Angeles and Dallas – and driving lead generation by encouraging users to connect with Tammy Nolan Porazka on our team. This opportunity allows us to promote the Air Capital at a global level as a place for business opportunities with a world-class skilled workforce.

New Partnership website launched with prospect lead generation as primary goal
Based on extensive research and data analysis, a new Partnership website has been launched, focusing on business attraction and lead generation.

Insight from partners across the region combined with extensive target audience insights served as the foundation for the strategic redesign. The new website will serve as the primary foundation for all advertising efforts, and supports our business development team in selling our region’s competitive advantages.

The new website was developed in collaboration with local agency, Howerton+White and was identified in the Regional Growth Plan as a priority for high-impact marketing.

National digital marketing campaign under development
To increase national awareness of Greater Wichita and generate business development leads, a digital advertising campaign is being developed based on in-depth market research. The goal of this effort is to amplify the online presence of the region in Google searches, so that prospects across the nation are aware of the opportunities in Greater Wichita. The campaign will integrate search and display, programmatic and retargeting advertising efforts.

New email campaign proactively positions Greater Wichita as a location where businesses thrive
The Partnership has launched a new, strategic email campaign to market the Greater Wichita region to site selectors across the nation. The campaign – named “Success Insight” – provides stories that make our region and companies successful, outside of traditional data and numbers. The campaign will proactively position Greater Wichita as a location where businesses thrive.

Economic recovery and growth efforts continued
Working with the COVID-19 Community Task Force, the Partnership continues to fast-forward economic recovery and growth initiatives, such as those identified in the Wichita Region Economic Recovery Report. Our team is committed to working with community partners to drive short and long-term initiatives to assist our impacted industries and workforce.

National lead generation firms engaged
The Partnership has engaged three national lead generation firms to drive regional business growth within our key target industry sectors. Each of these firms specializes in various industry sectors, geographic locations and types of development and will assist our business development team by connecting prospect projects to the Partnership and the region. 

Entrepreneurship

Accelerate Wichita partners with Chapman & Co. and regional partners
Accelerate Wichita has partnered with Chapman & Company and regional partners to define short, mid, and long-term strategies to grow the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Greater Wichita. This work will engage stakeholders in an effort to identify the systemic elements necessary to achieve continued entrepreneurial growth and establish key metrics and measurable goals.

Talent

Strategic marketing efforts

“Get trained. Get paid.” talent retention campaign initiated
In an effort to retain Greater Wichita’s world-class workforce, the Partnership led the development of a holistic outreach strategy to communicate training, funding and job opportunities for affected workers in the region. To achieve this, the team completed in-depth marketing analysis of the target audience, built a marketing and advertising plan, and is currently developing the creative content. The team is working closely with Workforce Alliance and other community partners to develop the campaign. The initial advertising outreach is projected to launch early November and be completed in early December.

Spanish version of Wichita Bucketlist created
To create a more inclusive experience, the Wichita Bucketlist has been translated to Spanish. This printable piece highlights ten must-do activities in the Wichita region including experiences for art lovers, foodies, outdoor enthusiasts and more.


Website translation service added to Choose Wichita website
To ensure that talent have the ability to easily connect with the amenities and job opportunities within our region, a language translation plug-in has been added to the Choose Wichita website. This plug-in has the ability to translate the website in Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish.

Choose Wichita blogs highlight our “relentlessly original” region
Since July, the Partnership produced 4 blogs to showcase the relentlessly original ways to live, work and play in the Wichita region. The goal of the Choose Wichita blog is to grow social media engagement, drive web traffic and increase awareness among current and prospective talent. Below are the blogs that have been posted since July, which can be viewed at www.choosewichita.com/news/blog.

Programmatic initiatives

Workforce of the Future initiative launched
The Workforce of the Future initiative was launched to define industry and workforce needs in the short and long term to position the Greater Wichita region for economic diversity and sustainable growth. This effort combines the need for a creative and deliberate talent pipeline, innovative and technologically advanced industries, and a truly inclusive and equitable community.

To further this initiative, the Partnership has engaged Wichita State University’s Public Policy and Management Center to complete an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on peer cities and peer industries. The report will identify opportunities to define and leverage our competitive differentiators.

Morning Meet-Ups connect local HR and talent professionals
The Morning Meet-Up series was launched as a platform for local HR and talent professionals to support one another through the multiple unprecedented challenges that 2020 has brought to the business community. Each month, a subject matter expert navigates a different topic and guides the conversational-style meeting through challenges and opportunities. Previous topics have covered building trust, launching diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and creating contextual conversations with a remote workforce. The next two meetings will discuss workplace wellness, stress management and appreciation languages. November’s Morning Meet-Up will take place on November 5th.

Talent development

Business & Education Alliance (BEA) hosts superintendents panel discussion
Recently, the BEA hosted a panel discussion with area superintendents and business leaders across the region. The superintendents shared the strong desire to have schools safely open for in-person learning and the importance of community support in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The BEA is partnering with area school districts to explore how to virtually connect with students and increase career exploration opportunities.

Business & Education Alliance (BEA) initiatives continue
BEA continues to advance career exploration, post-secondary success and relationship building through remote learning, reopening guideline coordination and re-envisioned school year collaboration.

Quality of Place - Distinctive Region

Project Wichita

Literacy Coalition awarded three-year, $300,000 grant from Kansas Health Foundation
To work toward improving early childhood literacy and kindergarten readiness, a Literacy Coalition – guided by the Project Wichita Lifelong Learning Action Plan – has been awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation. Learn more.

Quality of Place - Downtown Wichita

Developing downtown

Downtown Wichita receives International Pinnacle Award
Downtown Wichita has received a Pinnacle Award from the International Downtown Association (IDA) for the implementation of Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita. Each year, IDA recognizes outstanding projects from downtown development corporations around the globe. The Pinnacle Award is the industry’s highest recognition for the most creative and inspiring innovations in urban place management. This is the third Pinnacle award Downtown Wichita has received due to the success of Project Downtown. View press release.

Downtown Streets Plan public engagement process reengaged
Street design is vital to increasing safety and walkability and has a significant impact on the development of downtown; therefore, Project Downtown recognizes the need for a Downtown Streets Plan. The City of Wichita is in the final stages of developing this plan and is conducting a public survey to gather feedback.

Continued promotion of Downtown Business Support Program
In May, Downtown Wichita received a grant from the COVID-19 Connection Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation to help eligible small businesses within the Self Supported Municipal Improvement District partner with local professionals to provide services and assistance. These local professionals include Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, Howerton+White and Martin Pringle Law Firm. Downtown Wichita has awarded nineteen 1,500 grant to participating businesses and applications are still available.

Marketing downtown

2020 State of Downtown Report released
View and download the recently released 2020 State of Downtown Report, which documents the transformation of our downtown into a vibrant urban center. This year, in addition to providing market and economic data, the report features an in-depth look at how Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita has driven over $1 billion of investment throughout the past decade.

Celebrating 10 Years of Project Downtown
In 2010, a community plan was launched to drive investment and development in the urban core – Project Downtown: The Master Plan for Wichita. This year our community is celebrating 10 years of progress driven by the master plan. Downtown Wichita has launched a campaign that highlights the successes of the plan. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to the email list to stay up-to-date.

Enhancing vibrancy

Open Air ICT sidewalk permit announced
In August, the City of Wichita implemented the Open Air ICT program to support businesses and protect public health during the pandemic. Restaurant, bar and retail store owners can apply for a free permit to expand operations outdoors to utilize adjacent sidewalks, streets and parking areas for dining, shopping and advertising purposes. Applications can be submitted here.

Artists bring vibrancy to vacant Caldwell Murdock Building
Downtown Wichita partnered with several local artists to bring a pop of color and cheer to a downtown facade. Artists painted hearts in the windows of the seven-story Caldwell Murdock Building. Downtown Wichita plans to activate other vacant buildings and storefronts in downtown through ongoing partnerships with local artists.

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