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2023 Year-End Update

By Emily Younger Barnwell

Through strategic initiatives and collaborative efforts, the Partnership successfully fast-forwarded the Wichita region’s economy in 2023.

The regional investment in economic development, workforce initiatives and marketing efforts helped create hundreds of new jobs across various industries, generating more than $418 million in capital investment and another $5.3 billion in the prospect pipeline. While aviation remains a cornerstone of our economy, we have seen significant growth in emerging sectors such as healthcare and technology. In healthcare, substantial investments will begin in early 2024 in downtown Wichita to deepen our healthcare workforce and innovation.

The Partnership’s 2035 vision is driving our strategic efforts to grow our region’s global capacity and leverage our critical assets to support a dynamic and prosperous community.

Below is an overview of the 2023 accomplishments within the Partnership’s three strategic priorities: Jobs, Talent and Quality of Place.


The Partnership is leveraging economic development opportunities and supporting the creation of jobs through business retention and expansion, company attraction and entrepreneurship cultivation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Diversified the region’s industries through the attraction of major new companies to the area including Quickstep, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, GAF and JTM Foods, LLC.
  • Led the largest Kansas delegation in Partnership history to the Paris Air Show and attracted an audience of nearly 450 aerospace leaders, cabinet-level dignitaries and VIP guests to the Air Capital of the World reception.
  • Participated in more than a dozen national/international trade shows including NBAA-BACE, the Space Symposium, MRO Americas, FABTECH and the Dubai Airshow to globally market the region.
  • Strategically aligned assets and talent to drive growth in emerging industries including defense, space, eVTOL, cybersecurity and MRO.


The Partnership is working alongside regional businesses and strategic partners to attract, retain and engage the workforce of the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hosted three talent workshops, engaging with nearly 500 participants to tighten the feedback loop between industry and education.
  • Launched the Talent Ambassador Program to serve as a third-party concierge service provider that works alongside HR and company officials to facilitate the recruitment of senior-level professionals to the Wichita region.
  • Established the Talent Community Engagement Committee (TCEC) to engage diverse perspectives and shape talent pipelines.
  • Worked alongside city, state and federal leadership to secure a direct flight from Wichita to Washington, D.C. to begin in January of 2024.
  • Supported the expansion of the Heartland Flyer passenger rail corridor connecting Arkansas City, Wichita and Newton to Oklahoma City and North Central Texas. In December 2023 the Federal Railroad Administration awarded the project $500,000 for the development of a Service Development Plan, a significant milestone in the revival of the essential passenger rail service.  

Quality of Place

The Partnership, in collaboration with Downtown Wichita, is continuing to cultivate a distinctive quality of place that attracts and retains talent, encourages tourism and fosters economic growth.

Key Takeaways:

  • Witnessed the completion of seven key development projects including Chester I. Lewis Park, Hi-Tone Lofts, The Hudson St. Francis, The National and WSU Tech’s National Institute for Culinary and Hospitality Education (NICHE) with another $760 million in the pipeline of project investment. 
  • Worked jointly with the Wichita Business Journal to host the ICT Summit, an all-day event focused on downtown’s visionary future and upcoming, transformational development projects.
  • Launched fund development for Project Downtown 2035, a 10-year vision plan to drive catalytic investment in Wichita’s core.

A Growing Wichita Region

Thanks to the aspirational leadership and continued support of our investors, the Wichita region witnessed transformational progress and remarkable achievements in 2023.

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