In the 2015 Pollina Corporate Real Estate survey, Kansas is the fifth most business-friendly state in the nation. This ranking is based on 32 factors that are controlled by state government. This is also Kansas’ tenth year in a row ranking in the top 10. Since last fall, Kansas has gained more than 13,000 private sector jobs for the Kansas economy. This survey is evidence that businesses of all sizes and industries continue to thrive in Kansas.
Part of this success is due to the positive and productive business climate in the Sunflower State. “With a population of just over 2.9 million, Kansas packs a heavy economic punch with a proactive legislative and regulatory environment and major advantages in costs, taxes, skilled workforce and major transportation assets. All of this has combined to make the Sunflower State a haven for investment and innovation,” said Antonio Soave, Secretary for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Kansas has a unique environment for business success. Not only does Kansas boast tax policies that make it easy for small businesses to succeed, but there are additional business incentives available through the Department of Commerce that can help businesses grow and bring additional jobs to the state.
No matter how a company would like to expand, Kansas inherently provides enhanced shipping capabilities with the third-highest total road mileage in the U.S. and one of the most extensive railway systems in the nation, with 2.23 percent of all U.S. railroad miles. Manufacturing and distribution companies can look forward to over a dozen rail carriers at their disposal and a state-of-the-art intermodal facility near Kansas City, which can provide enhanced distribution capabilities to businesses of all sizes.
In addition to Kansas’ business-friendly climate, it also has, “A top-ranked talent pool, great universities, and wonderful infrastructure,” according to Secretary Soave. There are 58 colleges in Kansas, including 33 public and 25 private. They offer a wide range of programs, majors and skills. These educational institutions help to funnel skilled and talented professionals into the Kansas workforce.
There are also programs available through the Department of Commerce that give businesses access to trained professionals with the specific skills they need, directly from the college or training program. Kansas has implemented a number of innovative initiatives to enhance the qualifications of its workers. A Career and Technical Education initiative allows high school students to get a head start on their postsecondary education by taking technical classes tuition free. This results in a record number of Kansans graduating from high school with industry-recognized credentials. The credentials are usually in occupations that are in high demand, helping students find jobs and businesses fill critical open positions.
Another workforce initiative that provides businesses talented job candidates is Workforce Aligned with Industry Demand, or Workforce AID. This effort sets up a partnership between businesses and technical colleges in order to set up training courses. These courses will teach exactly what it is that the business needs. Through this collaboration, colleges and employers ensure that graduates and future employees are prepared for their profession and that they can also support industry needs. These programs are also beneficial to the student because throughout their instruction, students are able to meet with employers and interview with the participating businesses upon completion. This program is unique in that it assists the student, the college and the business in getting what they need to succeed.
Through educational opportunities and top-notch experience in Kansas companies, businesses in Kansas have access to a highly-skilled and talented workforce. As a Right-to-Work State, many Kansans are responsible for the development of the nation’s most important industries, manufacturing quality products and leading the nation in innovative technologies. Kansans have always been known for their hard work and dedication, and this tradition continues today.
In addition to an incredible workforce and immense educational opportunities, Kansans also enjoy a superb quality of life. The state’s clean and thriving cities offer many cultures and activities for an array of communities to enjoy. There is always a way to enjoy your day in Kansas from sports, including university athletics and professional teams, to music and performances at nationally-renowned venues and art on both the conceptual and performance levels. Of course, the state is well-known for its friendly small towns and wide-open spaces. The endless sky and beautiful, untouched wilderness can be enjoyed at any one of Kansas’ 55 state parks, 36 State Wildlife Areas, three National Wildlife Refuges and Prairie National Park. With so many ways to entertain, great schools, a low cost of living and vibrant communities, the people of Kansas are really what make the Sunflower State a great place to live and work.
With so many advantages, businesses in the state are thriving in a variety of industries including manufacturing, bioscience, distribution, food processing and many more. Bioscience is a rapidly-growing industry in the nation and in Kansas. The state’s long history as an agricultural leader has contributed to the rise of the Animal Health Corridor. This corridor runs through the heart of Kansas and has led to Kansas’ selection as the site for the National Bio and Agro-Defense facility, which is currently under construction.
Businesses continue to find a successful and productive place in Kansas. With low costs, an incredible infrastructure, top-ranked educational opportunities and a talented workforce, Kansas is a nationally- and world-renowned place to start or grow a business. As a top-ranked pro-business friendly state, Kansas will continue to see and assist businesses in building success in a thriving business environment.
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