Friday, February 25, 2011
Many people came to listen to the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition annual report on economic development activities for 2010.
The coalition celebrated work on 13 projects that kept or added 5,439 jobs and $296 million in projected annual payroll in Wichita and Sedgwick County. Most of those projects were aerospace related.
"Gives us room to focus on still some emerging new industry clusters that we're looking at. And that gives us a little breathing room quite honestly. And still gives us those great paying aviation jobs and get that built back up," said Jeff Longwell, Wichita Vice-Mayor.
The GWEDC says their efforts resulted in 388% return on public investment for calendar year 2010. One of the 13 projects included the Bombardier Learjet $69 million capital investment that adds 300 new jobs.
"We think this win sends a very clear message up the chain at Bombardier that our state and our community wants to attract more of their investment and wants to continue to be the home of their investments," said Vicki Pratt Gerbino, GWEDC President.
The coalition invited guest speaker, Dr. Ron Pollina, author of the annual Pollina Top Ten Pro-Business States report.
"Everybody gets excited when we bring companies in but nobody gets excited when we save companies. Frankly, that's the low hanging fruit. Those are the ones you should be going after. Keeping those companies happy is critical to your success," said Pollina.
The GWEDC is the regional public-private partnership managed by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce that is responsible for creating and retaining companies.