Check out the latest in Junction City-Geary County economic development news!
First Person: Creating a Work Environment For Employee Growth and Development
Thursday, November 18, 2021
In August, Rocki Rockingham was named Chief Human Resources Officer for GE Appliances. Area Development’s editor recently asked her about the company’s strategy to build upon its recent global “Great Place to Work” recognition and to create a workplace culture that attracts and retains top talent.
Area Development: Despite the high unemployment rate created by the pandemic, companies are still struggling to find skilled labor. How does GE Appliances’ workplace culture factor into attracting these workers?
Rocki Rockingham: Having a great culture is critical to attracting talent and our success. This year, 81 percent of employees said GE Appliances is a grea...
Front Line: Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Digitization
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Many businesses have benefited enormously from digital sales during the pandemic. Not only did Covid-19 alter consumer buying patterns; digital platforms accelerated online consumption and redefined business models.
The trend has especially impacted companies once classified as traditional freight forwarders that now operate as integrated, third-party logistics (3PL) service providers. Consequently, 3PLs that traditionally are hired to partner with brands have even greater responsibility (and opportunities) to handle all aspects of the supply chain.
Read full article.
Ramping Up Cybersecurity in the Industrial Sector
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
The world of real estate is making significant strides toward adopting the latest and most innovative technologies. But with more tech comes heightened risk. One of the latest ransomware attacks this year impacted up to 1,500 businesses globally by targeting U.S. IT company, Kaseya. Brazilian meatpacking company, JBS, also experienced a cybersecurity attack that forced the company to shut down operations, which could have been detrimental to its supply chain and to the U.S. food supply. In January 2021, a hacker was able to break into a water treatment plant system (by stealing an employee’s username and password) in a...
Top 50 Best Undergrad Programs for Entrepreneurs in 2022
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
There are those who describe the current, faster-and-faster-moving marketplace as a fourth industrial revolution, and the best entrepreneurship programs are those that help students appropriately speed up and, when necessary, scale up their ideas, from unicorns to innovative business models. Students who enroll at these schools will find themselves at the forefront of innovation and development, and often with an interdisciplinary focus that acknowledges the interconnectedness of today's economy. Perhaps more importantly, they will also get opportunities to enrich themselves and their communities, adding economic and social value through innovation, team building, and leadership.
Read full article.
Monday, November 15, 2021
Erie, in the far northwest corner of Pennsylvania, holds a few unwanted titles. It is home to the poorest zip code (16501) in the entire United States — the median income in 2019 was just $10,874. It has been declared “the worst city for Black Americans” based on racial economic disparities — and 16% of its residents are African American. The city’s population is around 95,000, about 30% below its 1960 peak. Nearly 30% of the remaining residents live below the poverty line. A 2016 comprehensive plan found 4,700 vacant housing units; half of the city’s residential properties were o...
Kansas Department of Commerce International Division Receives more than $160,000 for Export Development
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today applauded the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announcement of a $163,617 award to the Kansas Department of Commerce’s International Division through SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program (STEP).
Through STEP, states competitively apply for and receive financial awards to assist small businesses in their state with export development.
“International business is a significant economic driver for our state, which is why one of my first acts as Governor was to reinstate the International Division at the Department of Commerce,” Governor Kelly said. “Thanks to their strong efforts, Kansas is more competitive on a global scale whe...
Manufacturing Month in Junction City-Geary County: Why Your Business Should Expand Here
Monday, October 25, 2021
Junction City-Geary County, Kansas, is home to multiple global manufacturing companies, including biotech, that are using the latest technologies to produce the goods the world needs. Junction City-Geary County Economic Development Commission (JCGCEDC) is taking the time during Manufacturing Month to celebrate these companies for their innovations and employment opportunities that grow our economy. Manufacturing creates careers that are full of opportunity for both advancement and stability.
Manufacturing in Junction City-Geary County
The manufacturers in Junction City-Geary County are leaders in technology and good workplace practices, produce high quality products, and consistently innovate to keep in step with and progress their industries...
Insights On The Five Stages Of Small Business Growth
Friday, October 22, 2021
Even during the best of times, starting a small business is tough. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it became a quest for survival. While roughly one-third of small businesses were closed amid the lockdowns, many have reopened their doors or launched anew as consumer demand roars back.
Each of the 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. has its own unique flavor, challenges and path to success. Some never expand beyond a single founder; others could scale to become the next unicorn. Along the way, many founders will face common sets of challenges as they reach new levels of success.
For that reason...
The Challenge of Finding Improved Land
Friday, October 22, 2021
Across the nation, finding well-positioned, developable land with utilities and infrastructure has become almost impossible in some areas. Just about all of it has been scooped up by hungry buyers. Competition for land zoned for industrial/warehouse development is particularly intense.
Owners with any inclination of selling have already done so, or their land is under contract. For the owners still holding onto their land, the question is, what will entice them to finally sell? Buyers would be wrong to assume it’s all about price. The market has reached a remarkable level of efficiency when it comes to pricing, and developers kno...
The Next Generation of Cold Chain Logistics
Thursday, October 21, 2021
rior to the COVID-19 pandemic, millennials purchased half their grocery products online, and e-commerce grocery shopping made up 4.5 percent of market share. As of January 2021, that same share is up to 12.5 percent and projected to rise another 9 percent by 2025 — creating a tipping point in consumer buying habits.
While food suppliers have traditionally had the capacity to prepare for seasonal demands, the pandemic has skyrocketed consumer e-commerce and grocery purchases, leaving stores scrambling to pick up the slack and meet today’s unprecedented requirements.
Read full article.
Communicating Your Project’s Value to Local Stakeholders
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Congratulations. Your business is growing! Revenue is up, and you just launched a new product that is flying off the shelves. The only problem is you need to hire more people and you have no place to put them. You have hired a site selector, and they have found the perfect location — good access to interstates, labor, and everything else you could want. The only concern is the public. The community likes its small-town rural feel and is worried your project will change their lifestyle too much.
You need an economic impact study. Put simply, an economic impact study estimate...
10 Entrepreneurs That Will Inspire You to Define Success on Your Own Terms
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Success as an entrepreneur is difficult to explain. While we immediately think of it as making a tremendous amount of wealth, success doesn’t always mean that. Rather it comes down to defining it on your own terms and directing your life to live by those principles.
Below are 10 entrepreneurs who you might not have heard of, but have achieved their own versions of success and inspire you to do the same.
Read full article.
Make Your Business Idea A Reality By Following A Few Simple Steps
Monday, October 11, 2021
As the very successful Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And as a successful entrepreneur myself, I can confirm that you can make your dreams come true if you set your mind to it, persevere, and give it all you got. But, making your business idea a reality doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, patience, and a ton of hard work.
So, how do you make your business idea and dream come to life? Let me walk you through it.
Got a solid idea for a product or service? Awesome. Now it’s time to ge...
U.S. Army Soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas Benefit from New Data Science-Powered Advising Platform to Guide Military-Civilian Transition
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Junction City and a network of the largest regional employers join forces to match Fort Riley Soldiers-in-transition with civilian career paths
JUNCTION CITY, KAN. (SEPTEMBER 23, 2021) -- Active-duty service members at Fort Riley, Kansas—one of the largest U.S. military installations—will receive data-guided recommendations for upskilling and employment opportunities as they prepare for the transition to the civilian workforce, thanks to a new pilot program called the Junction for Military/Civilian Innovation. Using a career advising platform built by data services firm AstrumU®, the program will harness the power of data science to analyze the skillsets of thousands of active-duty soldiers, helpin...
Governor Laura Kelly Announces Kansas Receives National Economic Development Recognition
Monday, September 13, 2021
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced Kansas has received Area Development’s Top 20 States for Doing Business recognition for 2021 – the first time in Kansas history the state has made the Top 20 list.
“Our state’s positive economic development momentum is undeniable, and the rest of the country is taking notice,” Governor Kelly said. “This designation – in addition to our record-breaking economic success, our receipt of Area Development Magazine’s Gold Shovel Award, and being named as the top business climate in the West North Central region of the United States – is further proof our efforts are paying off i...
NetWork Kansas Aims to Plug the Urban-Rural Divide
Friday, September 10, 2021
A nationwide pandemic, vaccines, elections and racial unrest have exposed the broad political and societal divides between urban centers and rural places. This has occurred against a backdrop of city residents finding they can work from anywhere, relocating in greater numbers to regions with smaller populations.
What does all this mean to entrepreneurship? NetWork Kansas could be at the forefront of that discovery.
As one of America’s longest-running rural entrepreneurial ecosystems, NetWork Kansas offers a model for collaboration on rural economic development. The now-statewide network of nonprofit business-building resources has proven to be a model for bridging the rural-urban gap in som...
Ag industry is Kansas' largest economic driver
Wednesday, September 08, 2021
(The Center Square) - At the sixth annual Kansas Governor's Summit on Agricultural Growth, industry leaders will be updated about different sectors of Kansas agriculture and discuss growth outcomes.
Scarlett Hagins, vice president of communications at Kansas Livestock Association, said that agriculture is the largest economic driver in Kansas, valued at nearly $70.3 billion, and it employs more than 250,000 people either directly or indirectly. Direct contributions come from agriculture and food products, and indirect contributions come from farms and agricultural businesses purchasing inputs from supporting industries within the state.
"Cattle ranching and related businesses employ nearly 39,000 people and contribute a...
Challenges Facing the Auto Industry Post-Pandemic
Tuesday, September 07, 2021
With so much velocity in the industrial market, it is hard to imagine that a lack of labor, materials, and available real estate could slow down this momentum — specifically, at a time when there is unprecedented demand for new passenger and fleet vehicles. Can you remember the last time your local car dealership or car rental company had little to no inventory?
The disruption of the pandemic impacted nearly every facet of the automotive supply chain, causing a significant impact on how new projects are being developed and implemented. BDO’s annual 2021 Manufacturing CFO Outlook Survey showed that the number-on...
Supply Chain Bottlenecks Creating New “Logistical Hotspots”
Monday, September 06, 2021
Most businesses have not escaped supply chain challenges over the previous 12 months. When everyone expected COVID-19 to slow demand, it accelerated demand to a point where supply chains were stretched to their limits. But it not just COVID — the winter storm of 2021 reduced Texas’ capacity to refine petroleum, which created a ripple effect for a reduced ability to manufacture nearly all paints. Major manufacturers of cushion foam were also hit by a hurricane, causing multiple industries to temporarily shut down for repairs, which has exacerbated the shortage due to high demand. Currently, many companies, both large an...
Dislocation, Dislocation, Dislocation
Wednesday, September 01, 2021
Remote work is full of paradoxes and ironies.
Start with that word: “remote.” It sounds like you’re far, far away, speaking into a tin can. But a fair number of suddenly remote workers have never been more present and accounted for.
It also lends itself to the easy joke: “You’re working remotely today? Not remotely working is more like it.”
Then there’s the hackneyed phrase “location, location, location.” Industry hubs are one thing. But the idea of certain places becoming hubs of remote work is inherently backward: If you can work from anywhere, the hub — like some sort of sci-fi concept &mdash...
The New Junction City High School: A Boon for the Community and Geary County Workforce
Friday, August 20, 2021
The doors of the new Junction City High School will swing wide-open for students on August 25, 2021. The 437,000 square-foot state-of-the-art high school is located on the west side of Junction City, Kansas, along the north side of K-18 Highway, and is the culmination of years of planning and perseverance.
“The old high school was at the end of its functional life,” said David Wild, Geary County Schools Unified School District 475 Chief Operations Officer. “The Board of Education commissioned a needs assessment to determine the feasibility of renovating that school. Plumbing, electrical, space, flooring, ceilings, heating and cooling, plu...
Junction City Brigade Baseball at Rathert Field is a Kansas Destination Worth a Visit
Friday, July 23, 2021
The crack of the bat, the cheer of the crowd, the aroma of fresh popcorn on a clear summer evening . . . these tell a tale of baseball familiar to many. Junction City Brigade Baseball at Rathert Field delivers all of this, but the story goes even deeper. The baseball dreams, success, and camaraderie launch from a foundation of rich history, community spirit, tenacity, and quality of life.
Rathert Field — built from limestone quarried right in Junction City — is an architectural landmark and one of the most historic baseball stadiums in the Midwest. Opening its doors in 1937...
Adapting to a New Workplace Ecosystem
Monday, July 19, 2021
Agile work is increasing due to the pandemic. Having experienced some of the benefits of working from home — such as reduced commutes, increased ability to balance work and life, preferred space to execute individualized focus work, etc. — more office workers are going to expect flexibility in where they work.
Recognizing this coming shift is the easy part. Understanding how portfolio and workplace strategies need to adjust — and then executing on those adjustments — is the challenge.
In order to explore and better understand how organizations are thinking about these changes, Cushman & Wakefield partnered with CoreNet Global to surve...
Mitigate the Risks of Supply Chain Disruption
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
If the recent pandemic has taught business leaders anything, it’s that solid readiness planning through diversification and data analysis can reduce the impact when a crisis hits. Nearly half of operations leaders surveyed in the recent PwC US Pulse Survey indicated that reducing supply chain disruptions is “very important.” But few companies are ready to make the costly move of reshoring or nearshoring, even though a recent executive order put an emphasis on the potential upsides of moving supply chains to — or closer to — the United States or allied countries. Recent changes to multinational trade agreements also further complicate supply chain...
Thursday, June 17, 2021
High unemployment, the magnifying power of the web and fresh fintech financing are fueling an eruption of startups not seen in decades. And America will never go back to business as usual.
In the gritty, gray concrete lobby of Firebrand Collective—a women’s coworking space in Kansas City’s industrial West Bottoms district—Jackie Nguyen makes lattes laced with cardamom and lychee from her colorful mobile coffee shop. A colossal dragon head covers the shop, Cafe Cà Phê, painted the bold yellow and red of the South Vietnamese flag, with dashes of bright blue in a nod to the French influence on the country’s food. “An...
The Effects of the Pandemic on Industrial Design
Monday, June 14, 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected every facet of our economy, increasing a cultural reliance on e-commerce that is here to stay. Retailers have responded by minimizing square footage of brick-and-mortar store fronts, keeping less inventory on site, and focusing more on entertainment and experiential retail to keep shoppers engaged. As a result, the need for warehousing and industrial space has exploded, driving the desire for large-scale, innovative facilities that maximize efficiency and logistical operations.
The literal driving force behind the industrial surge is the expansion of transportation capabilities worldwide, with international trade becoming the engine of the global economy. Goods ar...
3 Steps For Managing Your Small Business’s Taxes
Friday, June 11, 2021
Filing business-related taxes can often be a time-consuming and complicated process, especially for new entrepreneurs. Small business owners need a good understanding of the federal, state, and local taxes required to file. The types of taxes can range from income, employment, excise, and sales.
It is critical that business owners are set up for success well before tax season. Here are three steps for managing your small business’s taxes.
1. Find the Right Accountant
Most small business owners hire an accountant to ensure that all tax filing and payments are made correctly. Accountants help reduce the amount of time business owners spend o...
Here's How These Businesses Exploded During the Pandemic
Wednesday, June 09, 2021
It’s been incredibly interesting to watch just how the world has responded to the Covid-19 crisis. Some businesses and individuals didn’t seem to respond or pivot at all, but a select group of companies figured out how to not only stay afloat, but also thrive in the midst of this pandemic.
These companies, the successful amidst the chaos, act as a compelling case study for many economists around the globe (since this is truly all unprecedented), and for myself. I’ve been looking at the companies that have actually grown during Covid-19, and I dug into just how they’ve been able to do it. Hopefully, this insight wil...
Shoring Up Operations for Growth
Monday, June 07, 2021
The pandemic wreaked havoc across every industry, and companies in the manufacturing and mobility/transportation sectors were not spared. The result? Companies are re-evaluating their supply chains and operations in a post-COVID environment.
Realigning the Supply Chain
For the past 20 years, manufacturing moved operations from the U.S. to East Asia to take advantage of cheap labor. This approach dominated manufacturers’ strategy, paving the way for a status quo where low-skilled and large-scale manufacturing was done in China. But COVID-19 — coupled with rising wages in East Asia, trade tensions, and a tariff war between the U.S. and China — undermined the busines...
KU study will help define broadband priorities in Kansas
Saturday, June 05, 2021
Access to education, health care, public safety and government services increasingly depends on access to affordable, high-speed internet service. It provides small-business owners with access to resources and markets around the world, allows students the opportunity to participate in remote education and connects patients in medically underserved areas to critical health services. The COVID-19 pandemic further underscored the importance of that internet access.
Available data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) suggest that Kansas residents, especially in rural communities, lack access to stable, high-speed internet service at home. At the same time, current FCC regulations on broadband measurement and reporting limi...
Twin Valley Fiber-Optic Service Brings Infrastructure Upgrade to Geary County
Wednesday, June 02, 2021
Junction City/Geary County Kansas is now benefiting from reliable, high-performance fiber broadband thanks to Twin Valley Communications, a 4th-generation family-owned provider of gigabit broadband, fixed wireless, and IT managed services. This innovation was made possible by SPARK funding from CARES Act grants, matching investments from Twin Valley, and proactive thinking by Junction City leadership.
The project is being conducted in two phases. Due to requirements of the SPARK funding received September 2020, Phase 1 had to be completed by December 31, 2020. Had the city not voted in November 2019 to install a conduit system and fiber-optic network to connect th...