Check out the latest in Junction City-Geary County economic development news!
WATCO is Part of Junction City’s Transportation Hub
Thursday, January 14, 2021
WATCO is a Kansas-based single-source transportation and supply chain services company with locations throughout North America and Australia. Founded in 1983, they grew from one locomotive into what they are today: a leading company that offers its customers water, rail, road and air transportation, material handling and storage, repair and maintenance, logistics, and design and development. They own and operate a diverse and unmatched network of short line railroads, terminals, ports, and mechanical shops. Junction City, Kansas is home to one of their railcar repair shops.
“Customers send us their railcars so we can fix them up to ‘track ready’ accordin...
First Person: Understanding and Investing in Current and Future Talent
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
AD: Can you define people analytics for our readers?
Williams: People analytics is described as the method of analytics which can support leaders as they make decisions about their employees and workforce. This method applies statistics, technology, and expertise to large sets of HR data, which should result in better business and management decisions by an organization. Another way of looking at this is how to get the best return on investment from their people — in an analytical, data-driven way.
AD: How can the use of data help industrial companies satisfy their workforce requirements?
Williams: Data can prove instrumental to inform industrial companies on the bes...
Recruiting and Retaining Today’s Manufacturing Workforce
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
AD: How has COVID-19 changed the employee experience in manufacturing, and what facets of this should organizations retain going forward?
Zenk: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees have been experiencing a drastically different work environment. Thousands of manufacturers across the U.S. and around the world were deemed essential during the pandemic, and their production lines haven’t stopped. They’ve continued to produce essential goods that the global community relies on — from the food we eat to the clothes we wear and cleaning supplies we use in our homes. As some manufacturers increased output and others reconfigured operations to satisfy urgent demands...
The Future of the Workforce Is a “Better Normal”
Monday, December 28, 2020
The world as we all knew it changed earlier this year with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seemingly overnight, everything that we used to think was normal had changed, and things that once were deemed impossible for the workplace became the “new normal.” Now, seven months later, most of us have gotten used to this “new normal” — embracing the work-from-home lifestyle, using new technology, wearing masks, social distancing, and connecting virtually. But what comes next? Eventually this pandemic will end, a vaccine will be readily available, and we will attempt to return back to our “normal” lives. Bu...
Trends in Office and Industrial Parks
Monday, December 28, 2020
Of course, the big factor impacting office and industrial parks going into 2021 is COVID-19. The pandemic has reduced business production and workforce (through illness, social distancing, and remote working), disrupted the supply chain and cash flow, and brought about significant investments in technology.
Across the nation, the demand for suburban office parks is rising as more skilled workers move back to suburbs, due to concerns about housing costs and quality of education — they also feel safer from COVID-19 and the civil unrest that is happening in some larger cities.
“The most notable shift is toward lower-intensity spaces, where getting int...
Sustaining Industrial Labor Needs During and After the Pandemic
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate consumer and workplace trends that were, in many cases, already under way pre-pandemic, challenges and opportunities in finding, training, and retaining an efficient industrial workforce remain constants for distributors and manufacturers. Effective site selection decisions hinge on a complex cost/quality balance of labor, logistics, and location. It is critical that occupiers remain vigilant in fostering a workplace and workforce that delivers on performance objectives while meeting current and future pandemic-driven challenges. With labor costs making up as much as 70 percent of warehouse operating expenses, the focus on workforce potential in existing an...
4 Key Components To Creating A Sophisticated Economic Development Marketing Strategy
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
The strategy of simply creating a website and hoping new businesses will look at your community isn’t going to work by itself. You need a marketing plan to work along with it. A workforce attraction and business growth strategy need to target specific industry sectors. A solid strategy will have four key components: workforce attraction strategy, narrative placemaking and successful story creation, aggressive social media campaign, and a robust analytical approach to measuring the marketing effectiveness.
CRAFTING A WORKFORCE ATTRACTION STRATEGY
The demand for skilled labor continues to burden communities and US employers. Manufacturing has been on the rise, but the manufacturin...
5 Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Brand Strength and Equity
Monday, December 14, 2020
It’s not enough to have a competitive advantage in the Covid-19 era. Marketing must adapt to the new normal, and crafting a strong and authentic brand helps with this process.
Brand-building is a long-term initiative that demands patience and persistence, but its benefits are worth the effort. The perks of brand-building are present in both internal and consumer-facing aspects of your business.
Below is a quick list of what you can expect from maintaining a strong brand.
Read full article.
SEO For The Savvy Economic Developer
Tuesday, December 01, 2020
Authors don’t write books for librarians, they write books for readers. So why are economic developers creating websites just for search engines?
The sole focus on search engine rankings has moved economic development website marketing away from the true intended purpose - connecting communities to business owners and expanding economic growth opportunities.
Economic development professionals desire more traffic. But that goal is getting in the way of making sure the users actually find the information they are seeking. We confuse the search engine rankings and analysis with success when the primary goal is still to deliver relevant content from the user. Th...
Certainty and Predictability Are the Winning States’ Hallmarks
Monday, November 30, 2020
State business climates are exceedingly competitive in 2020, if Site Selection’s latest Business Climate Ranking is any indication. For the first time ever, two states claim the top spot — Georgia, which now has an eight-year run in first place, and North Carolina, which missed tying Georgia last year by just two points. What’s more, there are two additional sets of tied states in the Top 10, Texas and South Carolina in fourth place and Alabama and Arizona in seventh.
Half the ranking is based on a survey of corporate executives and site selectors (asked to identify the states they believ...
The Biggest Economic Engine You Haven't Heard of
Monday, November 30, 2020
The Grain Belt Express transmission line, an approximately 800-mile high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line being developed by Invenergy Transmission, was announced on September 30th by Governor Laura Kelly, Kansas Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary for Business Development Bill Murphy and Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Invenergy Kris Zadlo. It will deliver up to 4,000 megawatts (MW) of low-cost, homegrown clean energy from western Kansas to millions of Americans in the Midwest and other regions.
“Kansas is uniquely positioned to be a regional and national leader in the development and expansion of clean and renewable energy,” said Governo...
Junction City, Kansas Spotlight on Jeff Underhill: Mayor and Businessman
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Junction City in Geary County Kansas is an ideal place to live, work and play. With a prime location in the center of the nation, “600 miles to everywhere,” it boasts the beauty of Milford Lake, property and resources for businesses, and a desirable cost of living. It was named a 2020 Great American Defense Community for its support of nearby Fort Riley.
While families, entrepreneurs, young professionals, and remote workers can all find amenities to love, it is the people who make the town a real community. Jeff Underhill is one of those people who shapes the character of Junctio...
Network Kansas Sponsors 2020-2021 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge Series
Monday, November 23, 2020
Wichita, KS – NetWork Kansas’ Entrepreneurship (E-) Community Partnership announces the 2020-2021 Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge (YEC) Series. The YEC Series consists of local-level youth entrepreneurship competitions hosted by volunteers. The goal of the competition is to expose Kansas middle school and high school students to entrepreneurship. Forty-eight local events in Kansas cities and counties will culminate in a state championship hosted by Kansas State University, date TBD.
“YEC has been a great program for our kids in Northwest Kansas. I see kids who normally don't enjoy school actually get excited about developing and presenting their own business! All of a sudden, writing...
4 Key Benefits of Video Content
Saturday, October 31, 2020
In the digital age, getting attention is anything but a given. An abundance of publishers, gadgets and apps are competing for mind share, and data overload causes audiences to block distractions and instead focus on what’s urgent.
Five years back, a Microsoft study found that humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, which lasts about eight seconds — only two decades ago, we were at 12 seconds. That's proof positive why content must be compelling, truly entertaining and/or informative; otherwise it’s just mindless noise.
When marketing online, it also helps to have the right format. Entrepreneurs, startups and small- to medium-sized businesses can all use videos to hook audience...
5 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Better Serve Their Potential Customers
Saturday, October 31, 2020
If McKinsey & Company insights from July are any indication, consumers have rediscovered their power in the pandemic. Due to a combination of product shortages, economic and job concerns, along with a general willingness to change their purchasing behaviors, 75 percent of shoppers say they’ve behaved differently since coronavirus began spreading. In many cases, their new purchasing habits have led to exposure to unfamiliar brands.
This is a huge boon, especially for entrepreneurs trying to disrupt a market or industry. Under ordinary circumstances, getting consumers to move away from their favorite companies’ products and services can be challenging. However, with so much general uncertainty i...
Geary County Kansas Has Properties and Resources to Support Onshoring Companies
Friday, October 30, 2020
For companies looking to stabilize their supply chains by onshoring, Junction City-Geary County, Kansas has the desired assets and amenities that appeal to site selectors looking to relocate or expand.
Why Did Onshoring Become a Key Strategy?
Onshoring to strengthen supply chains has become critical for many businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the vulnerability of relying on global resources and products. Over the past 40 years, many companies focused on cost reduction, choosing to steadily relocate manufacturing overseas as global markets opened up in places such as China, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. However, because of world events, businesse...
How To Scale Your Business In Tough Times
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
To say that Covid-19 has thrown businesses for a loop would be an understatement. Yelp recently reported that, of the more than 160,000 U.S. companies that have closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 60% are now shut down for good.
With businesses across the country struggling to keep their doors open, scaling your company in this economy might seem like a pipe dream. Not necessarily, says Charles Gaudet, CEO of growth consultancy Predictable Profits: “While we are in a challenging environment, you will find companies in every industry having their best year yet. Those succeeding are adapting, looking for the opportunity and using dat...