As domestic manufacturing companies seek to continually reduce long supply chain timelines to increase market responsiveness, many companies are seeking suppliers closer to their manufacturing facilities. The once common practice of sourcing to China for a supply chain cost advantage is losing its appeal and practicality today. It is anticipated that both products and jobs that have previously been sourced to China will be brought back to the U.S.
We believe that relationships between customers and suppliers within the region can be developed and strengthened to help our region’s manufacturers be more competitive, both nationally and internationally. Our region has both the manufacturing capacity and a central geographic location to be attractive to companies seeking shorter supply chains. We need to prepare our region to be marketable and competitive to attract businesses and bring in new job opportunities. With thoughtful preparation and the on-boarding of new forward-thinking initiatives, our community will thrive and benefit from new market opportunities bringing increased economic development, jobs and job retention.
Initiatives for Progress
Regional Advanced Manufacturing Reshoring Initiative
We are working with state partners and national organizations to better understand emerging manufacturing trends, and develop a responsive strategy that can leverage the region’s assets, idle facilities, and technical workforce and education institutions to attract new opportunities to the region.
As part of this initiative, we have:
- Collaborated with the Kansas Department of Commerce to have the region’s manufacturers visible on the states’ supplier database.
- Co-applied, with South Central Kansas region, for “Manufacturing Community” designation through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Program. Designation enables regions to receive priority consideration on future federal funding opportunities for manufacturing-related infrastructure investments.
Increasing Visibility of Local Resources
To raise awareness about major companies and resources located in our community, we have created an interactive tool that identifies economic development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce education assets throughout the region.
Improving Broadband in the Region
Broadband speeds and reliability are a major issue in the region. We are helping business enterprises and start-ups alike get better access to the internet as this is critical to competing in regional, national and global marketplaces.
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