K-State announces statewide economic partnership plan

Goal is for 3,000 new jobs and $3 billion in investment by 2029
K-State president Richard Linton takes the podium at the Kansas Statehouse to announce new 105...
K-State president Richard Linton takes the podium at the Kansas Statehouse to announce new 105 county partnership for economic growth.(WIBW)
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 12:09 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State University is launching it’s 105 county partnership plan. K-State said in a conference Tuesday at the Statehouse that the partnership is aimed at economic growth with a goal of creating 3,000 new jobs and $3 billion in investment by the year 2029.

Partners within the initiative include NetWork Kansas and the Greater Topeka Partnership. The hope is to foster new business and to expand existing business. They are also hoping to attract new outside investment to the state.

When asked if the statewide goal was achievable, Kansas State University president Richard Linton said absolutely.

“We’re responsible for being in all 105 communities through our extension network throughout the state,” said Linton. “So, actually it’s very easy for us to adapt and to get connected. We already have those relationships, those business relationships in these communities. We have people employed all over the state with the partnership we have with Network Kansas, K-State and K-State extension, it’s very achievable.”

Linton will be coming back to Topeka Monday, January 23 to discuss the next steps of the partnership with GTP. He is hopeful that the partnership will be a good move to keep Kansans in Kansas.

“If we can create a better network of business opportunities and connect students to opportunities, we’ve got a better opportunity and a better chance to keep them in Kansas,” said Linton.

NetWork Kansas is an organization devoted to growing small business and entrepreneurship in the state. They announced that they are looking forward to providing their agents with the additional resources from Kansas State University.

“We’ve been working with Kansas State in various departments like technology development institute,” said Steve Radley, CEO of NetWork Kansas, “research and extension and the rural grocery initiative for years. What the K-State 105 initiative does is that it would allow for those organizations to do even more in those communities with specific entrepreneurs that they maybe couldn’t do without some additional funds.”

The Greater Topeka Partnership has also partnered with the 105 initiative and is excited about the potential within the 105 partnership. Dr. Laurie Pieper is Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses for Go Topeka.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for our entrepreneurs, our startups and existing businesses to take advantage of the resources through Kansas State University,” said Pieper, “for science vetting, for technology transfer opportunities, for manufacturing consulting and for getting the faculty and students at K-State engaged in our communities so that we can help attract talent to Topeka.”