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Dodge City Contributes to Kansas Winning Second Economic Development Excellence Award

Judd Weil-News Director

[TOPEKA, Kan.]

Kansas has won “Area Development” magazine’s coveted 2022 Gold Shovel Award, marking the second year in a row the state has received this national recognition for excellence in economic development.

The annual award is given to states that attract high-value investment projects that create a significant number of new jobs in their communities. Only five states have been awarded the Gold Shovel for 2022.

Dodge City, Kan.’ approximately $459,206,226 Hilmar Cheese Company project was submitted as a sample project for the Gold Shovel Award for the 247 jobs it is expected to bring to Ford County, Kan.

Since the start of Governor Kelly’s Administration, Kansas has received nearly $8.8 billion in new business investments, created, and retained nearly 43,000 jobs, and been home to 645 new economic development projects.

“For the second year in a row, Kansas has been recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in job creation and business investment,” said Governor Laura Kelly said. “There’s a reason why: Our track record of fully funding schools, investing in infrastructure, and expanding broadband access has resulted in more businesses choosing to call Kansas home.”

The Department of Commerce, as the Sunflower State’s lead economic development agency, works to help businesses and communities grow in Kansas. The Department of Commerce’s business recruitment team supported all business successes submitted for the Gold Shovel Award.

“Under Governor Kelly’s leadership, the Kansas economy has transformed into one of the most dominant states for economic development,” said Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland. “Our aggressive approach to bringing new, quality jobs and investment to the state has led to back-to-back years of record-breaking success. As a result, the world is taking notice.”

To strengthen these record-breaking efforts, Governor Kelly recently signed the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion (APEX) bill into law.

This bipartisan legislation provides an additional tool to help Kansas compete for some of the country's most significant and transformational economic development projects.

The Kelly Administration anticipates, “with modern, competitive economic development tools and a highly skilled workforce, Kansas will remain on track for new growth in the years to come.”

The Kansas Department of Commerce worked with economic development organizations and partners across the state to select a sample of successful projects to submit for this award.

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