TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A brand new 50,000 square foot building in Manhattan awaits more than 150 workers from the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
(WIBW/ Monty Thompson)
While the move leaves a hole in downtown Topeka, officials say it is designed to better serve all Kansans.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture's move to Manhattan has been 14 months in the making.
"On thursday we are shutting down and moving all day Friday. We will be open for business by next Monday June 16th. It's an exciting time," said Assistant Secretary of the KDA, Jake Worcester.
Despite the excitement, not everyone in the company was ready to make a commitment to Manhattan. KDA officials say the employee turnover rate has slightly risen from the typical 15% to around 20%
Worcester said, "We have seen a slight higher percentage of those who have chosen to look for new opportunities and they told us it was because of the move but we didn't see a mass exodus like people were speculating. We have a lot of dedicated people that want to do a good job for us no matter where we are located."
About 160 employees are sticking on board. The KDA will be faced with about $160,000 in moving costs, but the benefits are much more than just a brand new 50,000 square foot building. A main tipping point to the move, location.
"Certainly we want to be close to Kansas State University, the new NBAF Facility, the vet school and other businesses in the Bio-Tech corridor. It is going to give so many collaborations and opportunities to better serve our customers and for people to see how we do business as a state," said Worcester.
The KDA will maintain its administrative office in Topeka and current field offices in Stafford, Stockton, Parsons and Garden city. To help with the new commute, KDA will have state issued vans car pooling employees to and from work.