TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - More than $4 million will be donated to economic development initiatives around the community over the next five years.
GO Topeka announced Wednesday night that more than 111 companies and individuals contributed to a campaign to fund infrastructure, land and incentives for business development to Topeka and Shawnee County. GO Topeka board chairman Maynard Oliverius says the additional funding will make Topeka and Shawnee County better suited to attract and retain jobs.
Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and GO Topeka President and CEO Doug Kinsinger said he is most impressed with the investor turnout. He notes 42 percent of those giving to the fund this year were new.
Complete news release from GO Topeka:
Investment pledges from more than 111 companies and individuals will result in over $4 million that will go toward economic development initiatives in our community over the next five years. These funds are in addition to the public dollars generated from the county wide sales tax for economic development and infrastructure improvements.
“The support for this campaign has been due to the successes we’ve had in the past,” said Maynard Oliverius, board chair of GO Topeka. “As we’ve talked with business leaders from all sectors of the community, they have realized that even in difficult economic times, Topeka and Shawnee County has marked many successes such as the attraction of Bimbo Bakeries, Mars Chocolate North America and distribution centers for Home Depot and Target. We have also encouraged growth in existing companies such as Frito-Lay, Goodyear, PTMW and Schendel Pest Services.
“The private sector is increasing its financial support of GO Topeka’s public/private sector economic development partnership. The added funding enables our community to seize even more economic opportunities. The private funds allow more public dollars to be directed to land, infrastructure and incentives,” Oliverius said. “With increased dual funding sources, Topeka and Shawnee County will be more competitive and have additional resources to attract and retain more jobs in the community.”
GO Topeka Economic Partnership implements the economic development strategies for the city of Topeka and Shawnee County. GO Topeka contracts with the Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO) on an annual basis to carry out the economic development program. JEDO is comprised of the three elected county commissioners, the Topeka Mayor and Deputy Mayor and two city council members.
Since its inception, GO Topeka has generated 4,773 new jobs, 5,117 retained jobs, for a total of 9,872 direct jobs, and nearly $1.2 billion in capital investments from 123 companies.
“While we have had three previous fundraising campaigns in 2000, 2002 and 2007, we are particularly pleased with the results of this campaign because our investors represent such a wide range of companies and individuals. Many are returning investors, and we have also added many new investors; in fact, 42% of the investors are new this time,” said Doug Kinsinger, president & CEO of the Chamber/GO Topeka.
GO Topeka, realizing that economic changes occur and business models shift, has focused on attracting a diverse group of companies to the community. Target industry sectors that have been identified as potential success stories for the community include food manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, logistics/distribution, back office/financial services, clean energy and biosciences.
“GO Topeka will strive to grow the job base in our community and provide jobs that will sustain families and lifestyles desired by our citizens,” Kinsinger said.