GWEDC on 99.7 LITE FM this Sunday morning

From partnering on the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG) and the Wichita-South Central Kansas Export Plan, to helping secure Figeac-Aero North America’s expansion in Wichita, the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) has been hard at work promoting Wichita and our region.

Debra Teufel, Tim Chase & host Gayla Crouse

Debra Teufel, Tim Chase & host Gayla Crouse

For more information about these and other GWEDC initiatives, tune to 99.7 LITE FM this Sunday morning at 8. GWEDC President Tim Chase and Vice President Debra Tuefel will be guests on the Lite Is Local program, during which they will answer questions like these:

  • How does GWEDC work in with the city, county and state departments to retain and attract primary jobs?
  • What are some recent “wins” that are putting Wichitans back to work?
  • What is Wichita’s secret weapon for keeping and attracting great jobs?
  • How long does it typically take to close a deal?

Be sure to tune in Sunday morning! If you miss the original airing, you can catch a podcast of the interview on the station’s website.

Promoting Wichita’s superior workforce and supply chain

The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) is promoting Wichita’s exceptional workforce and world-class aviation supply chain this week during the 2014 NBAA Business Convention in Orlando, FL at Booth #2067.  The Wichita Airport Authority, National Center for Aviation Training, National Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita AeroClub and the Kansas Department of Commerce are partnering with GWEDC as well as five local private sector companies:  Capps Manufacturing, CE Machine, Harlow Aerostructures, Impresa Aviation, and Image Resources Group.3col_vert_with_tag

GWEDC President Tim Chase said, “Wichita has the strongest pro-aviation business environment in the world and we have a unique story to share with NBAA participants about the breadth and depth of our capabilities.We will be promoting the fact that Wichita has the number one workforce for aviation engineering knowledge and advanced manufacturing skills.”

This year GWEDC and its partners will be promoting some of Wichita’s key differentiators:

  • The world’s top general aviation OEM’s – Textron Aviation’s Cessna and Beechcraft as well as Bombardier’s Learjet
  • More than 350 of aviation’s top suppliers
  • A world-class, skilled aviation workforce
  • The world’s largest aerospace R&D academic institution
  • Aviation training curriculum that sets global standards
  • Multiple options for general aviation air service and the state’s largest commercial airport

Trade show participants can attend GWEDC’s Talent Central Celebration on Wednesday, October 22, from 3:30 to 4 p.m. to meet Wichita City Council Representative Pete Meitzner. Meitzner will discuss the pro-business climate in the Air Capital that has fostered innovation and investment in Wichita.

Defining Wichita’s Brand

How should Wichita tell its story to prospective employees, visitors, conventioneers, students, developers, artists, business owners, and entrepreneurs?

A unique partnership between Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC), Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, Wichita Community Foundation and Wichita State University has been formed to work together to develop a comprehensive community wide strategy on how Wichita will tell its story. The public is invited to attend and provide input about Wichita’s brand at one of two workshops that will be held at the Wichita Scottish Rite Center (332 E. 1st St. N.). The sessions are Tuesday, September 2 or Wednesday, September 3. Both sessions will be from 5-7 p.m.

“Selling our community is about finding a way to demonstrate our uniqueness in the marketplace and the brand summit is how we accomplish this task. The Chamber and GWEDC are excited to be part of, what we believe will be, an extremely successful new initiative,” said Tim Chase, president of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition.

Gary Plummer, president and CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber, says that public input will help the coalition of brand partners to develop a better product and plan. “We’re strongly encouraging our members to actively participate in one of these sessions. We need their ideas and input about how to incorporate the best of Wichita in our community brand.”

The sessions don’t require a reservation to attend, and they are free and open to the public.

See the official press release and learn more at www.gowichita.com/brand.

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GWEDC Aggressively Pursuing New Leads

Wichita received some outstanding economic development news this week with the final selection of McConnell Air Force Base for the KC-46A Refueling Tanker mission. The base will benefit from $219 million in improvements to prepare for the mission and the new mission strengthens the local economy in numerous ways that will show long-term benefits.

Less than 24 hours after the announcement from the Air Force, Spirit AeroSystems announced that it is filling 250 open positions in Wichita, while 575 Kansas employees at Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft received 60-day layoff notices. Airbus has also announced pending layoffs.

These types of announcements strengthen the resolve of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) to provide more employment certainty for our skilled workforce. Aggressively pursuing opportunities to grow our established businesses and attract new ones will help our community retain experienced employees and their families.

The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) staff believes this quarter will set a new record for the number of leads generated. They have been primarily focusing on three sectors this month: non-aviation manufacturing, additive manufacturing, and pitching the Boeing facilities.

Non-Aviation Manufacturing
GWEDC President Tim Chase and VP-Business Development Debra Teufel spent 12 days in Germany earlier this month. The first part of their trip was devoted to making connections during the world’s largest annual manufacturing trade fair,  Hannover Messe. Chase and Teufel held 25 meetings with technology company representatives during their four-day stay. Held April 7-11, the fair is made up of over 20 halls filled with 5,000 exhibitors representing 100 nations. About 180,000 industrial company representatives attended this year.

Debra Teufel at the Hannover Fair 2014

                                        Debra Teufel at the Hannover Fair 2014

Chase and Teufel also spent time in Bremen to capitalize on relationships that were established when GWEDC hosted a 30 member Bremen delegation in Wichita last fall. Bremen shares some interesting workforce similarities with Wichita and officials there reciprocated with meetings and tours of some of their manufacturing and assembly facilities, including those operated by Airbus (where the wings of the A330 and A350 XWB Aircarft are equipped with relevant systems) and Mercedes. In addition to discussing similar supply chains and learning more about the special development effort that has resulted in  Airport City Bremen, information about WSU’s proposed Innovation Center were shared with three engineering companies that are possible candidates for establishing a US presence.

Additive Manufacturing
Beth Shelton, Manager of Business Development for GWEDC, attended an Additive Manufacturing Users Group conference in Tucson, Arizona. Utilizing the unique expertise found at user group events vs. traditional trade shows proved to be extremely more enlightening as GWEDC prepares our strategy.  Beth established additional contacts in the 3D Printing industry to those identified at last year’s Aerospace and Defense event by Tim and Debraand was able to familiarize them with the technical expertise available in Wichita.

Pitching the Boeing Facilities
GWEDC is reaching out to a variety of companies that can re-occupy the vacant Boeing properties. One primary use would be for large aircraft modification.  Beth Shelton participated in GWEDC’s first time at the MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition. The Conference was well attended with 10,000 registered attendees and over 720 exhibitors representing 72 countries. More than 25 Wichita companies exhibited. Beth had pre-arranged meetings with several of the largest MRO companies in the world.

Follow this link for a webinar that was posted this week with more information about the role of the GWEDC.

Beth Shelton joins GWEDC

Beth Shelton
Beth Shelton has joined the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition as the Manager of Business Development. She has more than five years of economic development experience and was most recently employed as the Director of Economic Development for the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce. She begins her duties on Monday, February 10.

Her primary responsibilities will be the retention and expansion of our existing industries by organizing more than 100 formal visitations to discuss how the community could help them grow. Shelton will also be a member of the team responsible for national and international marketing to generate leads for recruiting new companies.   

A graduate of Friends University and the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute, Shelton was the Economic Development Coordinator for GWEDC from 2008 to 2013.

“We are very excited to welcome Beth back to our team,” said GWEDC President Tim Chase. “We know she did a great job at her post in Salina, which will make her invaluable to GWEDC and the Chamber’s efforts.”

Recap of Recent GWEDC Happenings

Last week your GWEDC team hit the trifecta of high-profile marketing events aimed at stimulating job creation and investment in the region.   All three events just happened to be in and around the Las Vegas area making this a very cost-effective week for promoting Wichita to specific targets.

CoreNet GlobalI attended the opening gala for the Corporate Office Real Estate Network’s Annual meeting on Monday, October 21.  This is the world’s leading corporate real estate event. If you are the VP of real estate for a large company this is the where you go to network with 2,000 of your peers and take advantage of continuing education.  We had a booth at the trade show depicting all the real estate solutions in the region with a special focus on the soon-to-be-vacant Boeing properties.

Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing Summit – Debra Teufel and I met with 24 aerospace and defense companies for 30 minutes each on October 20-21.  The general purpose of these meetings was promoting how companies can take advantage of Wichita’s attributes and we were pleased to uncover several recruitment opportunities. Our presence at this event was further enhanced by Paul Jonas, Director of Environmental Test Labs and Special Programs at Wichita State University for the National Institute for Aviation Research. Paul made a presentation at the summit about innovative partnerships and tailored solutions the Institute provides for the aviation industry.

NBAA – Coinciding with CoreNet was the National Business Aviation Association’s Annual meeting, October 22-24, with some 30,000 attendees.  Your GWEDC staff and seven partners worked a large booth at this event which is promoted as the world’s largest civil aviation show.  GWEDC was one of 1,000 exhibitors, including about seven states and cities pitching to this amazing audience.  We aggressively marketed for new jobs and investments to the business aircraft industry product, service, part, and manufacturers in attendance.

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Our thanks to all of our investors and trade show partners for making these valuable marketing and recruitment opportunities possible.

Our local media provided extensive coverage during NBAA and the links below will connect you with some of their stories, photographs, and videos.

Tim Chase
GWEDC President