topeka has momentum

In 2017 Topeka and Shawnee County initiated a five year, holistic plan to leverage the traction that was already taking place in our community. Aptly named Momentum 2022, the plan was widely embraced and was spearheaded by the mayor, the county commission and Keith Warta, CEO of Bartlett & West who represented the private industry. Over the last four years it has seen wonderful success in five concentrated areas. Just some of these highlights that we as a community are proud of include:

Develop Homegrown Talent

Create Vibrant & Attractive Places

Grow a Diverse Economy

Positive Image

Collaborate for a Strong Community

Choose Topeka

Evergy Plaza

Innovation & Animal Health

Net Promoter Score

Inclusive Topeka

Washburn Tech East

Redbud Park

Plug & Play

Earned Media Success

Seat at the Table

TopCity Interns

Riverfront Advisory Council

Walmart Distribution Center

Choose Topeka Lifestyle Campaign

Digital Equity

TopCity Teachers

Downtown Master Plan

Innovation Campus

National Rankings and Recognition

 

Topeka Youth Commission

$100M in Downtown Investment

GO Topeka wins/metrics

Home Values and Market Outpaces Nation

 

Early Childhood Development

Bring Back the Boulevard

Poverty down 44%

 

 

 

Wheatfield Village

GDP up $1B

 

 

 

Sherwood Crossing

Average Wages up 33%

 

 

 

Wanamaker Hills

Wheatfield Village Updates

 

 

strategic investors

Momentum 2022 is the holistic economic development plan for Topeka-Shawnee County. The Strategy seeks to make Topeka-Shawnee County a better place to live, work, play, and do business. 

The project is funded by the Topeka Community Foundation, GO Topeka, Heartland Visioning, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, and United Way of Greater Topeka and members of the community came together to identify focus areas to ensure growth and prosperity in Topeka. The businesses and individuals that supported the campaign are investing in the future of Topeka include:

Advisors Excel Federico Consulting, Inc. Mize Houser & Company P.A.
Aldersgate Village FHLBank Topeka MRH Insurance Group, Inc.
Alliance Bank Fidelity State Bank & Trust Parrish Hotel Corporation
Alltech Communications Foulston Siefkin LLP Peoples Insurance Group
Anonymous Futamura Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Topeka
Anonymous Gizmo Pictures Polo Custom Products
Architect One Goodell Stratton Edmonds & Palmer LLP Prairie Band Pottawatomie Nation
ASA Marketing The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Premier Employment Solutions & Key Staffing
AT&T, Inc. Gradient Insurance Brokerage, Inc. Professional Engineering Consultants, PA
Azura Credit Union HAMM, Inc. PTMW
BA Designs Hazel Hill Chocolate Rasmussen College
Bajillion Agency Henson, Hutton, Mudrick, Gragson & Vogelsberg, LLP Reser’s Fine Foods
Bartlett & West Heritage Bank Ricks Advanced Dermatology & Radiance Medical Spa
Berberich Trahan & Co., PA Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc./Subsidiary Colgate-Palmolive The Robb Company
Black Label Transportation Group Historic Harley-Davidson of Topeka Schendel Lawn & Landscape
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Schmidt, Beck & Boyd Engineering, LLC
BNSF Railway Foundation HTK Architects, PA Schwerdt Design Group
Briggs Auto IBEW Local Union #226 Security Benefit
Steve and Derie Briman Impact! Marketing Group, Inc. Senne & Company, Inc.
Briman’s Leading Jewelers INTRUST Bank The J.M. Smucker Company Pet Food & Pet Snacks
Capital City Oil, Inc. Jones Advisory Group Sowards Glass, Inc.
Capitol Federal Foundation jones huyett Partners Stevenson Company, Inc.
Capitol Plaza Hotel Junior Achievement of Kansas Stormont Vail Health/Cotton O’Neil
Cassidy Orthodontics KaMMCO Strathman Sales Co., Inc.
CBIZ MHM Kansas Children’s Discovery Center Summers, Spencer & Company, P.A.
Central National Bank Kansas Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. Sunflower Association of Realtors
Century Business Technologies Kansas Gas Service Sunflower Foundation: Health Care for Kansans
CFS Engineers Kansas Health Institute Terracon
Shekhar Challa, M.D. Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital Civium Architects
Clayton Wealth Partners Kaw Valley Bank Topeka Capital-Journal
Coffman, DeFries & Nothern, P.A. KBS Constructors, Inc. Topeka Community Foundation
Community Bank Kendall Construction Topeka Landscape
Confidential McGee Franklin Financial Group UMB
Cordell Wealth Management KSNT 27.1 – KTMJ 43.1 – KTKA 49.1 – MTKA 49.3 University of Kansas Health System
St. Francis Campus
CoreFirst Bank & Trust L&J Building Maintenance Vaerus Aviation
Cox Communications Lawyers Title of Topeka, Inc. Valeo Behavioral Health Care
Cumulus Broadcasting MB Piland Advertising + Marketing VisionBank
Denison State Bank McElroy’s, Inc. Washburn University & Washburn Tech
Devlin’s Wine & Spirits McPherson Contractors, Inc. Westar Energy
Dillons Companies Mechanical Contractors Association of Kansas WIBW
Envista Credit Union Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority Winston Brown Remodeling
Equity Bank Mid American Credit Union Wolfe’s Camera
Ernest-Spencer Metals Inc. Midwest Health Zimmerman & Zimmerman, P.A.
Family Service & Guidance Center Midwest Housing Equity Group McCownGordon
Crown Distribution

 

key initiatives

Accordingly, developing and retaining a “homegrown” workforce of talented and educated workers will be vitally important to the community’s future success and prosperity. Fortunately, Topeka-Shawnee County has many strong educational and training assets and organizations dedicated to improving educational outcomes. Public input revealed a need for better alignment among these various organizations to ensure that they are working cooperatively and collaboratively toward broad community goals.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

1.1 Align the “Talent Pipeline”

1.1.1 Create a “Cradle Through Career” (CTC) collective impact partnership dedicated to raising talent levels in Topeka- Shawnee County

1.1.2 Utilize student-level data to gauge the effectiveness of programs and guide partnership decision-making

1.2 Ensure that All Children are Ready for Kindergarten

1.2.1 Develop a comprehensive approach to preparing Topeka-Shawnee County’s youngest residents for kindergarten

1.3 Prepare Students for College and Careers

1.3.1 Introduce students to college and career opportunities at a young age and develop “career pathways” for students to identify entrance points into promising and in-demand fields

1.3.2 Align new and existing programs to engage at-risk students, dropouts, and parents

1.3.3 Connect businesses with education providers to identify opportunities for new degree programs and curricula that support business growth

1.3.4 Create a community-wide internship initiative to help employers identify emerging talent and to attach young professionals to Topeka-Shawnee County

1.4 Expand Continuing Education and Training Options for Adults

1.4.1 Incentivize adults without college degrees to further their education and gain new skills

1.4.2 Establish a physical center for workforce development and training in East Topeka

Accordingly, developing and retaining a “homegrown” workforce of talented and educated workers will be vitally important to the community’s future success and prosperity. Fortunately, Topeka-Shawnee County has many strong educational and training assets and organizations dedicated to improving educational outcomes. Public input revealed a need for better alignment among these various organizations to ensure that they are working cooperatively and collaboratively toward broad community goals.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

1.1 Align the “Talent Pipeline”

1.1.1 Create a “Cradle Through Career” (CTC) collective impact partnership dedicated to raising talent levels in Topeka- Shawnee County

1.1.2 Utilize student-level data to gauge the effectiveness of programs and guide partnership decision-making

1.2 Ensure that All Children are Ready for Kindergarten

1.2.1 Develop a comprehensive approach to preparing Topeka-Shawnee County’s youngest residents for kindergarten

1.3 Prepare Students for College and Careers

1.3.1 Introduce students to college and career opportunities at a young age and develop “career pathways” for students to identify entrance points into promising and in-demand fields

1.3.2 Align new and existing programs to engage at-risk students, dropouts, and parents

1.3.3 Connect businesses with education providers to identify opportunities for new degree programs and curricula that support business growth

1.3.4 Create a community-wide internship initiative to help employers identify emerging talent and to attach young professionals to Topeka-Shawnee County

1.4 Expand Continuing Education and Training Options for Adults

1.4.1 Incentivize adults without college degrees to further their education and gain new skills

1.4.2 Establish a physical center for workforce development and training in East Topeka

During the public input process, stakeholders expressed excitement about new and potential developments in Downtown Topeka, NOTO, and the Kansas Riverfront – all of which are located close together within the region’s core. Topeka-Shawnee County residents also wish to see a greater diversity of social offerings, recreational opportunities, housing options, and live-work-play environments. Working to enhance the region’s core – and ensuring that these areas are well-connected – can significantly improve the community’s quality of place.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

2.2 Develop a Dynamic Regional Core

2.2.1 Pursue a catalytic mixed-use development in Downtown Topeka

2.2.2 Incentivize the development of new housing and supportive neighborhood retail in Downtown Topeka

2.2.3 Work with partners at the state level to open the Kansas State Capitol on weekends

2.2.4 Advance the NOTO Arts District Master Plan to accelerate the area’s momentum as a vibrant, creative community

2.2.5 Activate the Kansas River as a destination and recreational amenity

2.2.6 Ensure strong multimodal connectivity within and around the community’s core

These activities which form the core of the economic development program that is carried out by GO Topeka, the community’s public-private economic development partnership are aimed at adjusting successful existing programs and ensuring that the community maintains a best-practice approach. Retention and recruitment efforts is part of a holistic approach to economic development and an important complement to new initiatives related to entrepreneurship, quality of place, talent, etc. that are captured elsewhere in this Strategy. Additionally, having the appropriate economic development programming, systems, and staff in place can help ensure that when new opportunities do arise, the community is well-positioned to capitalize on them. 

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

3.2 Maintain a Best-Practice Economic Development Program

3.2.1 Continue business retention and expansion (BR&E) activities to ensure that Topeka-Shawnee County’s existing firms remain and thrive in the community

3.2.2 Establish business councils to support Topeka-Shawnee County’s target sectors 

3.2.3 Ensure that Topeka-Shawnee County is actively networked in the KC Animal Health Corridor

3.2.4 Conduct a review of GO Topeka’s economic development marketing program to ensure it aligns with industry best practices

3.3 Pursue Policies that Support Holistic Economic Development

3.3.1 Conduct a review of incentive policies to determine if available offerings are sufficiently flexible to support a broad range of economic development goals.

3.3.2 Work collaboratively with regional partners to ensure that advocacy agendas are aligned with strategic community and economic development needs

Communities with higher levels of community attachment tend to perform better economically, suggesting openness is tied to prosperity. The community must work toward building a more diverse and inclusive culture. Diversity and inclusion are important values that cut across all strategic actions, The community must make specific and intentional efforts to include and engage people of color, immigrants, populations, households with limited English proficiency and other historical under served communities. Aligned with understanding of importance toward building a strong community and encouraging residents to feel a sense of “ownership” of their neighborhoods to improving public health and safety. Working collaboratively to address these issues can have both major positive impact on the lives of individual residents and create a culture of community pride and cohesion that can drastically improve Topeka-Shawnee County’s Self image.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

5.1 Foster and Promote a Diverse and Inclusive Topeka-Shawnee County

5.1.1 Establish a diversity business council to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion

5.1.2 Establish a community-wide program to connect new and existing employee resource groups (ERGs) that promote diversity and inclusion

5.1.3 Promote diversity on boards in Topeka- Shawnee County

5.2 Encourage Healthy, Safe, and Engaged Communities

5.2.1 Create a community-wide volunteer initiative focused on neighborhood improvements and bridging geographic and cultural gaps

5.2.2 Support “social enterprise” startups and small businesses that serve the community

5.2.3 Create an anchor-based community wealth building (CWB) initiative to expand opportunities and build wealth in low-income communities

5.2.4 Adopt a collaborative approach to public safety

5.2.5 Continue to support Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods and other initiatives identified in the Shawnee County Community Needs Assessment

A community’s economic competitiveness is increasingly tied to its ability to retain and attract a skilled and educated workforce, and talented individuals are increasingly drawn to areas that are aesthetically pleasing, have plentiful social offerings, and can provide live-work-play environments. Accordingly, quality of place is now an integral part of a holistic approach to economic development. As revealed through the public input process, Topeka-Shawnee County must make numerous enhancements to its quality of place in order to improve both its internal and external image and become a more competitive market for talent. Doing so will require developing or optimizing a range of programs and initiatives.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

2.1 Optimize Tools and Programs to Improve Quality of Place

2.1.1 Build public support for public-private partnerships and other incentives and investments that enhance quality of place

2.1.2 Create a restaurant development program to expand social offerings

2.1.3 Identify and attract retailers that expand local options and improve quality of life

2.1.4 Create a community-wide loan program to incentivize new and existing homeowners to rehab high-quality housing stock in need of repairs and updates

2.1.5 Expand and pursue options to address blighted properties and ensure responsible ownership

2.1.6 Adopt a collaborative program of highly targeted neighborhood beautification revitalization

2.3 Invest in Infrastructure that Enhances Quality of Place

2.3.1 Continue to invest in infrastructure that enhances mobility and quality of place

2.3.2 Continue to improve gateways into Topeka-Shawnee County, particularly those connecting the community to population centers

The community must be proactive to ensure the strategy’s initiatives and efforts have a positive impact on East Topeka. This will be accomplished through the creation of the East Topeka Council, a sub committee of implementation Committee that will be tasked with promoting effective implementation of strategic initiatives on the community’s East side.

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

  • Beautification
  • Business Development
  • Crime and Public Safety
  • Infrastructure

High-performing communities around the country are working to grow and expand their entrepreneurial ecosystems. The goal is not to “pick winners and loser” up front but instead create the type of environment that allows individuals to flourish. Topeka-Shawnee County has multiple entrepreneurial success stories, by significantly improving the communities ecosystem.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

3.1 Enhance the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
The following objectives for MOMENTUM 2022 are aligned with Go Topeka Innovation’s strategic goals, They include:

4.1 GT Build a physical infrastructure

4.2. GT Build Regional and national partnerships

4.3 GT Attract Leading Organizations: Industry Assoc. Funds, Gov. Org. Businesses

4.3.3.GT Actively retain organizations that have chosen Topeka as their location by tying them into the overall strategy

5.1 GT Develop and Maintain Programming for Training, Networking and Personal Development

5.2 GT Develop and Maintain a Mentorship Network

5.3 GT Provide Access to Funding and Resource/Services

EXECUTIVE IMMERSION SERVICES

Executive Immersion Services are designed to enhance the transition for newly promoted senior executives and C-Suite leadership new to Topeka & Shawnee County through strategic development of meaningful relationships with top-level leadership in the community.

The EIS program has been a fantastic experience. As leaders, I believe it is critical to become immersed in the communities we serve. EIS provides an incredible jump start. I’ve had the opportunity to move around the country, and it usually takes nine to twelve months to accomplish what this program does in a month. I’ve met leaders in a quiet, personal setting that I might not have ever been given the chance to greet outside of a quick public handshake. 

I highly recommend EIS for not only new executives, but ANY C-Suite team member. The program is great for business, and it has the potential of being a great asset to the Greater Topeka area.

    –       Steve Wade, Publisher, The Topeka Capital-Journal

The services are tailored to the needs of the new executive and their family. EIS fast tracks meaningful productive work, strong employee relationships and positive business and community engagement. Executive Immersion services are designed to complement corporate onboarding strategies and expedite the executive’s contribution toward business success and calling Topeka & Shawnee County home.

EIS benefits include:

  • An understanding of Topeka & Shawnee County issues and opportunities
  • Strategic connections with corporate, governmental and community leaders
  • Secure vital information that helps leverage success
  • Expanded peer networking relationships with other executives
  • Support as the executive and their family settle into their new community
  • Tailored offerings for newly promoted leadership

The services available include:

  • Key Connections – Strategic introductions to leadership at the corporate, government and community level.
  • Custom Briefing Book – This book is tailored to the needs of the executive and will include key leadership contact information from various businesses and agencies in the community.
  • Community Status Report – The document will also provide an overview of current community and governmental issues relating to private and public entities highlighting potential activity and opportunity.
  • Transitional Assistance – Relocation services and guidance.
  • Family Integration – Information responsive to the needs of the executive and family members to quickly connect and enjoy the offerings available within Topeka & Shawnee County.
  • Tailored Services – Individualized and customized services tailored for the new executive.

EIS is administered by the Leadership Greater Topeka Program, a yearly community leadership program that challenges and motivates traditional and non-traditional leadership by teaching adaptive competencies through information, dialogue and hands-on experience, so participants are better prepared to strengthen, network and transform the community.

In place since 1984, Leadership Greater Topeka has more than 1,000 alumni with the ability to apply their talents throughout the community in volunteer, appointed and elected positions.

For more information about Executive Immersion Services, contact:

Michelle Cuevas-Stubblefield,
Senior Vice President of Strategy                                
Greater Topeka Partnership
785.234.9336
michelle.stubblefield@topekapartnership.com