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News from City Hall

City Communications Office

City of Kansas City, Mo.
www.kcmo.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 5, 2012

City kicks off AdvanceKC economic development process

Website activated and public input phase underway

City of Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James, along with steering committee co-chairs Tom McDonnell and Madeline Romious, celebrated the kickoff of the public input portion of AdvanceKC, the City’s recently announced economic development strategic planning initiative, and its website, www.advancekc.org.

AdvanceKC will leverage quantitative and qualitative research to develop consensus for an economic development plan to allow the City to take a focused, creative and aggressive approach to attracting, retaining and launching businesses.

“This is our opportunity to examine closely how Kansas City recruits and retains businesses and jobs,” said Mayor James. “We need to agree as a community on our priorities and position our local incentives to support those goals. I would like to thank the co-chairs for asking the public to be involved in this process. Together we can move Kansas City forward to shape our future economic activities in a positive way.”

The easiest way for community members to participate in the initiative is through an online survey that can be accessed on the AdvanceKC website or directly at this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/advancekccommunity. As the process unfolds, the website will share research findings, provide status updates and solicit additional public comments at key intervals.

In addition to the survey, the City is hosting a series of focus groups to solicit input and ideas from select individuals representing various important segments of the Kansas City community, including not-for-profit organizations; small businesses; financial institutions; health care providers; arts organizations; engineers and architects; agribusiness; convention and entertainment facilities; developers; chambers of commerce; academic institutions; minority advocacy groups; transportation and logistics companies; and workforce development agencies.

Focus groups will be complemented by one-on-one interviews with Kansas City’s top public and private leaders. Public input will combine with detailed quantitative analysis to assess Kansas City’s competitive position against the benchmark cities of Indianapolis, Ind.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Charlotte, N.C.

The City has engaged a nationally recognized leader in economic development planning, Market Street Services, to lead the project. Market Street is no stranger to Missouri economic development policy. The Atlanta-based firm recently completed a similar assignment for the Missouri Department of Economic Development and is currently working on a pro bono project to help the city of Joplin, Mo., plan its recovery after last spring’s tornado. Past Market Street clients also include St. Louis, Mo.; Jefferson City, Mo; and Springfield, Mo.

“We are excited to begin this partnership with the City of Kansas City to make it more competitive for the highest-value jobs being created in today’s economy,” said Market Street CEO J. Mac Holladay. “The Great Recession has completely changed the competitive landscape for economic development, and cities that don’t respond effectively will find themselves left behind as the national economy recovers.”

The process is anticipated to conclude in third quarter 2012 with the release of the AdvanceKC strategy.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Danny Rotert, communications director for Mayor Sly James, at 816-513-6581.

About Market Street Services

Founded in 1997, Market Street is an independent, national workforce, community and economic development consulting firm. Market Street brings original insights and clarity to the evaluation and revitalization of the places where people live, work and grow. Through honest and informed assessments, Market Street works with the community to create meaningful change. Market Street’s community clients are successful at creating stronger programs, increasing operational budgets and creating new jobs that improve the quality of life in their communities.

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