metro wichita, kansas

the next Generation
Wichita’s culture attracts young professionals

Bioscience innovation heats up

recipe for success

Aerospace manufacturers expand
sponsored by the wichita metro chamber of commerce | 2013

onwards & upwards



onwards & upwards
Aerospace manufacturers expand

14 18 22 26

recipe for success
Bioscience innovation heats up

a material contribution
Diverse firms mold entrepreneurship

the next Generation
Wichita’s culture attracts young professionals

overview almanac business climate 5 6 10 30 34 37 40 44 48


energy/technology transportation health education livability economic profile



on the cover a worker welds steel at Jr custom metal products, which is expanding its wichita facility. Photo by michael conti


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Please recycle this magazine




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b u s i n e s s i m a Ge s m e t ro w ichita, kansas



metro wichita, kansas
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the next Generation
Wichita’s culture attracts young professionals

Bioscience innovation heats up

recipe for success

Find out what it’s like to live here and what makes the community such a special place to be.

Aerospace manufacturers expand
sponsored by the wichita metro chamber of commerce | 2013

onwards & upwards

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A spotlight on the region’s innovative companies

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10 reasons to live, work in metro wichita
business climate, resources, quality of life create a winning combination 1. affordability. even with its
ranks third among all u.s. universities in aerospace engineering r&D. state of kansas offer incentives that fit business owners’ needs such as property tax exemption for business machinery and equipment. many amenities, Wichita’s overall cost-of-living index is 93 percent, 7 percent below the national urban area average. the region enjoys particularly low housing costs.

8. downtown revitalization.

2. intellectual capital. With the state’s largest public school district, 17 area colleges and universities, and the national center for Aviation training, Wichita boasts a diverse and highly skilled workforce. 3. health care. Wichita, a hub for high-quality health care in southcentral kansas, is continually ranked high nationally for its 17 acute care and freestanding specialty hospitals and numerous clinics offering the latest services and technology. 4. entrepreneurial spirit. Wichita provides a thriving environment for business innovation with a long list of successful ventures, from aviation pioneers to high-profile companies, as well as Wichita state university’s center for entrepreneurship.
a professional opera, symphony and ballet; dozens of cinematic and performance theaters; breathtaking gardens; and countless enticing exhibits at art galleries and varied museums. of 2,000 and growing, young professionals of Wichita comprises bright, energetic “yps” who are actively engaged in the city’s future growth.

Wichita Downtown Development corp. has helped bring millions of investment dollars to the heart of the city and continues to grow a strong economic center and develop communitybuilding cultural experiences. the 15,000-seat intrust Bank Arena is drawing a variety of musical acts, shows and events.

10. livability. Forbes magazine

named Wichita no. 6 on its BestBang-for-the-Buck cities in 2009, based on low housing costs, low taxes and reasonable commute times. For more information, contact: wichita metro chamber of commerce 350 w. douglas ave. wichita, ks 67202 phone: (316) 265-7771 email:

9. business incentives.

the greater Wichita economic Development coalition and the

Greater Wichita Metro Area



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7. research. the national institute


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for Aviation research, a prestigious state-of-the-art aerospace laboratory with global reach, is located at Wichita state university, which


Arkansas City


raise a Glass
Wine connoisseurs will find plenty of like-minded vino lovers in Wichita, which is home to an active chapter of the American institute of Wine and Food. the group, which recently celebrated its 20th birthday, sponsors the annual midwest Winefest, along with monthly events focused on wine appreciation and education as well as an annual midwest Beerfest. the region is home to several wineries, including grace hill Winery, which is expanding its facility to allow for production of more wine, including popular selections like Dodging tornados and Barrel reserve red, as well as more room for wine tastings.

how sweet it is
recently chosen as one of 75 national finalists for the u.s. chamber of commerce’s 2012 Blue ribbon small Business Award – which honors companies with strong commitments to their employees, customers and community – cocoa Dolce Artisan chocolates is a sweet success story. rather than duplicate the recipes of others, owner Beth tully creates her own. tully began making her confections as holiday gifts while attending graduate school, and after working in sales for other fields, she returned to school to earn her maitre (master) chocolatier certification, launching cocoa Dolce in 2005. For a taste of her chocolates, visit

downtown accolade
the group spearheading downtown revitalization in Wichita, the Wichita Downtown Development corp., was recently recognized by the international Downtown Association with the 2012 Downtown pinnacle Award, which honors the city’s downtown leadership and management. the most recent jewel to grace the downtown district is newly renovated Drury plaza hotel Broadview, which reopened in August 2012. originally constructed in 1922, the 200-room historic hotel, located at the corner of Douglas Avenue and Waco street, underwent a $30 million makeover. other additions to the district include the Fairfield inn and suites at WaterWalk and the recently restored hotel at WaterWalk. For details on more downtown redevelopment projects, visit


metro wichita

what’s in store
Dillons marketplace is growing its product line in Wichita. the supermarket chain recently completed work on its flagship store at central Avenue and rock road, adding more baby items, such as car seats and strollers, and expanding the store’s natural and organic food section known as nature’s market. since the opening of stores such as natural grocers and the Fresh market in Wichita, Dillons has boosted its natural and organic section by 25 percent in response to increasing local demand for such products.

yield of dreams
community gardens are sprouting up in and around Wichita, thanks to an initiative led by the kansas health Foundation and the kansas state university research and extension. to encourage local, healthy growing of food across the state, the organizations are providing seed money for gardens. two Wichita gardens, the Arc self Advocates’ rows of sharin’ garden and the planting peace in the community garden, recently received more than $5,000 collectively in grants to grow their gardens. other area gardens getting grants include numana gardens in el Dorado and sand creek community garden in newton.

air of distinction
several planes built in Wichita recently topped a list of the top 100 Airplanes of All time released by Flying magazine, including the cessna 172 and 182. criteria for the selections included being the best, most significant and most compelling aircraft designs of all time. the panel of voters included airplane enthusiasts such as test pilot Bob hoover, golf hall of Famer Arnold palmer, hollywood actor harrison Ford, nAsA astronaut robert “hoot” gibson, aviation training pioneer hal shevers and former cessna ceo Jack pelton.


art is everywhere
Art hits the streets in downtown Wichita, where a trove of public art adorns bridges, street corners, retaining walls and tree grates. Interesting sculptures include Keeper of the Plains, which honors the city’s American Indian heritage, and Soda Fountain, which pays homage to Wichita’s historic Dockum Drug Store sit-in. The effort to install art on the city’s streets began in 1991 as part of Wichita’s capital improvement projects. Recent additions include the Walk About in Old Town sculpture in the city’s entertainment district and bronze statues donated by the DeVore Family Foundation along Douglas Avenue.

pint-sized adventures
looking to keep the kids entertained? parents can find a wealth of kid-friendly adventures around Wichita. one popular site in hutchinson is the kansas cosmosphere and space center, a smithsonian-affiliated space museum and planetarium with an imAx theater and the largest collection of russian space artifacts outside of moscow. Another must-see attraction is the kansas underground salt museum, which features a 650foot ride down to a working mine built within one of the world’s largest rock salt deposits. get a taste of the old West at the prairie rose chuckwagon supper in Benton, which also showcases interactive exhibits on the American West, wagon rides and stage shows, and view more than 50 endangered animals at tanganyika Wildlife park in goddard.

made by rubbermaid
rubbermaid is adding to its investment in the Wichita region with a multimillion dollar expansion of its 500,000-squarefoot distribution center and additions to its production line in Winfield. the cowley county facility already employs 700 workers, and the company expects to add 250 more. the rubbermaid plant in Winfield, which makes coolers, ice chests and outdoor storage products, recently added trash bins and totes to its local production.


Business Climate

Bombardier learjet continues to grow in Wichita, where production of its newest business jet, the learjet 85, has spurred a $52 million expansion.


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a mighty wind
entrepreneurial drive, progressive partnerships put wichita ahead globally
story by Frances Pace Putman


ome to McConnell Air Force Base and four major aircraft companies headquartered within its boundaries, Wichita’s reputation as Air Capital of the World may be undisputed, but the entrepreneurial spirit that drew innovators like Clyde Cessna and Bill Lear to the city more than 80 years ago is stronger than ever. Never one to rest on its laurels, Wichita continues to be a hotbed for innovation – not just in the aviation and aerospace sector, but also in emerging industries like bioscience, technology and wind energy – and the city is known for creating an atmosphere that allows both new and established businesses to succeed.

blueprint for Growth Strong, strategic partnerships between business and the community have long been a hallmark of the city’s success. To keep that momentum going,

the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce formed a new leadership council, headed by business leaders, to develop a blueprint for future growth. “It’s time to decide what we want our economic future to be and then move Wichita forward,” says Jeff Turner, president and CEO of Spirit AeroSystems Inc. and co-chair of the leadership council. “We have tremendous resources, and our biggest is our human resources who want to see Wichita continue to grow and prosper.” Bringing jobs – high-paying ones – to Wichita will be the council’s first focus. The longterm goal is to push the area into the top 25 percent of economic performance among the country’s more than 300 metro areas. “We will remove the barriers and capitalize on the opportunities,” says Charlie Chandler, president and CEO of INTRUST Bank, N.A., who is also co-chairing the council.

one of Wichita’s biggest aircraft parts suppliers is spirit Aerosystems inc, which employs more than 10,000.

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from top left: leadership is one of Wichita’s competitive advantages, says Walter Berry, Wichita metro chamber of commerce chairman and president of Berry companies, inc.; netApp, a high-tech data storage company, is investing more than $85 million to renovate and upgrade its Wichita campus; netApp expects to add 450 jobs to its Wichita workforce over the next five years. p h o t o s B y m i c h A e l c o n t i

competitive edGe The leadership council is another of the area’s competitive advantages, says Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce chairman Walter Berry, because it represents the kind of forward thinking that is making Wichita more globally competitive than ever. “We have new companies coming in and others expanding,” Berry says, noting the recent announcement that NetApp, a high-tech data storage company, will invest more than $85 million in renovating and upgrading its Wichita campus, adding 450 jobs to its workforce over the next five years. “These are technology jobs at NetApp, with an annual average wage of $73,000,” says Suzie Ahlstrand, interim president of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition. “Greater Wichita has a multitude of advantages that all work together to make us an ideal place for business investment.”

It’s why many Wichita companies are choosing to grow where they’re planted. Koch Industries recently announced a $2 million expansion of its headquarters, adding 300 jobs. T-Mobile is hiring 180 more at its call center. And aviation – the heart of Wichita’s economy – is experiencing a major uptick. “Commercial aviation is doing very well,” Berry says, pointing to Bombardier’s Learjet 85 program, which spurred a $52 million expansion and created 400 new jobs at the company’s Wichita facility. Other aviation companies are also growing. Large commercial aircraft deliveries increased by 12 percent for aircraft parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems Holdings in 2012. And Airbus, which has its largest U.S. facility in Wichita, is doubling the amount it spends with suppliers in the next 20 years to $24 billion annually, much of it in Kansas.

Manufacturing leader
Wichita ranks No. 1 for concentration of manufacturing jobs and No. 3 for high-tech manufacturing among major metros. Manufacturing accounts for a total of $3 billion in annual payroll in Wichita. Source: Brookings Institution, U.S. Census Bureau


flying high
Aerospace manufacturers expand, bolstered by Wichita’s expertise and supplier core
Story by Gary Wollenhaupt

ince 1911, when Clyde Cessna built his first airplane, Wichita has been a leader in the aerospace industry. Today, local companies and institutions are working together to advance training and technology in the field, so the city continues to grow its reputation as the Air Capital of the World. Many of Wichita’s key aerospace companies have announced major expansions, fueling growth in the regional supplier base of smaller manufacturing and service companies. These companies are building on Wichita’s foundation of expertise and core of local suppliers tuned in to industry needs. A trained workforce is essential, so the National Center for Aviation Training prepares students for hightech aerospace jobs. The National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University supports aviation research to benefit both commercial and government aerospace industries.
sparks fly as lasers cut into steel at Jr custom metal products, which has served the wichita area for more than 35 years.
Photo by michael conti



metro wichita

aeronautical r&d leader
in fiscal year 2009, wichita state university spent $50 million in aeronautical r&d expenditures, ranking second among the nation’s universities in aeronautical research and development expenditures, according to the national science foundation’s national center for science and engineering statistics.


from left: Workers assemble new learjet 40 and learjet 45 airplanes at Bombardier’s learjet manufacturing facility in Wichita, which is undergoing a $52 million expansion to produce its next new business jet, the learjet 85. students inspect single engine aircraft at Wichita’s national center for Aviation training, which trains workers for high-tech aerospace jobs.

maJor manufacturers make investments Many of the industry’s biggest players continue to thrive in Wichita. Bombardier LearJet broke ground on a $52.7 million expansion of its facility to produce the company’s newest business jet, the Learjet 85. When the expansion is complete in 2014, the company expects to add 450 jobs, building on a halfcentury legacy in Wichita started by founder William Lear. “Fifty years ago, Bill Lear arrived here in the Air Capital of the World with an innovative vision – the very first business jet,” said Ralph Acs, vice president and general manager of Bombardier Learjet. “We’re honored that the legacy of Learjet continues, and we have a very bright future.” Bombardier and Cessna recently received a combined order from charter jet company NetJets for $9.6 billion in aircraft, the largest purchase in private aviation history. Cessna is also launching a new business jet line, the third

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in three years, and leading efforts to bring business jet and small aircraft production to China. Ten years ago Toulouse, France-based Airbus opened an aerospace structures design facility here, drawn by the high level of engineering talent and the critical mass of support companies. Today, more than 350 people do engineering and design analysis in Wichita for Airbus airliner production worldwide. “The educational institutions and the other companies in town create an infrastructure where companies are able to work and develop products because the resources are here,” says John O’Leary, vice president of Airbus Americas Engineering in Wichita.
supplier base thrives Aerospace suppliers are finding their unique skills in great demand among both traditional customers and the region’s other growing industries. One supplier, JR Custom Metal Products, is planning a $3 million expansion

to add 30,000 square feet to the company’s headquarters, as well as adding two major pieces of equipment and 50 jobs over the next five years. President and CEO Patty Koehler, part of the second generation to run the company founded by her father, says the company has diversified from aerospace to agriculture, bus and green power industries. Many of the industries the company serves are seeing increasing development and production, Koehler adds. Milling Precision Tool, another small company with a global customer base, is investing $250,000 to add 6,700 square feet to its manufacturing facility. The company will subcontract parts for Airbus airplanes, and is positioning itself for a resurgence in the business jet market. Atlas Aerospace is also planning an expansion, adding 66,000 square feet to a subsidiary’s building for additional manufacturing space. The company expects to add 40 jobs over the next three years.


metro wichita

flight change
aviation research center exPands, broadens mission
the national institute for Aviation research is spreading its wings. the institute, part of Wichita state university, has strengthened its labs most popular with industry clients and federal agencies, and is taking over management of the region’s aerospace-to-medical research center. niAr director John tomblin says the institute’s composites & Advanced materials lab, virtual reality center, computational mechanics lab and crash Dynamics lab have reorganized to reflect industry needs. resources, including employees, were realigned to reflect growing industry demands for composite materials research and other shifting priorities. “this shift in research work is a result of the progression of the composite materials industry, as more and more companies seek to replace traditional airframe metallic materials with lighter, more maintainable composite materials,” tomblin says. As part of the university’s efforts to capitalize on the local aerospace industry’s capabilities, the national center for innovation for Biomaterials in orthopaedic research (ciBor) was cofounded in 2008 by Wichita state and the via christi health system to find medical uses for aerospace processes and materials. the center recently came under niAr management. ciBor’s goal is to explore how composites developed in the aerospace industry can also be used to make medical devices. current research includes developing a fast-setting composite stabilization device for the battlefield as part of a u.s. Department of Defense grant. ciBor has submitted several patents and has already attracted and completed several contracts for major orthopedic manufacturers. it has also conducted research that will influence development of orthopedic devices such as high-end knee implant design and mri safety. – Gary Wollenhaupt

John tomblin, director of the national institute for Aviation research in Wichita, at the facility’s crash dynamics lab.

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recipe for success
bioscience innovation grows in wichita
story by Wayne Waters • photography by Michael Conti


ioscience innovation is heating up in Wichita – and state, county and city economic development groups are providing a key ingredient for its growth: strategic funding.

carGill innovation center The $15 million, 75,000-square-foot Cargill Innovation Center opened in summer 2012 in downtown Wichita, a state-of-the-art facility funded with a $750,000 contribution from the Kansas Bioscience Authority. The center houses the company’s only research, development and marketing center designed specifically for its meat products. It includes room-size mock-ups

of meat counters, a home kitchen and two different types of restaurants – all built to mimic real-world scenarios and aid in testing safety processes – cooking up new products and presenting them to potential customers. Along with meat processing facilities that test how products fare during handling, cooking and consumption, the center also features a seasoning mixing facility and chemical and biological labs for testing and analyzing meat and meat products. The facility solidifies Cargill’s commitment to cutting-edge bioscience and to Wichita, says Mike Martin, Cargill director of communications. “The CIC in Wichita is designed to be

a Bioscience Partner
Since its 2004 inception, the Kansas Bioscience Authority has invested $272 million in bioscience researchers and firms – a considerable portion of it in and around the Wichita area. In 2013, the KBA plans to invest more than $26 million in additional research initiatives throughout the state.

cargill innovation center researcher tina hoetmer tests substances for nutrition information.


a discovery zone where Cargill and its customers collaborate to create solutions for the retail and food service sectors,” Martin says. “Whether it’s a packaging solution, new product development, food safety improvements, quality assurance or myriad of other areas, we have professionals who can make things happen and get results that meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Jcb laboratories expands Another bioscience success story in Wichita is JCB Laboratories, a leading supplier of specialized sterile pharmaceutical compounds to medical facilities and clinical research operations. The firm recently tripled its square footage to house its growing administrative offices and add clean room space for manufacturing its injectable products. “We’ve added 12 new jobs in the past 12 months, and we’ve invested more than $700,000 in new equipment and renovations at our production facility,” says Bryan Williamson, JCB Laboratories CEO. Along with $225,000 from the Kansas Bioscience Authority, the company received incentives from the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita to increase its production capability. The support of the local community, along with


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the state’s growing reputation as a bioscience pioneer, played a key role in the company’s decision to expand in Wichita, Williamson says. “GWEDC was helpful and easy to work with in support of our expansion and the creation of new jobs in Wichita,” he says. “The same is true for Sedgwick County and the Kansas Bioscience Authority. They realized what we were creating was beneficial to the

state – and they made substantial commitments. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”
alpha biosystems spurs aG Wichita-based Alpha BioSystems is mixing up a different sort of bioscience concoction. The company’s allnatural microbial and bacterial blends, created with a proprietary fermentation process, are designed

for a variety of applications in agriculture, gardening, water treatment, industry and pet care. Among the company’s primary products is Terra-One Grower’s Blend, which improves soil fertility for larger crop applications, and THRIVE, a microbial concoction that stimulates plant growth for gardeners. Other Alpha BioSystems products help manage agricultural and animal waste.

opposite page: A researcher does product testing at the cargill innovation center. the $15 million, 75,000-square-foot center, located in downtown Wichita, is the company’s only research, development and marketing center designed specifically for its meat products. above: AlphaBio systems laboratory manager stephen kinnal transfers bacteria in petri dishes. the company’s all-natural microbial and bacterial blends are used in agriculture, gardening, water treatment, industry and pet care markets.


a material contribution
advanced materials, software and tech firms mold wichita’s diverse entrepreneurial culture
story by Pamela Coyle • photography by Michael Conti

etro Wichita has created a culture where entrepreneurism and small companies, especially tech-based firms, thrive. Geographically, the region is ideal for startups that want to expand their reach north, south, east or west. Culturally, the business community supports new ventures with resources, mentors and technical expertise. Wichita ranks among the top cities in the Midwest for its small-business climate and lands multiple companies on Inc. 5000’s roster of fastestgrowing firms every year. High Touch Technologies is one of them. The IT services firm targets small and mid-sized businesses that don’t have their own systems staffs. With nearly 200 employees and clients in all 50 states and seven countries, High Touch has grown by adding new products and services and by acquiring other companies in Texas as well as Colorado. The most recent acquisition, in Dallas, increased server capacity and cloud computing services. “We want to be a regional technology player, and we prefer the Midwest,” says Wayne Chambers, CEO and president. “Wichita is an entrepreneurial-spirited city,” he adds. “Almost all the colleges have entrepreneurship


programs. The chamber is very active in promoting small business growth. A lot of things are started here.”
fast and diverse Pulse Systems, a provider of electronic medical records and practice management systems, and iSi Environmental Services are other fast-growing companies started by local entrepreneurs. iSi started in CEO Gary Mason’s living room in 1990 as a small consulting firm. After adding industrial services and targeting the region’s aerospace industry, the company grew to 160 employees. In 2004, it had just 25. “Initially, it was about leveraging the knowledge we have from hazardous materials and chemicals and cleanup of messes for people,” Mason says. Beyond hazardous waste management, iSi now offers industrial cleaning, maintenance and remediation. A move into asbestos removal and cleanup followed acquisition of a small local company, which had relationships in the energy sector, leading to new work with oil and gas interests. “The business community is pretty receptive to helping others, and that is a very important culture here,” he says.

clockwise from top: Wichita state university’s center for entrepreneurship is one of several local entities that support startup firms in the area; Wsu is also home to the center for innovation and enterprise engagement and the Advanced networking research institute, both of which provide expertise and resources for entrepreneurs; A student researches biodegradable metals suitable for temporary surgical implants at Wsu’s center for innovation and enterprise engagement.


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tech trendinG New tech ventures are giving Metro Wichita traction, too. App developers such as Fireshark Studios, creator of Alien Frenzy, and Jonathan George, who developed the popular Boxcar application, join companies developing new products and applications in advanced materials. In the latter, entrepreneurs have a new partner in Wichita State University’s Center for Innovation and Enterprise Engagement. CIEE is the brainchild of Zulma Toro-Ramos, WSU’s Dean of Engineering. The center has placed nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate engineering students in paid internships, including some at companies developing new products.

Using a $2 million federal innovation grant to WSU, the center has given competitive awards to nine companies doing research and development in composites and advanced materials. The grant, plus access to WSU’s expertise and equipment, shaved weeks off each round of testing and quality analysis for Nitride Solutions, which is developing a process to more efficiently mass-produce aluminum nitride substrates used in LED lights and other electronics. Existing materials used for substrates don’t uniformly perform well, creating extra cost and waste for end users who discard up to half a batch after quality testing, CEO Jeremy Jones explains.

The commercial process developed by Nitride Solutions drops the final cost by a factor of 10, he says. The company aims for full-scale production by 2014. Its staff of 10 includes WSU interns. “We have to throw them into the deep end of the pool, and they are taking on tremendous responsibility, including design and work with vendors,” Jones says. That’s the way Toro-Ramos wants it, both for WSU engineering students and the region’s economy. “I believe in an integrated engineering model: The only way we can educate engineers is by taking advantage of opportunities. We have to engage with individual businesses and the community in general,” she says.

clockwise from top right: Workers participate in safety and hazardous materials training at isi environmental services, a startup firm that began in Wichita and now works with the region’s aeropace industry. students conduct research at Wsu’s center for innovation and enterprise engagement, which works with firms doing research and development in composites and advanced materials.


Wichita residents stroll down East Douglas Avenue, home to an array of shops, restaurants and more.


metro wichita

attracting the next Generation
young professionals drawn to wichita’s jobs, lifestyle
story by Kim Madlom photography by Michael Conti

illennials, Generation Y or simply young professionals – by any name the 21- to 39-year-old demographic is increasingly finding Metro Wichita an attractive place to find jobs, homes and plenty to do. “Wichita is the largest city in the state, and that makes it the economic hub, and with that comes all of the great companies with desirable jobs that attract young professionals,” says Jason Gregory, executive vice president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp. “Wichita also offers all the big-city amenities at Midwest prices – and that matters to young professionals.” Forbes ranked Wichita near the top of its Best-Bang-for-the-Buck Cities and on its list of Best Cities for Jobs. Jobs and low cost of living are an enticing mix – made even better by a thriving arts, culture and entertainment scene. Heather Denker, director of the Young Professionals of Wichita, makes it her mission to promote the city’s amenities to young professionals and to get them involved in strengthening those assets. About 2,000 members strong, YPW describes its members as “ambitious, educated and wired; those ready to work hard, play hard and make a difference in the community.”


Art and cultural attractions in Wichita’s old town District draw young adults.


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“One of the best things about Wichita is the city’s openness to people’s opinions and its participation,” Denker says. “Wichita is very inclusive. Young professionals can get involved and contribute to who we are as a community. And our organization can help them do that.”
vibrant arts and culture When it’s time to play, Denker says, young professionals in Wichita have plenty of options. “No matter what night of the week you want to get out and enjoy the city, there is always something going on,” she says. “Our citizens have a multitude of ways to enjoy visual arts, performing arts, the music scene and events like the First Friday Music Crawl and Final Friday Art Crawl.” The internationally recognized Tallgrass Film Festival, which debuts 100 shorts and feature films each year, is a signature cultural experience in Wichita. Tallgrass offers programming on par with larger festivals in bigger cities. “By presenting this sort of programming, we are helping level the playing field here when it comes to cinema,” says Lela MeadowConner, executive director of the Tallgrass Film Association. “Beyond great independent films,

the festival offers a communal experience, which is attractive to young professionals. They can see a movie and live tweet about it, and then go to a festival party or filmmaker chat and network. We live in a connected, yet nomadic society, and young professionals are at the heart of that.” Wichita’s young adult population enjoys the Old Town District, home to more than 100 restaurants, shops, clubs, theaters, galleries and museums. Up-and-coming projects expected to add to the lure of downtown include a new $23 million downtown YMCA branch, streetscape work on Douglas Avenue, new boutique hotels along with lofts and condos, and the new Waltzing Waters show at WaterWalk.
more investment ahead The continued revitalization of downtown is the right move for Wichita, Gregory says. “Demographic trends tell us that young adults want to live, work and play in downtown areas,” he says. “That’s becoming more possible thanks to the residential projects we have under way. In the next year, more than 260 residential units should come on line downtown – and that speaks volumes about the demand. It’s a momentum we want to continue.”

lights, camera, action
wichita earns rave reviews for indePendent film Production
thanks to some recent recognition, Wichita is making a name for itself as a top spot for independent filmmakers. in 2012, MovieMaker magazine included Wichita on its list of the top 10 cities to be a moviemaker. According to nicholas Barton, co-owner and operator of Wichitabased prestigious Films, this accolade is well deserved. “Wichita has the look and feel of a metropolitan area with access to rural landscapes and small towns,” Barton says. “Any time we have ever tried to secure permits for streets, parking lots, law enforcement assistance or fire department help, we have been welcomed with open arms.” Barton also notes that his company, which has produced more than 250 commercials, as well as television shows, feature films, documentaries and event videos, since its inception in 2009, benefits from Wichita’s low cost of living, as well as its talented base of crew hands and actors. in addition, Barton says the city’s willingness to assist with all aspects of film production and lack of resistance from local leaders and residents allows prestigious Films to produce quality work. “We’re really fortunate in Wichita because pretty much everyone wants to lend a hand,” he says. each fall, Wichita draws a large group of independent filmmakers and fans from across the country for its internationally recognized tallgrass Film Festival, which features more than 100 films from around the world. in its 10th year, the four-day festival is the largest of its kind in kansas, attracting more than 10,000 attendees in 2011. – Jessica Walker

young professionals enjoy happy hour on the patio of the pumphouse, a bar and grill inside a converted filling and service station in Wichita’s old town District.



favorable winds
bP, siemens among big players making the wichita region a wind powerhouse

story by Pamela Coyle

ichita has been far more than a cow town for decades, and a recent surge in wind power generation and related manufacturing is putting the city on a brisk pace for more growth. Kansas ranks as the second-largest wind market in the U.S. behind Texas, and key industry leaders are staking early claims. BP Wind is constructing one of the state’s largest wind farms about 40 miles southwest of Wichita. The 300-turbine farm will span 66,000 acres across Harper, Barber and Kingman counties. Siemens produces electricitygenerating components for its wind turbines in Hutchinson, located in Reno County, and operates a wind power production distribution center in Wichita, which stores and distributes wind turbine parts across the country. The Hutchinson plant already


manufactures 2.3-megawatt nacelles, the big structure where turbine blades attach, and is adding 3-megawatt direct drive nacelles to its product line in 2013. The wind energy trend is also opening up opportunities for manufacturers in the aerospace supply chain, including Electromech Technologies, which used its expertise in advanced materials and composites to develop an efficient 5-kilowatt generator for small wind power installations. “In the aviation market, one of the primary products is motors,” says Kyle Stuart, Electromech’s director of engineering. “The core competencies are the same.”
counties, farmers benefit Wind, like oil and gas, is a wealth-spreader. BP will pay about $1.2 million per year to the counties with its turbines, and the construction phase will

create about 500 contract jobs. BP has estimated that landowners will receive an average $10,000 each year in royalty payments from energy produced by turbines on their land. The landowners, many of them farmers, receive separate payments for land use until the wind farm is up and running. The $800 million investment will be Kansas’ largest wind project and produce enough power for more than 125,000 homes. The region’s rich legacy as an epicenter for aerospace, innovation, engineering and manufacturing makes it equally attractive for wind industries. Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research, which has worked in tandem with aerospace companies since 1985, is now is doing materials and prototype testing in the wind sector.


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Bp is constructing one of the state’s largest wind farms near Wichita.

innovation in the air Existing companies such as Electromech are developing new products and finding new markets. By diversifying into wind generators, the company can make a 5-kilowatt package up to 25-kilowatts, Stuart says. “This is a supplemental supply for farm use or other small applications where they want the power, but not the infrastructure,” he says. Colorado-based New Millennium Wind Energy is among the companies touting new technology and is attracted to Greater Wichita’s combination of skilled workers, technical depth and academic expertise. CEO Drew Thacker expects to have private equity financing in place soon to begin prototype development with NIAR in 2013 for its point-of-use, vertical-axis wind turbines.

New Millennium has committed to relocating from Colorado to Newton to build its production facility, Thacker says. The technology, he says, “is truly a game-changer.” “Our cost of production is much, much lower,” Thacker says. “Industry people recognize that, and people in Newton recognize we will be a valuable asset.” Point-of-use turbines are made for on-site, distributed power generation. Potential applications include big-box retail, office towers, hotels, casinos and communities where traditional wind farm turbines won’t work because of location, building restrictions or load constraints of existing buildings. Thacker expects to set up operations at former fairground buildings in Wichita while the new facility is under construction. “I am high on enthusiasm and high on commitment,” he says.

electromech technologies in Wichita is working to perfect a 5-kilowatt generator for small wind power installations.

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seeing Green
sustainable Products, Practices grow at wichita businesses
individually and through a business coalition, Wichita companies are embracing sustainability in their operations and product development. green Biz Wichita boasts 80 members including coleman, Westar energy and Bombardier learjet. Westar recently debuted Wichita’s first public charging station for electric vehicles, and another member, Bg products, uses recycled oil in its products. so does universal lubricants, which has a closed-loop system anchored by a “re-refinery” that processes used oil, which is blended with additives to make premium engine oils, hydraulic oils and automatic transmission fluids. Another Wichita-based company, Alternative energy solutions international, sells biomass gasification boilers that turn plant and plant-related waste into fuel. membership in green Biz Wichita keeps growing. When coalition president Dixie larson approaches companies about joining, she doesn’t get turned down. As a partner at kennedy & coe, an accounting and consulting firm, larson spearheaded the move to a paper-free operation at her company, along with other sustainable initiatives. “i thought, if we were doing this much as a business, imagine the impact it could make citywide,” larson says. green Biz Wichita grew from that thought. the coalition, which larson founded, connects local businesses to best practices and like-minded peers and measures and tracks companies’ progress. At kennedy & coe, which employs 50 at its Wichita headquarters, sustainability is as much a part of the culture as number crunching. multiplying that mindset is what motivates larson. “one times 80 is so much more impactful,” she says. – Pamela Coyle


Wichita’s mid-continent Airport will soon be home to a new terminal with 12 boarding gates.

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driving force
wichita’s multimodal transportation network fuels export growth
story by Kevin Litwin

ichita’s transportation system has garnered many accolades including the city being named among the best Five Star Logistics Metros in America by Expansion Management magazine. Much of that praise is due to its proximity to Interstate 35 – the only interstate connecting Canada, the U.S. and Mexico – as well as I-70 to the north and I-40 to the south. Those convenient thoroughfares provide Wichita motorists with an easy daily commute of just 18 minutes on average.


Wichita’s highway system is also vital to local distributors and warehousers, as well as aerospace, agribusiness and other companies shipping products, since $5 billion in annual exports account for nearly 25 percent of wealth in the metro area. One distribution company experiencing export success these days is Andover-based Vornado Air LLC, which is expanding its fan manufacturing headquarters with a $1 million warehouse addition due to growing demand for its products.

airport upGrades Much transportation news is coming out of Wichita MidContinent Airport lately including an announcement that Southwest Airlines will serve the airport beginning in 2013. “Southwest will give Wichita travelers access to 103 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and six nearinternational countries,” says Valerie Wise, air service and business development manager with the Wichita Airport Authority.


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ports and depots Adding to Wichita’s logistical advantages is convenient access to two ports, as well as two local Class I rail providers. The Port of Kansas City is 200 miles northeast of Wichita, and the Tulsa Port of Catoosa is 170 miles to the southeast, with both ports offering access to the Mississippi River system via the Arkansas River. For rail, the region is served by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific, along with Class III carrier Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad. Sedgwick County and Wichita leaders are also participating in a study to determine the feasibility of passenger rail in the region, since a good track is already in place from Newton to Oklahoma City. The Sedgwick County FTZ is designated as a U.S. customs port of entry, with Wichita and Sedgwick County served by several inbound carriers. The FTZ allows companies to temporarily store foreign goods bound for international destinations without incurring an import duty. The carriers transport cargo to unload into Sedgwick County, where they clear U.S. customs. Air cargo can also be shipped or received internationally directly from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

photo courtesy oF the port oF k AnsAs cit y

The airport is also constructing a new two-level terminal that will replace the existing structure. The new building will feature 12 boarding gates and is scheduled to open in early 2015. “In addition, a new garage and surface parking facilities will offer more convenience and protection from weather elements,” Wise says. “Rental car pickup and drop-off will be on the first level, and the new parking facilities will be opened in early 2015 at the same time as the new terminal building.” Wichita Mid-Continent also upgraded its fueling facilities in 2012 for the first time since 1984. The $3.2 million renovation increases fueling efficiency for general aviation aircraft.

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Wichita’s multimodal transportation system gives it a logistical advantage.



A healthy lifestyle coach works with a participant in a diabetes prevention program offered through the greater Wichita ymcA.

a healthy outlook
wichita businesses promote wellness in the workplace
story by Frances Pace Putman photography by Michael Conti


t the Greater Wichita YMCA, corporate wellness director Lianna Bodlak works with a group of company employees as part of an innovative diabetes prevention program. Some participants are there because of elevated blood glucose levels discovered through a recent company health screening. Others had normal readings, but showed other risk factors, like obesity, a family history of diabetes, high-blood pressure or gestational diabetes during pregnancy. “The idea is to keep them from transitioning into diabetes,” Bodlak says.

wellness proGrams for employees Vermillion and other Wichita companies are taking advantage of area wellness programs like these to keep their workforce healthy. Encouraging healthy habits among employees is also good for their bottom lines, ensuring better productivity, fewer missed work days and decreased staff health insurance costs. “There is a marked level of interest among employers as they increasingly look for ways to reduce health-care costs,” says Janet Hamous, interim director of the Wichita Business Coalition on Health Care. “More than ever, they are finding

Here’s to HealtH
In 2012, Cargill contributed more than $1 million to a community and nutritional coaching center at the YMCA’s new downtown Central Branch. The company has also donated more than $175,000 to local health and nutrition programs.


the greater Wichita ymcA offers workplace wellness programs for companies that want to help keep employees healthy.

ways to engage employees and offer incentives for healthy behaviors.” That may mean offering reduced health insurance premiums or bonuses to employees who participate in fitness programs, or awarding gift cards to those who set and meet certain health goals. “Employee engagement is critical to the success of any program or initiative an employer provides,” says Jalaa Miller, who serves as the worksite wellness and health educator for the Sedgwick County Health Department. Miller works with the business community, offering free technical assistance and resources for worksites that are starting programs to promote health and fitness among employees. “Programs and policies implemented should appeal to employees and encourage them to start making healthier lifestyle choices,” she says. At some companies, one of the perks of participation is money added to an employee’s health savings account, or HSA. Many Wichita businesses take advantage of HSA programs, which allow employees to save money on out-of-pocket medical expenses. Right now, families can put up to $6,150 per year into these accounts, before taxes.

With these incentives in place, companies can offer employee health insurance programs with lower premiums and higher deductibles. Employees can then pay deductibles and any hefty co-pays with funds from the HSA, while monthly premiums are greatly reduced.
more cost-savinG efforts Another collective effort to reduce area healthcare costs is the Kansas Health Information Network, a statewide patient health information exchange, which went live in summer 2012. A range of Wichita health-care providers participate. The goal for KHIN and the Wichita Health Information Exchange – one of three partners in the network – is to offer a secure electronic network where providers can easily share patient information. Not only will this virtual network lead to better care for patients, but it will also reduce duplication of expensive testing. Participation is expected to save money for employees by streamlining their medical treatment and cut costs for employers by giving them the data they need to better evaluate health plan usage. It’s just one of the many ways area businesses are embracing workplace wellness.


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cutting-edge care
wichita area hosPitals exPand facilities, services to meet local demand
healthgrades recently recognized the st. Francis branch of Wichitabased via christi health as one of the country’s top hospitals for critical and stroke care, but hospital employees aren’t resting on their laurels. the health-care system just completed a $1 million emergency room expansion at the hospital and is undergoing a $20 million upgrade project to transform semiprivate patient rooms into private rooms at st. Francis and east harry hospitals. completion of the project is scheduled for early 2014 at east harry and mid-2016 at st. Francis. via christi’s presence in Wichita also includes a 68-bed hospital on st. teresa with a new rehabilitation center, a rehabilitation center on north rock road and a behavioral health center on east orme. Wesley medical center has been making its own news with its robotic surgery program and construction of a new surgical center, plus expansion of its cardiac care services with the acquisition of galichia heart hospital in 2011. the hospital also recently opened two outpatient physical therapy clinics and a Wesleycare Breastfeeding clinic that serves as an outpatient lactation clinic.

new clinics
to meet the demand for outpatient services, new clinics are currently being constructed for via christi health, susan B. Allen memorial hospital in Butler county and newton medical center in sedgwick. newton medical partnered with the city of sedgwick to build a downtown clinic and will staff one full-time primary care physician there to serve patients. – Kevin Litwin

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educated for economic impact
wichita institutions train highly skilled workers for top industries
story by Kim Madlom photography by Michael Conti

training Boost for nurses
At Butler Community College, a new transfer partnership with the University of Kansas School of Nursing will allow registered nurses with two-year degrees to further their training and pursue advanced degrees. RNs can also take online classes to earn a bachelor’s degree through Newman University’s RN to BSN program.

inding the right talent for a job is often challenging, unless the company is looking in Wichita, where cutting-edge research facilities and topnotch training centers are creating a pool of highly educated, highly skilled workers. Wichita State University, Wichita Area Technical College and Butler Community College all provide opportunities for students to learn, train and acquire the skills necessary to pursue successful careers in the area’s top industries, as do regional schools such as Newman University, Southwestern College, Friends University, Baker University, Cowley County Community College, Hutchinson Community College, Wichita Technical Institute and University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. community partnerships with wsu Partnerships between educational institutions and business and industry are key to the region’s economic success. WSU’s strong partnerships with industry leaders, particularly in the aerospace and


aviation sector, are illustrated by Bombardier Learjet’s selection of WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research to do much of the material work and fullscale structural testing of the company’s newest midsize business jet. Though not yet as well-known as NIAR, the university’s Advanced Networking Research Institute is helping Wichita gain a reputation as the Silicon Valley of the prairie, says WSU President John Bardo. Tech companies are calling upon students’ talents to test the latest tech innovations and help work out the bugs. Networking leader Cisco has established a training center on campus and fills positions with many program graduates, who are often recruited by other big names including Google and Amazon. According to Bardo, both NIAR and ANRI are increasingly important to the future of WSU. “These research institutes help define where the university is going in terms of support for business and industry,” he says.

Wichita state university student shadi tafaroji works with software developed for the microsoft pixelsense interactive surface computing platform at Wsu’s Advanced networking research institute.


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above: students working in Wsu’s Advanced networking research institute help tech firms test their latest innovations and work out the bugs. opposite page: students learn to do automotive maintenance at Wichita Area technical college, which offers hands-on training in 30 occupational programs.

airBus encourages asPiring engineers
Airbus marked its 10th anniversary in Wichita by announcing an education initiative pairing up its employees and Wichita state university engineering students with “at risk” middle-school students. the program, sponsored by the Airbus corporate Foundation, will emphasize stem (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and encourage students to stay in school, perform well academically and pursue careers in the engineering field.

“One of the aspects that is impressive about this university is the degree to which it does research that is of real benefit to the external community.” WSU is also committed to meeting another need for Kansas – dentists in rural areas, particularly in western Kansas. The university is creating a residency program that will rotate students to the communities most in need of the services. The effort is part of WSU’s expanded dental program, which includes a facility on campus.
wichita area technical colleGe Grows proGrams To increase the number of skilled workers trained to use automation in aviation and other advanced industries, Wichita Area Technical College is teaming up with WSU and NIAR to offer a new robotics program. The goal of the program is to create a stream of qualified employees for manufacturers. WATC operates three campuses in

Wichita, including the National Center for Aviation Training, on its main campus. Experiencing its fifth consecutive year of recordbreaking fall enrollment, the school offers a range of programs, including robotics, machining and practical nursing, that are already at full capacity. WATC is also emerging as a national leader for technical education in health care, manufacturing, business and design. “Our growth is a reflection of Sedgwick County’s commitment to technical education, plus industry demand for our hightech pipeline preparing students for high-wage, high-growth careers,” says Joe Ontjes, vice president, marketing and student services. “WATC and NCAT are part of an ongoing success story for Wichita’s workforce and for local employers in search of skilled job candidates. And by partnering with employers to meet industry needs, WATC plays a critical role in regional economic development.”


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live it up
from affordability to cultural appeal, wichita offers a satisfying quality of life

story by Kevin Litwin

ome of the nation’s happiest workers live in Wichita, according to a 2012 study by, which ranked Wichita No. 6 on its list of Happiest Cities to Work In. Such is the case for Cathy McClain, a former wing commander at McConnell Air Force Base and director of program management for Spirit AeroSystems’ Center of Excellence. “Some communities don’t welcome military personnel and their families because they know we are transient, but that certainly is not the case in Wichita and the surrounding communities of Andover and Derby,” McClain says. When McClain retired from the Air Force in 2007 after 25 years of service, she could have lived anywhere, but she chose to stay in Wichita.


“The community has always been there for us, no matter what,” she says. “For example, Friends of McConnell is a volunteer group of a couple hundred folks who support the airmen and their families, and whenever the base might need anything, Friends of McConnell is there. Those people add to an already robust quality of life here in Wichita.”
affordable homes, Good schools Along with a welcoming atmosphere, that quality of life includes affordability. Real estate industry watchdog Inman News ranked Wichita No. 2 on its list of 10 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2012, due to home affordability, above-average price appreciation, and low

foreclosure and vacancy rates. Home construction is on the rise in the area, and loft apartments and condos are being built in downtown spots like Commerce Street and WaterWalk. Wichita also has highly ranked schools, several with International Baccalaureate programs, and a handful of area school districts are operating virtual schools where students in any grade can enroll in classes online.
at the art of it all Wichita’s metropolitan area has gained acclaim for its world-class arts and culture that give people dozens of entertainment options. That includes 35 museums, such as Wichita Art Museum, Ulrich Art Museum and the Museum of World Treasures, as well as a diverse selection of restaurants,

clockwise from top left: visitors step back into time at Wichita’s old cowtown museum; Festivalgoers admire fireworks at Wichita riverfest; Art buffs can find the latest works on display at the Wichita Art museum.


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michAel conti p h o t o c o u r t e s y o F t h e W i c h i tA r i v e r F e s t s tA F F p h o t o

clockwise from top left: A cyclist rides along the banks of the Arkansas river; A visitor enjoys a hair-raising experience at Wichita’s exploration place; performers at the Wichita grand opera captivate a crowd.

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p h o t o c o u r t e s y o F t h e W i c h i tA g r A n D o p e r A

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retail shops, art galleries and nightlife. “There is also Kansas Aviation Museum that chronicles Wichita’s rise to aviation prominence, and Old Cowtown Museum that relives the 1870s, complete with re-enactors,” says Ken Vandruff, director of communications for Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau. “People can also enjoy world-class traveling exhibits at Exploration Place science discovery center, while the Kansas African American Museum tells the story of the local African-American experience and the people who helped shape it.” The city’s Old Town district serves as the focal point for monthly events such as the First Friday Music Crawl and Final Friday Art Crawl, and the annual Tallgrass Film Festival brings independent film buffs to Wichita

each October. Wichita also hosts several annual cultural festivals, including the Wichita Riverfest, Asian Festival, Black Arts Festival and Cinco de Mayo celebration.
bravo, encore From classical music to dinner theaters, the city also offers plenty of cultural entertainment through Ballet Wichita, Wichita Grand Opera, Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Music Theatre of Wichita. “Each summer, we self-produce five Broadway-scale musical productions using a mixture of top-f light professionals from Broadway and Hollywood working hand in hand with talented Midwesterners,” says Wayne Bryan, artistic director with Music Theatre of Wichita. “The productions have received praise from critics in New York, Los Angeles, Canada

and Europe, and we have been described as one of the nation’s top 10 summer theaters.”
room to roam Outdoor lovers will find a trove of recreational attractions in Wichita including golf courses, hiking and biking trails, pedestrian- and bike-friendly streets, thousands of acres of parks and green space, and a wide variety of sporting events that range from baseball to hockey. “Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, is a destination where you can expect the unexpected,” Vandruff says. “We even have Sedgwick County Zoo, the seventh largest zoo in the United States. Its newest wild exhibit is the Slawson Family Tiger Trek that features Amur and Malayan tigers in their natural habitat.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas Butler Community College City of Derby Coleman Documents on Command Services Doubletree by Hilton Wichita Airport Friends University Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau Holiday Inn Express wichitaks Hotel at Waterwalk LT Care Solutions Inc. Preferred Health Systems Riordan Clinic Shelden Architecture Star Lumber & Supply Tallgrass Family Medicine Via Christi Health Wells Fargo Advisors Wesley Medical Center Wichita Area Technical College Wichita Collegiate School Wichita Public Schools

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Ad Index
2 BlueCross Blueshield of Kansas 12 Butler Community College 1 City of derBy 8 Coleman 47 doCuments on Command serviCes 28 douBletree By hilton WiChita airport 32 friends university 48 go WiChita Convention & visitors Bureau 32 holiday inn express 24 hotel at WaterWalK 12 lt Care solutions inC. C2 preferred health systems 39 riordan CliniC 32 shelden arChiteCture 24 star lumBer & supply 47 tallgrass family mediCine C4 via Christi health C3 Wells fargo advisors 36 Wesley mediCal Center 43 WiChita area teChniCal College 33 WiChita Collegiate sChool 17 WiChita puBliC sChools

economic profile
business snapshot

population (2010)
region Butler county cowley county harper county harvey county kingman county marion county reno county sedgwick county sumner county kansas 750,435 65,880 36,311 6,034 34,684 7,858 12,660 64,511 498,365 24,132 2,853,118

Wichita, the largest city in kansas, is the economic hub of the region. the city has a strong manufacturing base, much of which is related to the aircraft industry. Wichita offers business tax incentives of particular benefit to capital-intensive manufacturing operations. health care and agriculture are also major players in the city’s business climate. mcconnell Air Force Base cessna hawker Beechcraft state of kansas city of Wichita Bombardier learjet Federal government sedgwick county koch industries Boeing integrated Defense systems 6,090 4,860 4,500 3,893 2,924 2,800 2,737 2,691 2,353 2,160

median home cost
Wichita, ks st. louis, mo-il kansas city, mo-ks oklahoma city, ok national colorado springs, co Denver, co seattle, WA los Angeles Area, cA $99,900 $103,700 $124,400 $124,900 $158,100 $180,300 $226,400 $265,400 $281,400

unified school District 259 5,342

maJor msa population centers (2010)
Wichita hutchinson Derby newton el Dorado Winfield Arkansas city 382,368 42,080 22,158 19,132 13,021 12,301 12,415

educational attainment
high school graduate (inc. equivalency) some college (no Degree) Associate Degree Bachelor’s Degree graduate or professional Degree Bachelor’s Degree or higher 27.8% 26% 6.9% 19.0% 8.4% 27%

averaGe rent
Wichita, ks kansas city, mo-ks oklahoma city, ok st. louis, mo colorado springs, co national Denver, co seattle, WA orange county, cA $657 $728 $759 $796 $845 $862 $867 $1,467 $1,704

maJor employers
spirit Aerosystems via christi health 10,800 6,338

what’s online
for more in-depth demographic, statistical and community information on metro wichita, go to facts & stats at
thiS SEction iS SponSorEd by