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Posted on: May 16, 2022

Retreat Participants Hear Great Ideas

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There was significant dialog on a number of subjects but certain things came through very clear.

First, housing is a challenge in the Manhattan region just as it is across the country. The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce will be monitoring the ongoing housing study being completed by the City of Manhattan and will engage in examining policy opportunities to improve the housing climate in the future.

Access to capital is a major challenge for entrepreneurs, particularly historically disadvantaged populations and people of color. The Manhattan Chamber and our partners will be working to develop a community fund that will assist in filling some of these gaps as well as investment funds to get ideas ready to attract capital to the region. Look for more information soon.

Child care is a major hinderance to getting people back in the workforce, but it's even a bigger challenge to make a living in the child care industry. In fact, it was pointed out that the average salary of a child care worker is less than the average salary of someone caring for animals. We are excited about a project our child care task force has developed and hope for funding from the State of Kansas to get the idea off the ground. 

Large sites for economic development is a must in today's environment where speed and the ability to bring suppliers is a desire for many projects. Cities in the Manhattan region have to continue to work on this challenge to be competitive for new jobs.

Finally, there is not a shortage of great ideas for community projects to create tourism. We heard some great ideas and look forward to continuing to work to bring these projects to fruition. You can read more about projects like the Art and Light Museum, the potential new Agriculture Arena at Kansas State University and an indoor swimming facility on local media channels.

This year's event had so much information, we continue to process next steps for many of the opportunities presented. I want to acknowledge the hard work of our team, particularly Sharla Meisenheimer, for a near flawless execution.

In the meantime, if you attended this year's event, look for a survey soon to help determine the future course of programs.

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