New Economic Innovation Center Begins Work in Northwest Kansas

From North Central Regional Plannings monthly newsletter – http://www.ncrpc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/1611.pdf

NCRP

New Economic Innovation Center Begins Work in Northwest Kansas

Increasing economic opportunities, enhancing the quality of life, and reversing the population decline within Northwest Kansas are the primary long-term goals of the newly formed Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center, Inc. (NWKEICI).

The NWKEICI, headquartered in Norton, Kansas, was formed as a result of an initiative of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, Logan, Kansas, in January. Of the Hansen Foundation’s 26 Northwest Kansas counties, eight are also part of the NCRPC primary service area — including Cloud, Ellsworth, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Ottawa, Republic, and Saline counties.

Scott Sproul began as the organization’s President and CEO in March and a board of five members was established. Sproul was most recently the Executive Director of Norton City/County Economic Development.

“Our primary focus is to be a supporting arm for economic development agencies within the region and to assist businesses in their pursuit of growth, retention and recruitment of key employees for their businesses,” Sproul says.

Time is being spent researching community needs and assessing how the NWKEICI can be most effective.

“In the meetings around the region, the number one issue we continually see is, “How do we access the skilled labor or talent pool to add value to an existing company or community?” We also see the great need for succession planning of businesses in the near future. The ability to access the talent pool has been challenging to overcome, but we are addressing that issue through our Career and Business Pipeline that is currently in the developmental stage,” Sproul says.

According to Sproul, the organization is also working toward the implementation of a program that will help integrate the leaders of communities into powerful programs relating to Business Mentorship and Business Concierge concepts. He says more details will be released next spring.

While the organization is young, Sproul is optimistic about the future. “I am excited about the opportunities we are starting to see in the region and the willingness for people to collaborate for the success of the region,” Sproul says.

The organization is in the process of developing its marketing plan, which will be focused around the programming and assistance they will provide to the area.

The NWKEICI headquarters is in the renovated Heaton Building at 112 S. Kansas, Suite 313, Norton, Kansas. For more information or to contact the staff, call 785-874-5150 or email office@nwkeici.org.