This list of Kansas assets is from the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Whether by highway, rail or air, Kansas offers excellent transportation and marketing advantages for your business. Because we’re central and because we’ve focused on building and maintaining an outstanding infrastructure, it’s easier and cheaper to ship to and from Kansas. We’re home to numerous production facilities, warehouses and distribution centers that have found shipping raw materials and finished goods is more profitable when you’re located in the nation’s heartland.
Kansas’ strategic location, at the convergence of I-35 and I-70, places it at the crossroads of America. Our central location and excellent transportation network with access to interstate rail, trucking and air corridors put businesses within next-day freight service of 70 percent of the United States.
Kansas ranks sixth for quality and access to transportation in all modes for getting products to market and for transporting individuals. We also rank third nationally in total road mileage with approximately 140,000 total road and street miles and over 10,000 highway miles. We are a major trucking hub with over 1,000 private carriers, 360 intrastate for-hire carriers and 8,600 Kansas-based motor carriers with intrastate and/or interstate operating authority in Kansas. Thanks to our state’s proximity to major markets, our transit times and shipping rates for common carriers can compete with any in the country. Kansas motor carrier regulations, covering truck and trailer size and weight, mirror many federal guidelines.
Kansas ranks in the top 10 in the United States in railroad mileage with almost 4,800 miles of track, 2.23 percent of all U.S. railroad miles. Our four Class I and 13 Class III secondary rail carriers ensure freight service to virtually anywhere in Kansas, since the countless tons of grain grown here have for decades mandated a comprehensive rail system.
Over 900 incorporated and unincorporated cities stand along Kansas’ tracks. Many communities are served by more than one railroad, and businesses in several cities can take advantage of reciprocal switching agreements between railroads. The Kansas City area, a convenient first stop en route to all major marketing regions, ranks as the second leading rail center in the nation.
Kansas City International Airport (KCI) and the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport are the largest airports serving the state, providing businesses with immediate access to major markets nationwide. KCI serves as the primary commercial airport for a four-state area for both passenger and air cargo service. These two airports contain state-of-the-art cargo handling facilities, main-deck loaders capable of handling the world’s largest freighter aircraft and an extensive highway system just minutes away to provide businesses with quick access to goods and markets.
The Port of Catoosa, an inland seaport located near Tulsa, Okla., is approximately 50 miles from the Kansas border. It is a year-round, economical alternative to other means of travel and is especially advantageous to businesses manufacturing large goods.
SKILLED AND EDUCATED LABOR
One of the positive factors in the expansion of the Kansas economy is the Kansas worker. A highly motivated and well-educated workforce is ready to assist your firm. Though many of the state’s 2.9 million citizens are concentrated in its metropolitan areas, firms locating in any region of the state will find a high-quality workforce ready to put its talents to work.
Kansas’ education system is one of the best in the nation and a powerful factor contributing to the success of many businesses. Our education system has resulted in an adept, well-skilled and highly trainable labor force. The high school graduation rate and percentage of the population with a bachelor’s degree are both well above the national average. Kansas ranks in the top third nationally for percent of adults with a college degree and average ACT score. Kansas’ higher education system includes six Board of Regent’s universities, 26 community and technical colleges statewide and one municipal college.
Kansas is also a right-to-work state, which has helped keep labor costs below the national average. The current union membership percentage in Kansas is 7.6 percent, well below the U.S. average. In addition, we have multiple workforce training programs and initiatives for companies new to Kansas or Kansas businesses needing to expand or restructure. Our training programs can offer direct financial assistance to train your workforce, and our workforce development professionals can assist in the recruitment of labor to staff your new business.
COMPETITIVE UTILITY RATES
Kansas possesses a built-in advantage over other states when it comes to meeting your energy needs. With one of the largest natural gas fields in the world, Kansas is among the nation’s leading producers of natural gas. Also, our statewide power costs are competitive with the national average.POSITIVE BUSINESS CLIMATEIn an ongoing effort to improve the state’s business climate, Kansas lawmakers continue to find ways to reduce the cost of living and doing business in this state. Living costs are relatively low in Kansas at 6.3 percent below the national average, making our state one of the most affordable in the nation. Kansas housing is affordable, too, with the median value of owner-occupied housing more than 12.2 percent below the national average. In addition, Kansas ranks 15th overall for business competitiveness based on ten key economic factors, including workforce, education and transportation.