Archive for October 2010

Facebook & Social Media Training

Learn what Social Media is and how it can help or hinder your business.  Phillips County Economic Development, E-Center and Discover Phillipsburg Main Street are partnering together to bring you Facebook and Social Media Training.

On Monday, November 1, 2010 at the E-Center in Phillipsburg you will have the opportunity to learn how to set up a Facebook page for your business. Hints on how to use Facebook to help grow your business.  Tricks of the trade to optimized your search engines results. 

Brief introduction to WordPress, Youtube and Twitter.

For more information or to register contact our office at 785.543.5809 or email

2010 State of the State - Kansas Economic Policy Conference


Public Education: An Investment in the Kansas Economy

The 2010 Kansas Economic Policy Conference provides an opportunity to hear Kansas policymakers, educators, and business leaders discuss the impact of P-20 public education on state economic growth and development.  Everyone is invited to add their voice to the conversation.  This event is October 21 at the Dole Institute of Politics on KU’s west campus in Lawrence or at our satellite locate in Ulysses, Kans. Visit the conference website to register and learn more about the conference agenda, speakers, and locations. Please note that a reception will be held at the Lawrence location immediately following the conference, hosted by KU’s Provost Jeffrey Vitter.

This event is presented by the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas and co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost at the University of Kansas, the KU Center for Research in Entrepreneurial Activity, Pioneer Communications, and Grant County Chamber of Commerce.

Speakers and panelists include:

Keynote Address

 Higher Education as an Engine for Regional Economic Growth

Robert D. Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Washington, D.C.

 Robert Atkinson is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, DC-based technology policy think tank. He is also author of the State New Economy Index series and the book, The Past And Future Of America’s Economy: Long Waves Of Innovation That Power Cycles Of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005). He has an extensive background in technology policy, he has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policy makers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally.

Morning Panelists: The State of Kansas Public Education

P-20: The Costs and Benefits
The State of the Public Education Budget
Duane Goossen, Secretary, Kansas Department of Administration and Director, Kansas Division of the Budget  

Talent Development through Public Education – an Economic Imperative for Kansas
Kathryn Hund, Director, Workforce Training & Education Services, Kansas Board of Regents and Kansas Department of Commerce

The State of P-12 (Ulysses)
Sally Cauble, Kansas State Board of Education, State Board District 5, Liberal

The Legislative Perspective (Ulysses)
Rep. Don Hineman, Kansas House of Representative, 118th District, Dighton

Workforce Development
The State of Community and Technical Colleges
Jacqueline Vietti, President, Butler County Community College, El Dorado

The State of Workforce Development in Community and Technical Colleges (Ulysses)
Dale Reed, Associate Dean of Educational Services, Seward County Community College, Liberal

The Business Community’s Expectations for Education
Terrence (Terry) P. Dunn, President and CEO, J. E. Dunn Construction Company, Kansas City

The Legislative Perspective
Sen. Stephen Morris, Kansas Senate, District 39, Hugoton

Afternoon Panelists: The Role of the Public University in the Kansas Economy

 Bernadette Gray-Little, Chancellor, The University of Kansas

Donald Beggs, President, Wichita State University

Ruth Dyer, Senior Vice Provost, Kansas State University

Edward Hammond, President, Fort Hays State University

Michael Lane, President, Emporia State University

Steve Scott, President, Pittsburg State University

Economic Gardening!

Phillips County has been actively encouraging individuals to start their own businesses.  This is a big step for many individuals after being taught in most schools to become a full-time employee in a particular field.  We have encouraged this business start-up by providing technical assistance and financial assistance through local and regional programs.  We see this as entrepreneurism.  There are other levels of being an entrepreneurial business, which is creating growth within the company to expand.  This is an area of entrepreneurialism, which many times gets overlooked by development professionals and  this process is figured out over time by the business. This atmosphere for our businesses has been changing in Phillips county over the last few years, and especially with the participation  of several businesses within the Schallert Bootcamp.  This training has inspired its businesses to look at marketing and their businesses in a different way.

In the same manner, a new idea (tool) has been forming over the last year for Kansas.  It is new to Kansas, but you will be hearing a lot more about.  It is called, “Economic Gardening”!  Economic gardening embraces strategies that help grow existing “Second Stage” businesses.  Second stage businesses are commonly defined as having these traits:  1) five (5) or more to 100 employees, and 2) gross reciepts of $750,000 dollars to 50 million dollars.  Economic Gardening is an innovative entrepreneur-centered economic growth strategy that offers balance to the traditional economic practice of business recruitment, which often is referred to as “economic hunting”. 

Phillips County has seen the loss of employees from corporate layoffs and a closing of a major corporate business in 2009 which employed 208 people.   Most recently, an out-of-state business wanting to hire at-home employees asked Kansas Commerce to conduct a survey across 33 counties to investigate the availability of workforce.  There were four counties (including Phillips) out of 33 counties, which stood out with having a large amount of viable workforce, but for what the corporation needed immediately, the total amount still fell short of the desired application to hire (4 to 1) ratio of which most corporations diligently follow before making a move.  This shows a very important point toward development leaders in rural areas.   The focus of our time, energy and resources should be spent on start-ups and expansions of existing businesses.  This happens when the an entrepreneurial atmosphere is nurtured.  Just like a garden needs prepped, tended, watered, and fertilized; so does our businesses need this type of nurturing.  Historically, rural businesses feel it is the SMALL vs. LARGE businesses; but this growth method (tool) provides businesses the concept of SMALL into LARGE businesses.  When this happens the entire economy is lifted higher and increases in size. 

The economic gardening concept was pioneered by Chris Gibbons in 1989 in the city of Littleton, Colorado, a community that is the ensuing 15 years saw a 136 percent increase in new jobs.  Whileit was introduced as a demostration program to deal with the sudden erosion of economic conditions following the relocation of the largest employer in the city at that time, it has emerged as a prototype for a rapidly expanding movement to generate truly sustainable economic growth for communities, regions and states.

Network Kansas has formed a statewide economic development task force to assist with the development of a Kansas pilot economic gardening program for businesses in rural communities.  If you think you might be interested to be the first of forty (40) chosen to participate in this tool through Network Kansas, fill in the on-line application at the Network Kansas website.  If you want more face-to-face information before  applying or you want more of your questions answered, consider attending the Kansas Economic Gardening Entrepreneurship Forum on November 15, 2010 at Dodge City, Kansas.  The forum agenda has Chris Gibbons and Mark Lange (Edward Lowe Foundation) discussing the particulars on this subject.  Otherwise, you can call Steve Radley at Network Kansas or the PCED office directly.

Jeff Hofaker