WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – After several slow years, it appears the air capital’s economy is ready to take off again.
With new interest from several companies, it could be good news for the economy.
Jeremy Hill, the director of WSU’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research ,says he’s not forecasting much expansion over the next year, but says having companies interested in our region is a positive for our weak economy.
He says over the last few years, there’s been several factors hurting our economy.
“The core weakness of aerospace, the core weakness of Kansas and the city is really what’s weighing on it,” said Hill.
But, Hill says new job opportunities will help the greater Wichita area.
Some companies have recently announced upcoming aerospace opportunities, Hill says some will likely be higher paying jobs.
“Every time we talk about Cessna or Bombardier, they tend to be a high wage job and they’re a primary driver as well, you create a new job in aerospace, it’s going to help support a broader economy.”
Bombardier says it’s bringing 100 jobs to Wichita for production of its Global 7000 Jet, and earlier this week, Cessna announced it will build a new plane for FedEx.
There’s also the potential for new jobs with a new chicken processing plant in Kansas.
A Tyson spokesperson says 1600 jobs could be added to our local economy.
“It’s high school equivalent or less and most of the jobs are that right and people in the food services also fit pretty well in that, so we have a labor pool available,” said Hill.
Hill says companies showing interest in Wichita could help with future job growth.
“There’s now more interest of these other companies and sight selectors thinking about Wichita that creates a much better opportunity down the road, I think we are now getting back into the light of where Wichita can be a good attractive, business location,” said Hill.
Hill says there’s currently 12,000 people unemployed in the region, but only those actively looking are counted in that total.