• Blake Benson

IP2030: A Community Conversation

Pittsburg has seen an unprecedented $470 million in planned or completed projects since the first Imagine Pittsburg 2030 plan was launched in 2012. Just a few notable successes include:

- The $88 million Kansas Crossing Casino & Hotel project

- More than $80 million in projects on the Pittsburg State University campus

- More than $60 million in expansions in our health care sector to include significant projects at Ascension-Via Christi Hospital, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Pinamonti Physical Therapy and many others.

- Over $50 million in expansions at Miller’s Professional Imaging, Masonite, Kendall Packaging Corporation, EaglePicher Technologies, APEX Stages and several other local employers.

- New Hampton Inn & Suites and La Quinta Inn & Suites hotels, which further boosted Pittsburg’s booming travel and tourism sector and increased hotel room capacity almost 50%.

- Continued growth in Pittsburg’s retail sector to include a number of locally owned retailers, along with national brands like Tractor Supply Company.

This growth has not only produced a 20-year low unemployment rate of 3.5%, it’s also increased the average Crawford County median wage by more than 11%. Earlier this year, Pittsburg’s average wage growth outpaced both the state and the country and is showing no signs of slowing down.

However, while the IP 2030 plan serves to identify and celebrate opportunities for advancement in our community, it must also identify and address issues that could stifle or reverse Pittsburg’s economic growth. A low unemployment rate can signal difficulty for growing businesses to find employees. Employment and population growth can strain a community’s child care capacity, scaring away young families facing a wait of up to two years to get their children into a child care center. Issues like these and others are not insurmountable, but we must be proactive in discussing and addressing them before they affect our growth.

Join us on December 5 as we begin a community conversation on how best to continue moving our economy “Forward Together.”

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