The Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) has been named the top regional economic development organization in the U.S., according to a new survey of site selectors and corporate executives released this week at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference.
“We’re honored to be recognized for this award, and thankful to our clients, partners and investors who work every day to position the KC region as a top destination for business and talent,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, KCADC. “This designation from our site selector clients exemplifies and reflects the work and collaboration of all of our partners across the KC region.”
Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996. In light of COVID-19, this year’s survey also includes findings about how the pandemic affects corporate location decisions and perceptions of U.S. cities and states.
“A strong economic development organization is an invaluable asset to any community/region, and I rely heavily on them to help validate the vast amount of analysis and data to tell the local story that can’t be found anywhere else,” said Amy Gerber, managing director, business incentives practice at Cushman & Wakefield.
“I have had the privilege of working with KCADC for the majority of my career,” continued Gerber. “One of the first projects I ever worked on was in the KC region, and I learned a lot about how much value a strong EDO can bring to a project. Every project/site/location has some challenge to overcome and it is important to have a strong partner like KCADC who can help create solutions to the challenges and ensure a successful outcome for our clients.”
KCADC ranked as the No. 1 “best in class” regional economic development agency, according to the site selection consultants who participated in the survey, with 20% identifying it as the nation’s top economic development organization.
The Kansas City region was also recently recognized as a Top Midsize City for Future Projects by the Site Selectors Guild. Distribution projects have increased 25% and manufacturing projects are up 21% since 2019. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, KCADC has helped attract prominent companies, including an 880,000-square-foot flagship omni-channel distribution center for Urban Outfitters, Inc., a 1,200-person e-commerce center for Chewy, Inc., and manufacturing facilities for Dot’s Pretzels and Tuthill Corporation, among others.
“Now in its ninth iteration, the Winning Strategies survey reveals the changing perceptions of location decision makers, as well as the tools and tactics that help shape those perceptions,” said Julie Curtin, president of DCI’s economic development practice. “The confluence of a global pandemic, a presidential election and intense scrutiny of equity policies is putting a renewed interest on how location decisions are made, so the results from this year’s survey are especially interesting for communities and site selectors alike.”
View a free copy of the full “Winning Strategies” survey report and an executive summary below.