MISSION To drive economic growth and community advancement in the Wichita region.
VISION The Wichita region is a premier place to grow companies, careers and communities.Job growth is a vital component of our mission and has been a long-time priority of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. During the last twelve months we’ve been probing deeper into the issue of how to accelerate the number of primary jobs in our region and replace the 31,000 jobs that disappeared from our community during the recent recession. The Chamber and its partners have been gathering citizen input, studying this issue, and discussing potential solutions throughout the community.
- The City of Wichita partnered with the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs at Wichita State University to conduct surveys and listening sessions with more than 2,000 people from mid-September through January 2014. Four of the top priorities identified by the community were: water supply, economic development, public transit, and pavement maintenance.
- The Chamber’s Leadership Council (a think tank made up of 100 top business, non-profit, and public-sector executives) chose growing primary jobs as its top priority. The group also determined that on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest level of economic development competitiveness, Wichita is currently operating at a 2.5. The council’s goal is to increase that competitiveness level to 4.5.
- At the Chamber’s 2013 Annual Meeting last November, Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton shared insights from his book, titled The Coming Jobs War, with 1,000 area business leaders. Clifton emphasized that all of his research on the subject pointed to local solutions. He emphasized that the community’s efforts must be aligned citywide and focused.
- The Chamber hosted 600 business leaders during the annual Chairman’s Lunch in February for a public discussion with Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Dave Unruh about the economic development tools we need to advance the region. Chamber members are still sharing their thoughts with me about the important points that were discussed during this event.