Special to the Leader & Times

 

Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland, alongside leaders from across the state, unveiled Love, Kansas last Monday, a dynamic talent attraction campaign aimed at boosting Kansas’ population by inviting past residents to choose the Sunflower State as their future home. This national marketing initiative will highlight Kansas as an exceptional place to live, work and raise a family, with a special emphasis on “boomerangs” – individuals with previous ties to the state.

The campaign was launched at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, where Lieutenant Governor Toland shared his personal journey back to Kansas that was inspired by a heartfelt phone call from a family friend about a job opportunity in his hometown of Iola.

“It’s simple: We need more humans in Kansas to keep up with the phenomenal economic growth our state is experiencing,” Toland. “The best way to do that is to first approach Kansans who left the state for economic opportunities elsewhere and invite them to build a life in a place they know and have connections to, whether in their hometown or elsewhere in the state.  And with the Love, Kansas campaign, we aren’t just extending an invitation to those who once called Kansas home to come back – we’re also inviting families from around the country to build their lives in the Sunflower State.”

Love, Kansas will focus on the state’s abundant job opportunities, high quality of life, excellent education system and affordable communities.  The campaign will be driven at the local level but will strategically target key markets across the U.S., with a strong focus on digital and social media platforms. Influencer and journalist engagement, as well as targeted in-person events both within and outside of Kansas, will play a crucial role in reaching potential boomerangs.

During the launch event, it was announced that the first 50 communities to partner with Love, Kansas will be eligible for a $5,000 grant to assist in their efforts in attracting new residents to their community. Nineteen pilot communities and seven universities already have joined the initiative and are planning events that are aligned with the campaign’s theme. A primary goal is for communities across the state to do direct outreach to past residents they have a personal connection with, inviting them to return home.

“The collaboration already on display between so many partners underscores the enthusiasm for this campaign,” Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe said. “There are so many amazing things happening in Kansas right now; Love, Kansas gives us the chance to let people throughout the country know about them.”

The Love, Kansas campaign is being spearheaded by the Kansas Department of Commerce.

 

About Kansas Tourism

The mission of Kansas Tourism is to inspire travel to and throughout Kansas to maximize the positive impacts that tourism has on our state and local communities. Kansas Tourism works hand in hand with other Commerce community programs to elevate and promote Kansas as a tourist destination. Kansas Tourism oversees all tourism marketing and PR for the state, produces travel publications and advertising, manages state Travel Information Centers, manages both the Kansas By-ways program and the Kansas Agritourism program, approves tourist signage applications, produces the KANSAS! Magazine, and provides financial and educational support to the tourism industry in Kansas through grants, education, and support.

 

About the Kansas Department of Commerce

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024, and was awarded the 2021 and 2022 Governor’s Cup by Site Selection Magazine.

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