Commitment to community is one of the seven cooperative principles that govern the operation of cooperatives. The Member distribution utilities that are part of the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation system show once again how we live this cooperative principle. We know that community vitality is central to your success. Community success/vitality looks different in each of our communities, but having access to jobs, adequate housing and education, and programs that improve life for residents are common needs for all of our communities.
That’s why the Member distribution utilities that are part of the Sunflower system recently launched the Sunflower Electric Economic Development Program. As a member of Sunflower, Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc. is actively engaged in bringing this program to your community. Wheatland Electric is already invested in making your community a success, but this program allows us to bring additional community and economic development programs to you.
Sunflower Electric Economic Development involves several programs.
Industry Marketing – We know which industries are predominate in our area. Companies find success here for a variety of reasons, perhaps natural resources or being located in the central part of our country. Whatever the reason, it makes sense to share our story of business success with other companies within these industries. The world won’t know this is a great place to do business until we tell them.
We have identified value-added agriculture, heavy equipment manufacturing and the associated supply chain, distribution and warehousing, and data centers as opportunities to expand our business base. We are developing plans to directly market to companies in these industries and make sure they know what our part of Kansas has to offer for expansion opportunities.
Available Sites and Buildings – Just as a business needs inventory on its shelves, inventory of available sites and buildings must be visible and promoted. LocationOne Information Systems (LOIS) is the largest website for economic development properties in the U.S. We have purchased a license and are actively working to increase the number of properties that are promoted on LOIS. Let us know if you are interested in using this site as a way to promote your available sites or buildings.
The Sunflower Certified Site Program is a certification that guarantees extensive research has been completed for a property intended for business development. Certified site programs are valuable to businesses as they reduce the chance of a site-related surprise during the construction process. A comprehensive list of items are researched and cataloged so a prospective owner knows the available utilities, capabilities, environmental and historical attributes of the property, confirming that the site is ready for development.
Local Community Support – Your local leaders are in the best position to understand what opportunities fit your community. What they may need is additional education, access to information, and resources for projects that benefit the residents. Our team includes trained facilitators to help your community identify what opportunities are right for you and how to capitalize on those opportunities. We have identified an extensive list of resource providers that are ready to support technical expertise for economic development.
Key to sharing our story to our communities and the world what we have to offer is our economic development website, www.sunflowerecodevo.com. The website includes information for businesses that want to learn about the advantages of expanding in the Sunflower Member service territory, where to review available sites and buildings, how to connect with Member staff, and information about the region.
The website also has information on programs available to communities that may want to advance their local economic development program. Information about Wheatland Electric and Sunflower can provide assistance for economic development planning is described on the website.
Living and working in a vibrant community is a goal we all share. Wheatland Electric and the Sunflower Electric Economic Development Program will continue our commitment to your community. Just give us a call to learn more about this exciting new program!