Since arriving in Chanute I have been impressed with the spirit of innovation that pervades the community. I have the opportunity to work with a broad-based board of directors from all aspects of the community. The CRDA Board represents individuals from all sectors of the community: business, education, government, and health and human services. This diversity enables the CRDA to work for the good of the community as a whole while taking into consideration the strengths and unique aspects of each sector. I look forward to continuing to take progressive steps forward to help Chanute build on its tradition of innovation.

There are several exciting projects happening that I wish to share. First, Hi-Lo Industries in Chanute has announced their plans to add over 60,000 square feet of space to their manufacturing facility and create at least 60 new jobs. The company has asked the City of Chanute for a 10 year tax abatement as part of their plan to start construction of the addition to their manufacturing facility in the Safari Industrial Park.

Additionally, Kaw Valley Center Behavioral Care announced last week their plans to add approximately 20 new jobs and move their offices to 321 East Main Street by July 1st. They have been awarded contracts for Reintegration, Foster Care and Adoption and Family Preservation services by the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

Although TFI Family Services will no longer provide the Reintegration, Foster Care and Adoption and Family Preservation services. TFI has many other services they are providing in the area and will remain in Chanute. They will be downsizing as a result of the changes; however, with the increase in jobs at KVC and the downsizing at TFI Chanute could still see a net gain of approximately 12-15 jobs.

Also exciting is the announcement within the past week that Spirit AeroSystems has over 32 employees at the Chanute plant and two more people had been offered employment. Another group of students will be completing the training program on April 30, 2013. The company is pleased with the production that is coming from the Chanute facility and they are continuing on their path to hire 125 to 150 employees within their first 5 years.

The Chanute Regional Development Authority is working on several other projects including a large retail store, a new manufacturing business that could create 20-30 new jobs, a Kansas City developer that is considering constructing two businesses in Chanute, and several existing businesses with growth and relocation plans. These entities will make their announcements public at the appropriate time.

The Chanute Regional Development Authority is also working on development of programs focused on entrepreneurship and incentives for both residential and commercial property owners who are interested in making improvements to their property, building additions or putting up new buildings.

Working with a broad- based board of directors from all areas of the community the CRDA is looking forward to continuing our work with businesses of all sizes. We look forward to working with existing businesses and new businesses for our community. We are ready to continue taking progressive steps forward. If you have questions or comments, please contact me at

The original category was published from April 29, 2013 9:03 AM to April 29, 2013 9:13 AM