Wichita 2019: Stepping up to be heard

In 2019, people across the city stepped up to advocate for a future they believe in — a future we can all support and see through.

Stepping up to the mic is never easy, but it's always a necessary step to create a future we can all get behind.

In 2019, Wichitans stepped up to make their voices heard. They raised their hands and their voices to advocate for a future they believe in — a future we can all support and see through.

This collective vocalization has set Wichita up to make big moves in 2020.

A new mayor was elected, who brings with him a new perspective and potential new approach to policy. Project Wichita continues movement toward a collective vision that extends across the city. The Riverfront Legacy Master Plan sets up a new vision on Wichita's east bank riverfront.

When The Chung Report first started in 2016, Wichita needed guidance and direction. James Chung helped with that, and numerous other players came to the table to act upon his findings.

In 2019, it's the Wichitans themselves providing the direction. Perhaps in 2020, we can take action toward that collective vision.

Here are some notable stories and events from the past year:


BUSINESS CYCLE

Much of the news in Wichita's Business Cycle points to a fundamental change in the way our city does business. From electing a new mayor to investing in technology and quality of life, Wichita's signaling that it's ready for change.

Here are some stories that sum up Wichita's Business Cycle Challenge in 2019:

1) Wichita elects new mayor

Wichita elected a new mayor, indicating a frustration with the lack of transparency and communication coming from the mayor's office. With new blood in the office, Wichitans are hoping for better progress moving forward.

Read the Wichita Eagle's coverage.

Whipple

PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA EAGLE


2) Employment growth predicted in 2019 economic outlook conference

In October, Wichita State University's Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) predicted more job growth for Kansas and Wichita in 2020 at the Kansas Economic Development Conference.

Read the Wichita Business Journal's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA BUSINESS JOURNAL


3) Douglas Design District could become Business Improvement District

The Douglas Design District may get additional funding for improvements by becoming a Business Improvement District.

Read the Wichita Business Journal's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA BUSINESS JOURNAL


4) Junetta Everett becomes the first African-American Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce President

The longtime vice president at Delta Dental of Kansas is the 101st president of the organization — the sixth woman and the first African-American.

Read the Wichita Business Journal's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA BUSINESS JOURNAL



HUMAN CAPITAL

With a focus on education, talent and quality of life, Wichita has taken multiple steps to address human capital in 2019.

Here are some stories that sum up Wichita's Human Capital Challenge in 2019:

1) The Greater Wichita Partnership launches ChooseWichita.com to help sell Wichita

Talent acquisition has long been a goal for The Greater Wichita Partnership. This year, they launched ChooseWichita.com to showcase Wichita's quality of life and culture to potential new hires.

Read the Wichita Business Journal's coverage.

Choose-Wichita-Photo

PHOTO CREDIT: CHOOSEWICHITA.COM


2) Textron Aviation layoffs put a damper on continued job growth

Despite things looking up for aviation companies including Textron and Spirit last year, Textron Aviation announced in December that it would be laying off salaried positions in Wichita.

Read the Wichita Business Journal's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA BUSINESS JOURNAL


3) WSU Tech benefits from high-profile visit worth $9 million

When Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ivanka Trump visited WSU Tech to highlight workforce training, it was worth about $9 million in publicity, according to reports from media monitoring services.

Read the Wichita Business Journal's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: WICHITA BUSINESS JOURNAL


4) Wichita State University tops rankings for aeronautical R&D

The National Science Foundation (NSF) ranked Wichita State as the number one school in the country when it comes to aeronautical research and development.

Read Newswise's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: NEWSWISE



ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Entrepreneurship is a challenge that seems poised to make big moves in 2020. From a refreshed vision at e2e to new hubs for minority entrepreneurs and tech innovation, the infrastructure is set for something big.

Here are some stories that sum up Wichita's Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2019:

1) Mary Beth Jarvis joins e2e

Mary Beth Jarvis, former president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., joined the e2e Accelerator in September to help expand the organization's scope with corporate partnerships.

Read the Wichita Business Journal's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA BUSINESS JOURNAL


2) Keycentrix launches new group to promote Wichita tech

Louis Rodriguez, president of healthcare software company Keycentrix, launched a new group in early 2019 focused on promoting Wichita's technology industry and innovation. FlagshipKansas.tech has continued to be a hub for tech education and innovation through the year.

Read the Wichita Eagle's coverage.

Rodriguez

PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA EAGLE


3) Founders' Grove offers shared office space aimed at minority entrepreneurs and businesses

Founders' Grove opened their shared office spaces near 21st Street and Grove this year to serve as a hub for African-American and Latino entrepreneurship and business development.

Read KMUW's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: KMUW


4) Groover Labs set to open downtown rental, studio and maker's space

Groover Labs opened their space at 334 N. St. Francis to provide a hub for Wichita technology.

Read the Wichita Eagle's coverage.

Groover-Labs-Graphic

PHOTO CREDIT: SILICON PRAIRIE NEWS



PERCEPTION

In 2019, Wichita's Perception Challenge was largely driven by long-term projects coming to a head. Project Wichita and the Riverfront Legacy Master Plan are both fully underway with recommendations on how to move forward in coming months and years.

Here are some stories that sum up Wichita's Perception Challenge in 2019:

1) Project Wichita collects and acts upon a collective vision

Project Wichita, which conducted a community-wide survey in 2018, has used its data to form a 10-year community vision and action plans aimed at talent, lifelong learning, strong communities and neighborhoods, economic prosperity and quality of place.

Read the report.

Project-Wichita

PHOTO CREDIT: PROJECT WICHITA


2) Former Tallgrass director launches microcinema in Revolutsia

Lela Meadow-Conner, former director of the Tallgrass Film Festival, tested a new concept for Wichita this year by launching a microcinema in Revolutisia called mamafilm. Season two will be coming soon to the Lux at First Street and Market.

Read The Wichita Eagle's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: THE WICHITA EAGLE


3) Riverfront Legacy Master Plan underway with proposals involving Century II and riverfront development

The Riverfront Legacy Master Plan is a response to Project Wichita and the Century II Citizens Advisory Committee that is taking steps to create a cohesive and comprehensive vision for Wichita's east bank, including Century II. The plan is focusing on community engagement to create a community-backed vision.

Read the Wichita Eagle's coverage.

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4) Wichita named All-American City for the first time in a decade

Competing against 19 other cities, Wichita won out, winning All-American status for the first time since 2009. This was the fifth time Wichita was named for the award.

Read KWCH's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: KWCH


5) Wichita ballpark just the start for westbank development

A new Wichita ballpark is big news on its own. But it's only the beginning for a massive development spree in Delano. Between the new ballpark village, Laham's Riverfront Village, EPC Real Estate Group's apartment project and Hutton Construction's new headquarters, Delano is poised for major growth and progress in 2020.

Read The Wichita Eagle's coverage.

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PHOTO CREDIT: KMUW




The pieces have been set in 2019. From long-term visions to updated business plans, we're ready to accelerate our progress.

This year, we have the opportunity to press forward, executing on this carefully laid plan.


NEXT STEPS:


Learn more about the Four Challenges


Learn more about the Entrepreneurship Challenge


Thoughts, suggestions or comments? Check us out on social media or send us a message


The Final

Report

We’ve never pulled punches before, so we won’t start now:

The Chung Report is ending.

Not because Wichita’s economy has stabilized. Not because we are retaining our top talent. Not because we have adequate capital flow to local entrepreneurs. And not because we have solved our perception issues. Those original four challenges are still there. But because our goal has always been to unify friends, competitors, colleagues and strangers to join the fight for a better Wichita. That we have done.

The Chung Report has always been about trying to highlight the best of our city and the people who work to make it better. Citizens who care deeply and are steadfast in the mission to rise above our projected decline. Wichita is a city of doers and dreamers - builders and achievers. And for all you who hear this call - it’s your moment.

Journalism matters and we want to demonstrate our commitment to it and this community with an investment in the News and Information Fund at the Wichita Community Foundation.

The goals are still the same: we’re fighting for an equitable and inclusive community, a thriving business environment, a steady flow of diverse talent, innovative ideas and a healthy sense of civic pride. And this fight is not just for us, but for generations to come.

Wichita needs you. How will you respond?


Let Us Know At 316-749-4520.

Read What We've Learned