Legislative & Policy Priorities
Each year, REAP establishes a legislative agenda advocating for state investments and encouraging strategic public policies to create jobs and grow the economy in South Central Kansas. The members of REAP focus on issues of common concern that drive the regional economy including transportation, water, energy and workforce development. REAP also helps to convene regional leaders at events including: Elected Officials Reception; South Central Delegation Meeting; South Central Delegation lunch in Topeka.

I Fly Wichita
A new marketing and outreach campaign to support Eisenhower Airport is beginning, “I Fly Wichita”. There was a launch event on January 23rd.  This is a grassroots initiative to help educate the public and business community on flight options and current carriers. REAP is one of the regional partners supporting this marketing strategy.

The overall goals are:
• Increase ridership at Eisenhower Airport to help attract the airlines into generating more flight options. Affordable commercial air service is a long time priority for REAP, and was identified as a regional priority through Project Wichita. See attached flyer for more information.
• Raise awareness on the importance of affordable commercial air services to the regional economy.

Project Wichita
Project Wichita is a new 10-year regional community vision initiative.  REAP is part of the Vision Team for the imitative.  Project Wichita is a collaboration of business, education and government leaders with a goal to learn what residents think about their communities and where they want it to be in 10 years.

Project Wichita is will attempt to identify what the region needs to do to move itself forward. The project, which is being finalized, will feature a committee with four co-chairs: Aaron Bastian of Fidelity Bank, Debbie Gann of Spirit AeroSystems, Scott Schwindaman of Lubrication Engineers, and Juston White of the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas. In March, students and volunteers from Wichita State University’s Public Policy and Management Center will survey the city to ask residents: What does your Wichita look like in 2028?  There will be town hall meetings and focus groups, they will be at community and neighborhood association gatherings, and, most importantly, go after the opinions of those who won’t go to a meeting. Online surveys and social media will play an important role.

Regional Transportation Planning
In 2017, REAP joined efforts with Greater Wichita Partnership and WAMPO to developed a strategy to gather information about transportation related priorities across the region, and to promote increased employer engagement in BREG. The strategy identified issues of common concern in South Central Kansas including: infrastructure improvement that will act as a catalyst for economic growth, identify locations of infrastructure improvement that will act as catalyst for economic growth, this could include regional highway improvements, transload locations, or job training facilities; identifying regional public transit strategies, and monitoring state policies impacting transportation, and analyzing current regional transportation issues and coordinating with the state planning process.

Regional Growth Plan
The Regional Growth Plan is an economic strategy to grow the greater Wichita region’s economy, attract new businesses and expand existing industries. This new multi-year actionable plan features seven target industry sectors, five strategic pillars, 32 key initiatives and a regional framework to support implementation. The plan takes into account the previous plan, the Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth, and builds upon its research and foundation.

Led by the Strategic Advisory Team of the Greater Wichita Partnership, a goal of prioritizing efforts to grow the economy led to the hiring of global firm Market Street Services. Starting in early 2018, Market Street, alongside regional stakeholders, spent ten months drilling down into market information, analyzing research, and diving deep into community input to identify focused strategies and how we can work together to grow the economy.  This targeted economic development plan for the greater Wichita region will be used by regional organizations and partners to boldly seize opportunities to grow the economy. 

Brookings Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Briefing
Beginning in 2014 REAP partnered with Kansas Global and other to develop a Regional Export Plan and FDI plan The FDI is a strategy to identify foreign companies interested on locating in South Central Kansas thorough new business expansion or acquisitions/mergers of existing companies. It is a strategy that strengthens the economic base of a regional economy. Currently underway is Phase 3, which will look into innovation into the region’s future industry sectors.


Kansas Leadership Center Transformation Grant
REAP was awarded a grant for 40 spots (worth $25,000). The leadership grant covers 100 percent tuition for any of the three core leadership training in 2018.

WSU – Public Policy and Management Center
REAP has a long partnership with WSU – Public Policy and Management Center. As requested by REAP, PPMC will conduct research and provide analysis to items on the 2018 REAP Work Plan and/or issues that impact the economy in South Central Kansas. Services included:
• Training opportunities free for members:
• Community Surveys free for members (bi-annually)
• EfficientGov membership and bi-weekly grant email blast and information including a free training on using the service
• Joint-coop purchasing agreement with the City of Wichita. Member communities are able to use the purchasing agreements of Wichita which may allow communities to improve negotiating position.

Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG)
The Blueprint for Regional Economic Growth (BREG) is a collaborative 10 county regional initiative to create a strategy for economic growth, composed of eight industry action plans. The purpose of BREG is to grow the region’s economy, leading to more jobs and a better quality of life for our citizens. The Sector Strategies of BREG in focus on industries in South Central Kansas to develop a competitive strategy that defines challenges, actions, and commitments to realistic solutions. The cross cutting issues of workforce development, transportation infrastructure, broadband access, and exports drive the sector strategies. BREG is accelerating competitive change for continuous economic improvement.

Brookings Global Cities Exchange Program (GCX)
The Wichita Region of South Central Kansas was selected to participate in the Brookings Global Cities Exchange (GCX) program after a competitive & extensive application process.  Participation in the program will produce a data-driven Regional Export Plan with the guidance of the Brookings GCX team, JP Morgan Chase and the U.S. International Trade Administration.  Seven other cities/regions were selected and form a peer group: Atlanta; Upstate South Carolina representing the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson CSA; Indianapolis; Jacksonville, FL; Milwaukee; Phoenix; and Sacramento, CA.  The year-long planning process began in December 2013 with the convening of the newest eight cities/regions at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and will culminate with the release of the Wichita Region’s Export Plan and Investment Strategy in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Why do we need a regional export plan?  Exports equal jobs.  The REAP Region of South Central Kansas must diversify its economy in order to grow.  Significantly increasing the export of goods and services out of the country while adding new economic engines to its mainstay of aviation will help secure the region’s economic future.

Regional Export Plan
In December 2013, of South Central Kansas region was selected to participate in the Brookings Global Cities Exchange (GCX) program to create a regional strategy to enhance exports. REAP is a key partner with Kansas Global Trade Services on this initiative. The goal of the regional export plan is to nurture an intentional export economy in South Central Kansas that accelerates job growth, diversifies exports and improves global competitiveness and fluency. The objectives of the plan are to catalyze export growth at five aviation suppliers per year, diversify exports by fostering growth of non-aerospace exports by 30 percent in five years and of services exports by 15 percent in five years, coordinate export assistance and promotional efforts to build a recognizable export eco-system in two years, increase global fluency of the region by educating community leaders and companies, increase exports of small-medium sized companies, increasing the number of new markets entered per year, and introducing exporting as a growth strategy to 100 companies in five years.

Governor’s 50 Year Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas
At the Governor’s Water Conference in October 2013, Governor Brownback charged his administration to lead the vision and called upon the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors to engage in the planning process since water and the economy are directly linked.  The vision will take the Kansas Water Plan to a new level, with more intense work and engagement with local governments, cities and counties, the groundwater management districts, water assurance districts, industry and stakeholders to develop this vision and area specific goals for ensuring a reliable water supply for Kansas citizens.

The Kansas Water Office (KWO) Visioning Team is seeking input from groups around the state.  KWO is engaging REAP as a stakeholder group and a voice for municipal water through the REAP Water Resources Committee, REAP Board of Directors, REAP Regional Water Conference, and the Prosperity Plan Consortium Leadership Team.  The Visioning Team will present a summary of the Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas at the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas in October 2014.

South Central Kansas Prosperity Plan
Local jurisdictions in South-Central Kansas no longer compete just against each other for jobs and economic development. We are competing against others nationally and globally. To be economically competitive in a world marketplace, we must work together to identify a collective vision for our future and design a toolbox of strategies to achieve it.  To that end, communities in South Central Kansas are embarking on a two-year process to develop a plan for prosperity for South Central Kansas that encompasses Butler, Harvey, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.  The effort will focus on six key areas, including:

~Built Environment
~Healthy Community Design
~Natural Resources
~Workforce and Business Development.

For more information about the South Central Kansas Prosperity Plan process, contact Paula Downs at 316-978-6678 or visit their website at

Kansas Affordable Airfares Program (KAAP)
The region has been involved in the issue of affordable airfares since 1999 and the establishment of the Air Service Task Force. In 2001 REAP engaged the region by participating in the Travel Bank program to leverage the market for a single low-fare carrier. Although that program had some limited success it was apparent that a more comprehensive program would be needed. In 2006 REAP took the lead with the development of the Kansas Affordable Airfares Program (KAAP). From 2006 until December of 2012, REAP, as directed by the State of Kansas, administered the five-year, $25 million program, to provide more air flight options, more competition for air travel, and affordable air fares for Kansas. REAP continues to support KAAP and the legislation that created and funds the program.

Intrust Bank Arena
In 2004 Sedgwick County voters approved the Sedgwick County Arena Project, now known as the Intrust Bank Arena. The project funded construction of the Arena through a one percent sales tax in Sedgwick County beginning on July 1, 2005 for a period of 30 months. REAP supported the project through their 2004 legislative platform and priorities, bringing a world- class venue to the REAP region for concerts and sporting events.