Our time is now.
There comes a time in our lives and in our communities that we have a choice to make. Do we seize the moment or do we let it go? It’s exciting to see our community and region seizing its moment.
Working together, we have achieved significant wins over the last couple of years. Cargill’s Protein Division headquarters is changing our city’s skyline. Spirit AeroSystems is hiring 1,000 people and investing $1 billion in our community. A new ballpark is being planned with expanded riverfront development, and new construction is underway at Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus. As projects are completed in downtown, new ones launch. And the Wichita flag continues to rally community pride.
This momentum has been years in the making with thousands of smart decisions by a wide variety of organizations that have passionate volunteers and leadership. A tremendous opportunity now is to take this momentum to the next level.
The way this is going to be achieved is through a cohesive, holistic vision. “Our time is now” was further reinforced as more than $300,000, in just a couple of weeks, was raised to seize this opportunity. A massive listening and visioning effort took shape recently with the announcement of Project Wichita. We applaud and thank the Co-Chairs for stepping forward to shepherd this exciting process: Aaron Bastian, Debbie Gann, Scott Schwindaman and Juston White.
The community listening will begin in March and last through the summer. There will be multiple opportunities to share your vision and your priorities. It is important that all voices are heard, so we encourage you to sign up for more information as it becomes available at www.ProjectWichita.org.
Thriving communities always ask themselves – what’s next? The success we’ve had today is built on the foundation of previous community decisions and priorities. For example, about 10 years ago the community provided input into Project Downtown, the master plan for our urban core, creating a foundation for millions of dollars in new private investment catalyzed by strategic public investment. Our community, experiencing the rewards of that planning now, is positioned to create an even larger dynamic and driving economic force for our community and region.
Momentum spurs opportunities. Working together, we can harness and increase these opportunities for everyone in our region.
We’ve shown that when we come together, great things happen.
It is our time.
Jeff Fluhr is president of the Greater Wichita Partnership.