Business leaders celebrate Year of Growth in Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri — A great year of growth — that’s what the leaders of Kansas City and the Heartland are saying about 2022, but they’re not stopping there. They continue to look forward to what will happen next.

The Kansas City Regional Development Council and its partners say they have attracted $5.6 billion in new capital investment and nearly 6,000 jobs.

“We’re setting the pace,” said KCADC President and CEO Tim Cowden.

This year’s record-breaking draw includes 13 companies, he said.Two mega projects are Panasonic Energy’s $4 billion electric vehicle battery plant in DeSoto, Kansas, and Meta’s $800 million hyperscale data center

“They could go anywhere in the country, but they decided to do it here,” Cowden said.

The 350-acre Meta site is expected to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Meta said Wednesday that they will begin vertical construction on steel this month.

“It’s a relationship-based city,” said Meta Matt Sexton, community development manager. “Whether we’re a big company or a small company, it’s a great place to grow our business.”

KCADC held a celebration at the Kansas City Convention Center. Nearly 2000 people attended. They are business leaders from 18 different counties and two states in the region.

“Wow. Changed this area forever. We’re on the map. We’re always on the map,” said Dennis Burns, president of Pulse Design Group. “We’ve got a new airport, we’ve got Panasonic, we’ve got growth downtown, we’ve got growth on both sides of the interstate. Man, it feels so good to be in Kansas City.”

Panasonic invested $4 billion.

President Alan Swan said the plant will employ more than 4,000 people. There will be 800-1,000 engineers – chemical or mechanical engineers.

Then, they’ll need to hire 3,000 operators, the people who actually make the batteries.

“I don’t need anyone with a certain skill level. I just need energy and enthusiasm,” Swan said. “My team will tell you, energy and enthusiasm, we will do all the training. We will introduce you to everyone and make sure you can join as assistant and production manager.”

He said it was a nascent industry. These batteries aren’t just for cars – there’s no limit. They will work in powered trains, buses, trucks and aerospace.

Meta has officially started recruiting.

Panasonic encourages anyone interested in joining their team to also get in touch now – don’t wait.

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