Good Luck
Redskins!

liberalfirstlongoriginal
Monday
December 09th, 2019

toland liberal visitKansas Secretary of Commerce David Toland visits with a pair of Liberal community members at a reception Monday afternoon. Toland visited Liberal for a bus tour around the community and said he was impressed with everything he saw. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

Many politicians and political figures have been making their way to the Southwest Kansas area recently and Monday afternoon, Liberal welcomed Kansas’ secretary of commerce, David Toland. 

Toland took a bus tour around the community along with several community members and learned about several projects and other goings-on around Liberal. 

“I was thoroughly impressed with the number of economic development projects that have been happening in Seward County and also the scale of those projects, there's been tremendous growth here,” Toland said. “We saw projects ranging from the ethanol plant to the residential growth that's beginning to happen. I also think the fact that a bond issue got passed is great, it bodes very well for future prospects because it's a quality of life investment and businesses are seeking, among other things, a good quality of life.”

Toland will be touring other parts of the state to help tout the state’s commerce department and said it was some of his own past experiences that sparked the idea to tour around the state. 

“I'm from a part of the state that's often felt overlooked and forgotten by Topeka and I know Southwest Kansas has sometimes felt the same way,” Toland said. “So in my own small way, as the secretary of commerce, I want to try to make sure we're showing up in Southwest Kansas and make sure people know they're not forgotten by the commerce department or the Kelly administration. I'm going to be visiting the six different regions of the state this summer and my first region is Southwest Kansas – I was in Scott City Monday morning and then we made our stop in Liberal Monday afternoon and then we've got Garden City Tuesday. Then I'll drive back all the way to Kansas City tomorrow for meetings that start early Wednesday. We're here to be a partner and the first step in building that relationship is coming out to these communities and meeting people and talking to businesses and local elected officials and figuring out what the needs are and how the government might be able to assist. Economic development is about relationships – you have to know people and you have to understand what their needs and concerns are and what their vision is. To me, the best way to learn that information and build those relationships and take a tour and take the time to really talk to people and ask them questions and really listen to what they say.”

Toland also emphasized the overall importance of economic development. 

“Economic development is about relationships – you have to know people and you have to understand what their needs and concerns are and what their vision is,” Toland said. “To me, the best way to learn that information and build those relationships and take a tour and take the time to really talk to people and ask them questions and really listen to what they say. The most important thing is the centrality of agribusiness to the economy not only to Liberal and Seward County, but throughout all of Southwest Kansas. From National Beef to the ethanol plant, cotton – it was fascinating to learn about the growth of the cotton sector of the ag economy. Agribusiness is important to the state as a whole and important to this region. There's such a diverse economy that's here – what most impressed me is the community has local entrepreneurs who have had a high degree of success and are reinvesting that into the community, whether it's overnight lodging, housing, retail, agribusiness, it's extraordinary. The community should be very proud and it should really appreciate how unusual it is to have this level of entrepreneurial spirit.”

Pick your language/Elige su idioma

Peoples