Lt. Gov. John Moore will now join Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and prominent speakers on regionalism at the Western Kansas Partnership Summit, the inaugural planning meeting of the recently launched Western Kansas Partnership, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 8, in Hays at Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union.
The partnership seeks to be a planning organization and forum that involves individual citizens and organizations from every facet of the western Kansas community working together in a new way at a regional level. The goal of the summit is to stimulate dialogue and action among a broad constituency of leaders on a variety of issues critical to the economic revitalization and the quality of life in western Kansas. Moreover, the summit will serve as a catalyst for ongoing initiatives throughout the coming year.
FHSU's Docking Institute of Public Affairs has joined with the partnership to provide facilitation, coordination and marketing services.
Gov. Sebelius will deliver the opening address at 9 a.m. Dr. Mark Drabenstott, vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and director of the Center for the Study of Rural America, will follow with the keynote address, "Top Ten Ways to Reinvent Rural Regions." Lt. Gov. Moore will then provide attendees with an overview of the Economic Growth Act of 2004, which in no small part paved the way for partnership activities. Moore will also field questions about this new legislation.
Donna Shank, Liberal, summit co-chair, said she is pleased that both Sebelius and Moore will addressing the group.
"For us to be successful as a region, it is critical that we involve and engage leaders at the highest levels. Therefore, we are very honored and excited to have the governor and lieutenant governor attend the inaugural Western Kansas Partnership Summit. Their participation demonstrates the commitment they have made to economic revitalization in this region and across the state. We sincerely appreciate their continued support for western Kansas."
During the afternoon at the summit, attendees will participate in one of six planning sessions: Comprehensive Energy Plan, Entrepreneurism Development, Marketing and Recruitment, Transportation, Value-Added Business (including biosciences) or Education and Workforce Development.
Larry McCants, Goodland, summit co-chair, emphasized the importance of the sessions.
"For the partnership's activities to have significant impact on our region, we need the input from many different citizens in western Kansas. Those participating in these work groups will develop and implement concrete, measurable action steps to enhance life in western Kansas over the course of the coming year. I encourage anyone willing to help set the future course for western Kansas to make it a priority to attend."
Registration for the summit continues through Sept. 7. Fees for the summit are $25 per person. For additional information or a copy of the brochure, contact Casey Rackaway, special events coordinator, at (785) 628-5233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. View the brochure and register online at www.fhsu.edu/docking/wkp04.