News & Events

Great Plains hopes new law will boost growth in Labette County

Parsons Sun, June 29, 2017
Barriers to the development of the Great Plains Industrial Park are slowly crumbling, paving the way for potential economic growth in Labette County.

With hazardous waste cleanup of the former Kansas Army Ammunition Plant property completed in most areas of the park, Great Plains staff hoped at least one piece of legislation would be passed in the Legislature to provide incentives to businesses to locate in Parsons. (Read More)

Charles retires from Great Plains

Great Plains Development Authority, May 18, 2017
Ann Charles, assistant director of Great Plains, announced her retirement effective May 18, just short of 10 years with the redevelopment authority.

Prior to this position she spent 27 years at the Parsons Sun – 17 of those as editor and publisher. “I never expected to actually have a second career,” Charles said, “but this has certainly become that.” (Read More)

Great Plains hosts tours

Great Plains Development Authority, May 9, 2017
USD 506Patrons of the USD 506 area toured Great Plains Industrial Park on May 6, following a slide presentation. Some of the group paused for a photo in Building 202 near one of Great Plains' locomotives. Lunch for the group was catered by Altamont's Corner Cafe' and sponsored by Labette Bank.

Parsons CDC

Members of the Parsons CDC board toured Great Plains on May 8, and were able to visit the former Penetration Test Barricade at the grenade area. Board members from left to right are Ashley Duncan, Becky Dantic, Jonna Gabbert, Marty Mendicki and John Latzer, who is speaking to Great Plains CEO Daniel Mann. Brett Giefer also attended the tour. 

Pitt State hosts two-day Global Manufacturing Summit

Courtesy Stuart Price, KSN & KODE, April 6, 2017
PITTSBURG, Kan. - In a town like Pittsburg, it's not unusual for students from outside of Southeast Kansas - and in some cases, outisde the U.S. - to tour the campus. But in this case, it's businessmen and manufacturers.  

"We have delegations today here from Italy, China, Brazil and a few other areas from around the globe and we certainly have national representation as well," explained Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave. (Read More)

New legislation could benefit Great Plains

Parsons Sun, February 20, 2017
Great Plains is hopeful that this year will bring legislative action to help the industrial park in its efforts for economic development.
Funding from state and federal sources is becoming more limited, so other funding mechanisms are being sought to allow for further improvements and to encourage more business and industry to locate in the park. (Read More)

Great Plains replaces valves

Parsons Sun, January 18, 2017
Twenty-one water valves up to 18 inches in diameter were replaced over the icy weekend at the Great Plains Industrial Park's water treatment plant on the Neosho River.

The project was undertaken to help reduce the amount of leakage from the 1941 plant, which was originally built to supply water to the Kansas Ordnance Plant, later renamed Kansas Army Ammunition Plant. (Read More)

Rural leadership class visits Great Plains Industrial Park

Colleen Williamson:, Parsons Sun, December 8, 2016
The 30 members of the 13th Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership Class took in a visit Thursday of the Great Plains Industrial Park as part of their advanced statewide, two-year leadership training experience.

The KARL program is an educational experience offering intensive study, training and travel for emerging leaders in agriculture and rural communities. KARL’s mission is to provide first-class leadership development for agricultural and rural stakeholders by designing and offering challenging and illuminating education and enrichment programs as well as a forum for continuous engagement. (Read More)

City approves Ducommun financing

Jamie Willey:, Parsons Sun, November 21, 2016
Parsons city commissioners approved an ordinance allowing the issuance of industrial revenue bonds not to exceed $10,500,000 for the expansion of the local Ducommun Inc. plant. The city will not be responsible for payment of the bonds.
Andrew Kovar with Triplett, Woolf and Garretson said there will be no third party involved in the bond issuance as Ducommun is buying its own bonds. The company decided to fund the project through bonds to take advantage of the incentives that comes with that, including a 10-year property tax abatement on the improvements at the plant at 3333 Main. (Read More)

Great Plains tour

Parsons Sun, November 8, 2016

The St. Paul and Chetopa chambers of commerce and USD 505 patrons toured Great Plains Industrial Park Saturday. The tour included a presentation and lunch. About 30 people from the areas participated. (Read More)

Great Plains tour for USD 505 patrons

Parsons Sun, November 1, 2016
The Chetopa Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a tour of Great Plains Industrial Park on Saturday for patrons of USD 505 in Chetopa and St. Paul. The tour will involve the 6,500 acres owned by Labette County. (Read More)

Kansas Commerce introduces JumpStart Kansas Entrepreneur

Kansas Department of Commerce, October 25, 2016
Phase one of the program will work with Kansas universities
The goal of JumpStart Kansas Entrepreneur is to incentivize and encourage “new businesses” while developing the entrepreneurial spirit in the state by partnering with our university structure and Network Kansas. This initiative is meant to showcase the tremendous opportunities and inherent resources available to entrepreneurs all across our landscape, both rural and urban. (Read More)

Students tour Great Plains Industrial Park

Parsons Sun, October 14, 2016

Members of the Labette County Youth Leadership class on Thursday toured vacated production buildings at the former Kansas Army Ammunition Plant. The class, comprising of students from Labette County High School and Parsons High School, learned how and why community leaders stepped forward in an effort to mitigate the economic challenges to the area after the closure of the plant. Students also saw a presentation that included environmental remediation projects, park assets and industrial prospects that have been onsite. (Read More)

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker redesignates 12 manufacturing communities

EDA Public Affairs Department, September 27, 2016
Washington – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that 12 diverse communities will be redesignated as Manufacturing Communities as a part of the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative until 2018. The communities were all initially designated under the first round of the IMCP competition in 2014. (Read More)

Kansas Energy Conference has successful year

Kansas Department of Commerce, September 26, 2016
The recent 2016 Kansas Energy Conference had a successful showing with 195 attendees and 51 exhibitors. The event focused on the latest developments in the renewable energy sector. (Read More)

Dove hunts open at Grand Osage on Thursday

Parsons Sun, August 26, 2016
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism will provide local dove hunting opportunities beginning Thursday, the opening day of dove season.
The Grand Osage Wildlife area (formerly known as the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant) will have two sunflower fields available to dove hunters in early September. The sunflower fields were planted in April to attract mourning doves. (Read More)

First tri-state Work Ready region emerges

Workforce Investment Board Southwest Missouri, August 11, 2016
Continuing the legacy of firsts for regional workforce innovation, the Joplin Tri-State Region is the first in the nation to achieve Certified Work Ready Community (CWRC) status that crosses the borders of three different states with the attainment by Ottawa County.  As investors often put their top priorities on workforce, having CWRC is a big step for the Joplin labor market that pivots outward from the Tri-State Marker (pictured right) of Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. (Read More)

Parsons ranks in top 50 in two lists

Parsons Sun, June 30, 2016
Two websites recently ranked Parsons in the top 50 nationally in two categories based on separate studies.

The city of Parsons recently was informed of the recent studies, one by the online financial service SmartAsset and one by the college and career website Goodcall. (Read More)

Parsons ranked most affordable place to live in Kansas

Two studies name one Southeast Kansas community the best city in the state

Courtesy of Kheslleen Dimanche
KSN and KODE, June 27, 2016

Parsons ranks first in the state as the most affordable place to live and ranks 38th nationwide. That's according to a study conducted by the online financial service, Smart Asset. (Read More)

Water treatment plant roof repairs

The hot weather didn’t stop the Border to Border roofing crew from getting a new roof on Great Plains’ water treatment plant this week.

Progress Rail Services Training

Park tenant Progress Rail Services’ corporate trainer, Randal Mattox, arrived at Great Plains Industrial Park with one very high tech training classroom in tow this year. The semi-trailer converts to an 1,100 sq. ft. classroom complete with satellite, Wi-Fi and computer stations. Progress Rail Services operates rail car repair and rail car storage at Great Plains. The company is a subsidiary of Caterpillar with its corporate office at Albertville, AL.

Charles recognized

Parsons Sun, June 7, 2016
Ann Charles, assistant director of the Great Plains Development Authority, has been named among the 2016 class of “50 Kansans You Should Know” by Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine. (Read More)

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