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Welcome & What's Next

In KC Tech Specs v4, released some two years ago, a key word describing our tech industry was identified: resilience. As other markets churned and roiled in the months following the height of the pandemic, Kansas City’s tech industry showed resilience, merely flattening headcount without taking a step backward.

In the past 18 months, broad tech layoffs have been evident, especially hitting coastal cities with large tech companies. You’ll see in the data in KC Tech Specs v6 that once again, our market, our region, has shown resilience. Hiring is up, tech workforce has grown, and Kansas City is importing more college graduate-level talent than any time in the last couple decades.

So now, it’s time to embrace a new key word. Let’s talk about momentum.

In many ways, Kansas City is experiencing a surge in civic momentum. Since that v4 report some two years ago, the following has occurred:

  • Our brand new, single terminal airport has opened, and garnered international attention.
  • Panasonic announced plans to build an EV battery plant in DeSoto, representing the largest economic development project in Kansas history.
  • The KC Current National Women’s Soccer League team announced plans to build the first and only purpose built athletics stadium for women’s sports along the KC riverfront.
  • Meta announced plans for the largest data center build project in KC history.
  • Kansas City was selected as a North American host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
  • Both Oracle and T-Mobile entered the KC market through merger and acquisition.
  • The Kansas City Chiefs won their second Super Bowl in four years.

There is another type of momentum afoot, one that is surging through the tech industry. The geographic decoupling of worker and workplace is here to stay, evident in both the increased share of hybrid or fully-remote tech job postings, and the increased migratory patterns of college degree holders moving from the largest coastal tech hubs toward mid-sized cities across the United States.

So, the question becomes, what does Kansas City’s tech industry do to maximize both types of momentum?

We think about that question every day at KC Tech Council, as we seek to build a more connected, more competitive, more representative tech workforce through programming, coalition-building, advocacy and opportunity.

These are opportunities KCTC is actively engaged with that can maximize our momentum, and increase the growth trajectory of our tech industry:

  • Generate cluster-specific growth. Digital Health, Cybersecurity and Tech Infrastructure and Manufacturing are three areas with significant growth potential. KC Tech Council is proud to be one of many collaborators on efforts led by Digital Health KC, Enterprise KC, KCADC and other organizations to generate this growth.
  • Reimagine tech community building. With remote tech workers on the rise in cities like Kansas City, it’s time to build the right engagement opportunities that exist outside of a company structure. With “micro-offices” in homes across the region, let’s create a unifying tech culture, enriched by programming and connection, to attract and retain this new remote-only class.
  • Audaciously tell our stories. Too often, this industry works with its head down. As we build products, hire great people and innovate, it’s time to be bolder, more active storytellers. KCTC has built a pipeline for its members to pitch stories for inclusion in national media outlets, and built a “tech speakers bureau” to connect visiting groups with our own tech innovators for speaking opportunities.

Through our work with some 200 of the region’s top tech employers, KC Tech Council is poised to lead efforts maximizing this momentum. But, we need your help. It requires a broad, influential coalition to realize our potential. Success will be measurable in job growth, a more skilled workforce, increased economic impact, a ripple effect toward other industries and a surge in corporate innovation and entrepreneurship.

The momentum is ours. The moment is now.

Thank you,

Kara Lowe Signature



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