Topeka is a vibrant capital city filled with friendly people, an affordable cost of living, and access to excellent education programs. Short commutes allow for residents to work within their desired fields while pursuing their favorite leisure activities in their down time. Most residents of Topeka would agree: the capital city is a wonderful place to live, work, and play.
Securing Topeka’s future as a desirable place to raise families, start a business, or simply enjoy visiting, community leaders began working on a development strategy known as Momentum 2022.
Momentum 2022 is a four-phase research and strategic planning process that included community engagement, regional scorecards and competitive assessment, developing holistic economic development strategy and finally, implementation all to be completed within a five year span. The framework for implementing the process includes five specific goals: develop homegrown talent, create vibrant and attractive places, grow a diverse economy, promote a positive image, and collaborate for a strong community.
More specifically, developing homegrown talent includes aligning the “talent pipeline” already existing in Topeka and Shawnee County, ensuring that all children in the area are ready for kindergarten, preparing students for college and careers and expanding education for adults.
Creating vibrant and attractive places includes optimizing tools and programs to improve quality of place, developing a dynamic regional core, and investing in infrastructure that promotes quality of place.
Growing a diverse economy by enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem, maintaining a best-practice economic development program, and pursuing policies that support holistic economic development.
Promoting a positive image by aligning marketing messages to boost efficiency and impact while projecting a positive image to residents and outside talent.
Riverside University Health System Medical Center (headquarters for Riverside County’s hospital system, based here in Moreno Valley) and Kaiser Permanente are both expanding their facilities to meet strong regional demand. Residential construction is adding additional new housing opportunities with nearly 7,000 single and multi-family units under construction or in the development process.Finally, collaborating for a strong community by fostering and promoting a diverse and inclusive Topeka and Shawnee County and encouraging healthy, safe, and engaged communities.
To accomplish these goals, strategic objectives will be implemented by committees comprised of community members committed to the growth and success of Topeka. A great deal of work is already underway in Topeka and Shawnee County related to many of the goal areas, objectives, and recommendations in the framework of Momentum 2022, but more can always be done with additional resources, committed leadership, and a spirit of cooperation. The ultimate goal is to effectively incorporate existing, enhanced, and new activities under a coordinated implementation framework.