Comparative Advantage

Emporia has a long history of proactive retention, expansion and recruitment of manufacturing industrial businesses.

In the 1950’s the community leadership began a proactive Emporia growth strategy. The community grew through business startups like Hopkins Manufacturing, Didde Web Press, Kansa Technology, and Glendo. Companies recruited were Sauder Custom Fabrication, Interstate Brands/Dolly Madison in 1963, Tyson (IBP) in 1969, Modine Manufacturing in 1973, and others.

In 1993, the community created the Emporia Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas or the Emporia RDA. The Return on Investment (ROI) has been 2,500 full-time jobs which represent over 14.3% of the total employment in Lyon County, Kansas, the construction of over 2,647,500 sq. ft. in new buildings and a total capital investment in new buildings and equipment of $1,017,125,000.

New companies locating in Emporia/Lyon County area are Better Life Technology, CAMSO/Michelin, Dynamic Distribution, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Holman Distribution, Hornet Manufacturing, Hostess Brands, Norfolk Iron and Metal, Pratt Industrial, Simmons Pet Food, Val-Net Fiber, and Westar Energy – Emporia Energy Center.

Existing company expansions include Birch Communications, Cargill Pet Food, EVCO, Fanestil, Glendo, Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation, and VEKTEK.

The Emporia Comparative Advantage is Strategic location, Workforce, Post-Secondary Education, and Quality of Life.

STRATEGIC LOCATION: I-35, I-335 and Highway, BNSF Trans con intermodal 76 miles, Natural Gas Pipelines – Southern Star 26 inch HP and Panhandle East, Westar Energy Emporia Energy Center 646 megawatt natural gas peaking plant with 345 and several 115 KW Transmission lines, proximity (60 to 90 minutes) to KC metro, Lawrence Topeka, Wichita all by interstate highways. The City of Emporia municipal airport with a 5,000 foot runway will accommodate most general aviation corporate aircraft – Cessna, Gulfstream, Falcon jets. Plans are underway to extent runway to 5,500 feet.

WORKFORCE: In Lyon County for 2020, the Civilian labor force was 17,025 with an unemployment rate of 4.9%. Then Secondary labor market which is all of Lyon County and the adjoining counties was40,310 with an unemployment rate of 4.9%. For more detail information refer to the Demographic and Data sections of the web page.

Both Simmons Pet Food, and Hostess Brands refer to their Emporia Kansas production operates as their “Flag Ship” operations, which are the most efficient and highest volume operations.

QUALITY OF LIFE: Is different for every individual and to gain a sense of the Emporia quality of life and passion individuals have in our area, we invite to the following web sites:

The Unbound Gravel World Premier gravel grinder for bicycles 
Dynamic Discs Open
The Emporia Convention and Visitors Bureau