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Summit brings manufacturers from around the globe to PSU

Manufacturers and business leaders from around the world and across the U.S. wrapped up the 2017 Global Manufacturing Summit at Pittsburg State University, Friday, with a tour of the Kansas Polymer Research Center. Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soave said he hopes they take with them a new appreciation of the resources and opportunities available in Southeast Kansas.
Summit brings manufacturers from around the globe to PSU
Participants in the Global Manufacturing Summit tour the Kansas Technology Center.

Manufacturers and business leaders from around the world and across the U.S. wrapped up the 2017 Global Manufacturing Summit at Pittsburg State University, Friday, with a tour of the Kansas Polymer Research Center. Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soave said he hopes they take with them a new appreciation of the resources and opportunities available in Southeast Kansas.

“Once upon a time, they may have said, ‘Why Southeast Kansas?’” Soave said. “Now we hope they go away and say, ‘Why not Southeast Kansas?’”

The summit, hosted by PSU and the Kansas Department of Commerce, attracted attendees from Latin America, Europe, Asia and the U.S., Soave said. Speakers at the summit came from major manufacturers from the Great Lakes to the East Coast and the Southeastern U.S. Keynote speakers included Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Cliff Pemble, the CEO of Garmin, and Cliff Illig, founder of the Cerner, Corp., and Sporting KC.

Soave said the Department of Commerce created a campaign, “Made in Kansas, the Heart of America,” to embrace and promote manufacturing in the state.

“Trillions of dollars (of foreign direct investment) come into the United States and we have to make sure that we get our piece of that pie,” Soave said. “That’s one side of the transaction. The other portion is the fact that we are stimulating growth from within.”

Soave said it’s also important to tell the story of the manufacturing that already exists in Kansas.

“When people from the outside come to Kansas, they don’t realize that we have enormous and wonderful products that are made here,” Soave said, “from GE Aviation, all the way to Siemens Wind and homegrown companies such as Garmin that have been able to really do an extraordinary job internationally.”

Soave said it’s important to continue to tell the story about manufacturing in Kansas through events like the Global Manufacturing Summit.

“We want to be sure that we continue to tell that story and we put a stamp on it,” Soave said. “That stamp is ‘Made in Kansas, the Beautiful Heart of America.”

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