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Target Industries

Through shift-share analysis, we’ve identified target industries that play to our strengths as a region. We have a distinct competitive advantage in these areas based on our central location, our strengths and assets, and the opportunity for growth.

Our current targeted industries are Info Tech, Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Design, and Scientific Research & Development. Each industry listed has the opportunity to grow in our region based on unique community assets, like the University of Kansas, and our current clusters of each industry. Our targeted industries were identified based on desirable wages, existing industry concentrations, and employment growth forecasts. Within 45 minutes of Lawrence, there’s a civilian labor force of more than 760,000 people.

Info Tech

Info Tech isn’t just IT. Think more along the lines of data processing and hosting, architectural and engineering services, specialized design services, and computer systems design. These companies can do anything from web hosting and mainframe facilities to hardware, software, and development. We can connect the dots to resources at the University of Kansas, like the KU Information & Telecommunication Technology Center, the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science department’s Research projects, and the KU Computer Systems Design Lab, to name a few. 

Engineering & Design Services

When it comes to expanded engineering, plenty of complementary companies and assets are already in Douglas County. We’re on the lookout for companies that design, develop, and use machines, materials, processes, and systems. These companies will probably overlap with another targeted industry – research and development services. And the University of Kansas is home to engineering advantages like the KU Physics Machine Shop, the Hill Engineering Research & Development Center, and KU’s West Campus Structural Testing Laboratory

Advanced Manufacturing

Eight of the top 25 largest employers in Douglas County are manufacturers. While many different types of manufacturing companies call Douglas County home, plastics have a strong potential for growth. Considering our proximity to Logistics Park Kansas City, the BNSF railroad’s only full-service logistics park in the country, the transportation equipment industry is speeding forward. A long list of assets at the University of Kansas support advanced manufacturing. Check out the KU Instrumentation Design Laboratory, the Industrial Design Program, and KU Innovation Park. Let’s not forget about Peaslee Tech and the Lawrence College & Career Center, creating a trained workforce of the future.

Scientific Research & Development Services

To see the potential for scientific research and development, all you have to do is look west. The West Campus of the University of Kansas, that is. Regionally, this area has good employment and a strong concentration, and locally, on West Campus, near the center of the city of Lawrence, early efforts are underway to create a research and tech park. The KU School of Pharmacy comes in near the top in NIH funding, just a beaker’s throw away from the Bioscience & Technology Business Center. The university also has a bioengineering program, the Institute for Bioengineering Research, and the KU Medical Center in Kansas City. 

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EDC of Lawrence & Douglas County
718 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 66044