WICHITA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly and Lieutenant Governor David Toland visited Wichita State University (WSU) with United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and United States Senator Jerry Moran to tour the facilities and discuss essential investments and upgrades being made to infrastructure and high-speed internet access across Kansas.
“It was great to be joined by some of our federal partners today to discuss the necessary investments we’re making in Kansas,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “It’s incredible what can be accomplished when we put party politics aside and come together to deliver for the people of our great state. From investing in manufacturing to expanding high-speed internet, we’re putting Kansas back on the map as the best place to live and do business.”
First, the leaders toured WSU’s National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR) with key stakeholders, including WSU President Richard Muma and Integra Technologies CEO Brett Robinson. Following the tour, Governor Kelly, Senator Moran, and Secretary Raimondo participated in a roundtable discussion on the importance of expanding access to high-speed internet across Kansas.
“I want to thank Senator Moran and Governor Kelly for inviting me to Kansas, and Wichita State University for hosting us. It’s going to take all of us – federal, state, and local governments, the private sector, local organizations, and community colleges and universities – to get every American access to affordable high-speed internet and expand advanced manufacturing in Wichita and across the country,” said Secretary Raimondo. “By working together and taking the time to do this right, we’re going to close the digital divide for good and grow the opportunity for everyone in Kansas and America to succeed.”
“Kansas has a talented workforce, strong manufacturing supply chain, and hands-on learning programs, which are a tremendous asset to the state and country,” said Senator Moran. “I focus on bringing federal leaders, like Secretary Raimondo, to Kansas so they can see for themselves all that the Sunflower State has to offer. During her visit, the Secretary heard from Kansans how our state can contribute to national advanced manufacturing efforts and how the Department can ensure Kansans have access to high-quality broadband service.”
Other roundtable attendees included Kansas Farm Bureau CEO and General Counsel Terry Holdren and AT&T Kansas President Jim Jamison.
In 2020, Governor Kelly established the Office of Broadband Development to strengthen access to high-speed internet across Kansas. The Office has since connected over 80,000 businesses and households to reliable internet.