Explore What Kansas has to Offer
Kansas is a major player in the international marketplace and is recognized for its major industry aptitudes in the areas of aviation, agriculture, and manufacturing. In 2008, Kansas experienced a record high for exports selling over $12.5 billion worth of Kansas goods to customers located outside national borders. International trade is a major part of the state economy and is growing at an incredible pace.
Learn more about the thriving major industries in Kansas:
For more information about international business in Kansas, key industries, and quality of life, see our downloads.
For Kansas economic development information & reports, see www.kansasinc.org. Kansas Inc. is an independent, objective, and non-partisan agency designed to conduct economic development research and analysis with a goal of crafting policies and recommendations to insure the state's ongoing competitiveness for economic growth.
Located in Kansas and often referred to as the “Air Capital of the World”, the city of Wichita is home to five major aviation companies and over one hundred aviation subcontractors. The city is closely tied with the industry, as it provides over 50,000 jobs and is a substantial part of the culture of the area. For nearly 90 years, aircraft and aircraft components have been built with Wichita expertise and craftsmanship. According to a study by Milken Institute, Wichita has the highest concentration of aerospace manufacturing employment and skills in the nation, making it a prime location for firms in the industry.
Major aviation companies here in Wichita include Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Bombardier Learjet, Cessna Aircraft Company, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation and Spirit Aerosystems. These firms produce aircraft and components for general, commercial and military aircraft. From 2000-2008, Cessna Aircraft Company, Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, and Bombardier Learjet delivered almost 15000 general aviation aircraft accounting for 50% of total shipments worldwide over this period.
Composites & Advanced Materials
South Central Kansas hosts a rapidly developing industrial cluster of firms in the field of advanced or “engineered” materials (composites) and polymers (advanced plastics and elastomers.) The region is a center of excellence in the field of advanced materials research, development and production. Wichita is already home to the world’s leading aviation manufacturing cluster. Wichita’s involvement with composite aircraft component design and fabrication goes back over 25 years to development of the all-composite Beechcraft Starship and Raytheon Premier business jets, Boeing-Wichita’s development of the composite nacelles and struts, and Cessna’s development of proprietary composite technology. Wichita’s expertise in advanced materials also has wide application outside of the aerospace industry. Advanced materials are used in medical devices, automotive components, wind turbines, marine applications, construction materials, machinery, scientific instrumentation and consumer products.
Located in the heartland of the U.S., Kansas is historically known for its agricultural roots. Agri-business is a large part of the Kansas economy. Agricultural products are the second most frequently exported category of goods, followed by food and kindred products. One in five Kansans work in jobs related to agriculture and food production. In the nation, Kansas ranked sixth for total agricultural exports during 2008. By commodity Kansas ranked #1 in wheat & products, #1 in feeds and fodders, #4 in live animals and meat, #5 feed grains & products, and #10 in soybeans and products. Bioscience industries are growing areas of opportunity for Kansas as well. With an increasing concentration of animal health and bio-related firms, Kansas is sure to be recognized as a leader in this area.