Seven work groups support Topeka and Shawnee County’s Momentum 2022 initiatives

A 43-member steering committee spent months developing five overarching goals through a Momentum 2022 initiative. Seven work groups will fall under those five pillars. (Thad Allton/The Capital-Journal)

Months of work on Momentum 2022 birthed five overarching goals that lend a starting place to make positive change in Topeka.


The five initiatives that lend a strategic framework to the initiative are as follows:

Develop homegrown talent.

Create vibrant and attractive places.

Grow a diverse economy.

Promote a positive image.

Collaborate for a strong community.

Those initiatives were identified by the 43-member steering committee as being critical to Topeka’s success, said Matt Pivarnik, president and CEO of the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and GO Topeka.

Momentum 2022 Tri-Chairs, Shawnee County Commissioner Shelly Buhler, Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast and Bartlett & West leader Keith Warta, talk about group input into the Momentum process.

The committee now has identified seven work groups to fall under those five pillars, but Pivarnik said the Momentum 2022 implementation committee may choose to add work groups.

The seven work groups and potential actions for those groups are as follows:

Talent development: Create a cradle-to-career collective impact partnership, which would focus on raising talent levels; prepare students for college and careers; focus on kindergarten readiness.

Quality of place: Explore options for dealing with blighted properties; incentivize rehab of properties; create a restaurant development program.

Downtown and NOTO: Continue forward momentum in these districts to develop a dynamic regional core; consider opportunities for public-private partnerships; incentivize development of new housing and supportive retail; advance the NOTO Arts District Master Plan.

Entrepreneurship: Enhance the activities that support entrepreneurial development; work to expand 712 Innovations to meet needs, including a restaurant incubator; develop a pre-seed microloan program.

Economic development: Continue business retention and expansion activities; establish business councils to support the area’s target business sectors; consider broadening the ways economic development incentives are used, with the potential to affect community aesthetics and social offerings.

Marketing: Align marketing messages throughout Topeka and Shawnee County’s various entities; develop a multi-platform approach to communicate positive news.

Community engagement, pride and service: Develop an outreach campaign to contact key influencers who interact with prospective residents, such as Realtors and human resources professionals; launch a boomerang talent marketing program that reaches out to people who have local roots about opportunities in the Topeka area; foster and promote a diverse and inclusive community.

Momentum 2022: The plan to improve Topeka and Shawnee County


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