We have an opportunity to make KC a place people want to come and stay.

Nearly one out of four (24 percent) people could see themselves leaving the region in the next five years. That number is almost one out of three (31 percent) for Black people. A decline in a sense of belonging both economically and socially is contributing to this trend. In the recent Quality of Life survey, forty-three percent of Black respondents indicate racial discrimination as a barrier to a well-paying job in KC. When asked, people of color were more likely to cite concepts such as “explicit discrimination, higher bars for experience, and access to quality jobs” as issues in the workplace and ability to grow professionally.

However, there remains a general sense of optimism when asked if KC was heading in the right direction. This shared optimism presents an opportunity to collectively build strategies that support the economic growth of our region, while making sure everyone is included. Already, members of the public square are starting to engage in inclusive prosperity through organizations like KC Rising, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, and the KC Chamber.

Calls to Action:

Invest in the next generation by hosting a summer intern through Pro X, or hire talent through regional efforts like Kauffman Scholars and KC Scholars.

Commit to intentional purchasing with small and diverse firms. Individuals and businesses can participate. For firms, we have a CEO Pledge.

Connect on Twitter or LinkedIn to share what you are doing to help KC, its neighborhoods, and residents to prosper.

Consider joining Project LEAD in 2023 to increase your organization’s hiring and promotion of diverse candidates. Email bast@kcchamber.com for more information.

Review the strategies in Kansas City’s Welcoming Plan. Consider becoming a Coalition member or community partner in this work. Email jgall@kcchamber.com for more information.

Take (and share) this survey to give feedback on leadership qualities and community priorities in the search for the next KCMO Chief of Police. (Welcoming KC Connected Communities strategy, and Government Leadership & Safe Communities strategy)

Read the full Quality of Life report.

We can attract and retain diverse, skilled talent. Together we rise.