Cerner Breaks Ground on KCK Office Tower

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Wyandotte County and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback are celebrating the promise of 4,000 jobs that the Cerner Corporation says it will bring to Village West.

By April of 2013, Cerner says 1,000 workers will be based inside a new office tower near Kansas Speedway. The $190 million project includes ten years of tax incentives from the State of Kansas. In return,  a company that already has 6,000 employees in the metro area promises to add 4,000 more.

Cerner says it desperately needs the new office towers that are under construction in KCK. They've hired 1,000 people since January 1st. Of the first thousand workers who move into the new complex, the company says about eight out of 10 will be current employees including workers from Cerner's North Kansas City and South Kansas City campuses. Company co-founder Cliff Illig says Missouri won't lose any jobs because of the new development.

"We re busting at the seams at our other campuses," Illig said. "Yes, we're putting some putting some people at those locations who will eventually move out here some of the functions that will be performed here are being performed by teams currently located there. But as those teams move to this campus we'll very quickly backfill their location with new Cerner associates working in other areas of the company."

The largest office tower ever constructed in Wyandotte County helps complete a dream for the Unified Gov't of attracting high wage employers to the Speedway Tourism District. Mayor Joe Reardon says the workers should help ensure the success of retailers next door at the Legends.

"We're  very serious about the idea that many of the workers are going to find their way to their home here in Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas we think there's a lot of ancillary retail and other services that will come to the site," said mayor Joe Reardon. "We believe the kind of work Cerner does will attract other like minded businesses here as well."

Cerner says its continuous campus in Kansas will be a 24 hour, seven day a week operation as the company services a third of all health care records in the nation with substantial operations in 22 other countries.

"This is what I think we need to do to grow as a country," said Gov. Sam Brownback. "We need to create an exportable product that people are willing to pay a high wage high skill person to develop because it really gives value to them."

By 2016, the company hopes to have enough to have 4,000 new workers in place at the Wyandotte County campus. Stimulus spending and President Oabama's Health Care Reform Law have helped encourage digital record keeping for health care and helped speed Cerner's growth. The company had $2.2 billion in revenues in 2011.

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