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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A great year of growth: That’s what leaders across Kansas City and the Heartland are saying about 2022, but they’re not stopping there. They continue to look forward to what’s next.

The Kansas City Area Development Council and its partners said they’ve attracted $5.6 billion in new capital investments and nearly 6,000 jobs.

“We are setting the pace,” KCADC President and CEO Tim Cowden said.

He said this year’s record-breaking attraction includes 13 companies. Two mega-projects are Panasonic Energy’s $4 billion EV Battery Plant in De Soto, Kansas, and Meta’s $800 million Hyperscale Data Center in the Northland.

“They could go anywhere in the country, but they decided to do it here,” Cowden said.

The Meta site is 350 acres and is expected to be supported by 100% renewable energy. Meta said Wednesday they’ll start building vertical on steel this month.

“This is a relationship-based city,” Community Development Manager of Meta Matt Sexton said. “It’s an exceptional place to grow a business whether we’re large or small.”

KCADC held a celebration at the Kansas City Convention Center to celebrate. Nearly 2,000 people attended. They’re business leaders from 18 different counties and two states in the region.

“Wow, changed the region forever, and we’re on the map. We were always on the map,” President of Pulse Design Group Dennis Burns said. “We got a new airport, we’ve got Panasonic, we’ve got growth downtown, we’ve got growth on both sides of the state line. Man, it just feels really good to be in Kansas city.”

Panasonic is a $4 billion investment. President Allan Swan said the plant will be staffed by more than 4,000 people. There will be 800-1,000 chemical or mechanical engineers. Then they will need to hire 3,000 operators, people who actually make the batteries.

“I don’t need anyone with a particular skill level. I just need energy and enthusiasm,” Swan said. “My team will tell you that energy and enthusiasm, and we’ll do all the training. We’ll walk you thru for everybody and we’ll make sure you can join as an associate and production manager.”

He said this is a new industry. These batteries are not just for cars — sky’s the limit. They’ll work to power trains, buses, trucks and aerospace.

Meta has officially started hiring. Panasonic encourages anyone interested in joining their team to also reach out now. Don’t wait.

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