CES Engages Lt. Governor Toland During MicroFactory Opening in Hays

March 20, 2024

Grow Hays, the economic development vehicle of Ellis County Kansas, recently opened a MicroFactory in the city of Hays. The facility is designed to help manufacturers with a low-cost and intensive space required to start up production. Nex-Tech as a believer in community development, will be providing free Internet services to the facility. This is because we want to assist manufacturers in the facility and help them succeed while supporting the economic development of Hays. Nex-Tech’s high speed broadband will enable the businesses in the MicroFactory to connect with the rest of the world instantaneously. The occasion brought together dozens of community members and many stakeholders to celebrate. To mark the milestone, Kansas Lt Governor, David Toland was invited to speak.

After the formal proceedings, I caught up with the Lt. Governor. In the course of our exchanges, we recalled (and laughed over) a previous engagement in Topeka, where I (as I am wont to do) pressed for more developmental attention to be given to western Kansas. While KDOC (Kansas Department of Commerce) and (closer to Nex-Tech) KOBD (Kansas Office of Broadband Development) are doing their part to make western Kansas better and deserve credit, the goal is to see what more we all (Nex-Tech inclusive) can do for our local communities.

In the end, I could perceive that while out here in the West we have our concerns, there are also areas of shared interests and shared goals between the state executive branch and the people of western Kansas. Effective engagement would require us to look for ways to always ‘overlap’ our rural interests with the interests of policymakers, from time to time. 

Friday Otuya

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Friday Otuya
Community Engagement Specialist

Friday Otuya /əoTU:ya:/ drives our multifaceted community economic development efforts and is the Nex-Tech contact for all our loan and grant programs. His vision is to position Nex-Tech as the community economic development partner of choice in Kansas for federal, state, and local stakeholders.  He lives with his wife and son in Hays, KS.

Weekdays: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.