Kansas City Remains in the Hunt to Be the Home of Relocated USDA Agencies- If They Move From WashingtonSun, 05 May 2019 21:46:58 CDT
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the finalists of 136 Expressions of Interest received from parties in 35 states vying to become the new homes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Three of those original applications came from Oklahoma.
“This short list of locations took into consideration critical factors required to uphold the important missions of ERS and NIFA. We also considered factors important to our employees, such as quality of life,” Secretary Perdue said. “Relocation will help ensure USDA is the most effective, most efficient, and most customer-focused agency in the federal government, allowing us to be closer to our stakeholders and move our resources closer to our customers. Our commitment to the public and our employees is to continue to be transparent as we proceed with our analysis.”
As part of the rigorous site selection process, USDA narrowed the Expressions of Interest list using a set of established criteria defined by USDA, NIFA, and ERS leadership. The criteria included:
• Quality of Life: Subcategory examples include Diversity Index, Residential Housing Costs, Access to Healthcare, and Home and Community Safety Ranking.
• Costs (Capital and Operating): Subcategory examples include Commercial Real Estate Costs, CPI Index, and Wage Costs.
• Workforce: Subcategory examples include Labor Force Growth Rate, Unemployment Rate, and the Labor Force Population.
• Logistics / IT Infrastructure: Subcategory examples include Lodging Availability, Proximity to Customers, and Airport Accessibility.
The top Expressions of Interest were reviewed in detail, and USDA selected a short list of locations offering existing buildings with sufficient space to meet ERS and NIFA requirements. In alphabetical order, these are the top three Expressions of Interest under consideration:
The closest to the middle of the country- and farthest from Washington is the Kansas City area on both sides of the State Line. Two groups have their proposals alive- the The Kansas City Area Development Council and The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor
Three proposals from Indiana are being look at by the USDA- Purdue University, Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the State of Indiana A winning location in Indiana might be near Perdue University or in the Indianapolis area.
The third location that is under consideration is what is known as the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina. Applicants include NC Research Triangle, Wake County, Durham County and Research Triangle Park.
While not in the top three, these Expressions of Interest in alphabetical order remain under consideration as alternative locations should the top three locations not suit USDA’s needs include St. Louis, Misouri and Madison, Wisconsin.
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