The Chamber and EDC Lawrence launch Rising Together campaign

Five-year economic development initiative bringing $2.5 million in support

Lawrence, Kansas—On Wednesday, September 1st, The Chamber and Economic Development Corporation of Lawrence and Douglas County (EDC) announced the public phase of Rising Together, a bold, five-year economic development plan to bring $2.5 million to accelerate the local economy. Thanks to our many generous investors, Rising Together has already raised more than $2 million of that goal, but the work isn’t over. We are now asking for support achieving our four initiatives for Lawrence and Douglas County:

  • Job Creation and Economic Prosperity
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Workforce and Talent Development
  • Housing and Land Development

These initiatives will result in 1,500 new jobs with salaries above the current median wage, a revolving loan fund for minority and women owned businesses, mentorship programs and funding to assist minority or women job seekers, affordable childcare for working parents, and strategies to address the housing crisis.

After the changes brought on from the global pandemic, the Rising Together campaign is now more important than ever. “As we emerge from this pandemic, we need to seize the opportunities ahead of us, address the changing workforce, and confront the challenges unique to our community,” says Russ Johnson, Campaign Co-Chair and President and CEO of LMH Health. “The EDC plan for the future does just that, and I am excited about the potential that holds for Douglas County.”

Kansas University recognizes this need. Honorary Campaign Co-Chair and KU Chancellor Douglas Girod spoke to the increasing competitiveness of economic development and how KU is excited to partner in the process. “Lawrence is a special place with unique assets that contribute to a diverse economy and outstanding quality of life,” he says. “The Rising Together campaign will ensure we are positioned to build on these assets and find new ways to grow our economy, address challenges, and empower our citizens to succeed for generations to come.”

The Chamber and EDC Lawrence have a history of success with economic and community growth. In 2017, The EDC embarked on the highly successful Growing Forward campaign, resulting in 1,149 new jobs and $219 million in new capital investment. The campaign also resulted in several project announcements, including Polymeric Labels, Plastikon, Modern Manufacturing, Pretzels, Inc., Grandstand, US Engineering, Standard Beverage, and creating the Peaslee Tech auto lab.

Now, Rising Together is working to continue that momentum and keep our community growing through a diverse workforce, a strong ecosystem, and more housing options. “Partnerships forged through the pandemic have strengthened our community and laid the groundwork to solve our ongoing work force and housing challenges; plus, create a vibrant, diverse, growing economy. Now is the time to invest in our future and focus on Rising Together,” says Bonnie Lowe, Chamber President & CEO. “Each dollar is vital to the health and wellness of our economy — a vote of confidence in what Lawrence and Douglas County can and will be.”

We are grateful to our generous supporters that have gotten us to this point and are now seeking community support to achieve these goals. For more information, please visit

Contact Information:
The Chamber of Lawrence, Kansas
EDC Lawrence

Bonnie Lowe, President & CEO |

Paul Santiago, Campaign Director |

Fally Afani, Director of Communications |

Lawrence Kansas

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