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About Opportunity NOW

We are thrilled to announce the official launch of Opportunity NOW, a five-year community and economic development initiative of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber developed Opportunity NOW in consultation with private and public local and regional partners.

The Opportunity NOW strategic initiative ensures our competitiveness as a community. From the Kansas City Metro to the world, the business environment is getting more competitive, not less.

The Chamber Board and staff developed the Opportunity NOW initiative focused on:

Numbers of workers: the quantity and quality of workers needed by Overland Park
area employers

Opportunity for all: stronger businesses and more quality jobs in Overland Park

Welcoming to business: a community supportive of and attractive to business.


GOAL 1: Attract, Retain, and Align Talent


The Chamber will implement talent and workforce strategies to help employers attract and retain the quality talent they need to be competitive, while ensuring workers have access to quality job opportunities.


1. Develop comprehensive plan

  • Comprehensive Plan: Hire professional firm to develop a comprehensive talent / workforce plan to meet the needs of existing and future employers 
  • Data Driven: Ensure a data driven final plan that includes DEI best practices to assist employers 

2. Establish a Talent Council

  • Input: Create Talent Advisory Council to provide consistent business input that aligns business needs with educational offerings for all people 

3. Improve talent pipeline

  • Business / Pre-K-20 Collaboration: Launch workforce roundtables for target industry and education representatives to share perspectives on workforce needs and educational engagement opportunities regarding alignment of skills and programming to be forwarded to the Talent Advisory Council 
  • Work-Based Learning: Coordinate with regional school districts, colleges, and universities to facilitate internships, apprenticeships and externships with area employers, making the process accessible for all
  • Workforce & Education Summit: Convene conference of business leaders, HR professionals and educators to share best practices and ideas to recruit and retain talent, and discuss future needs
  • Regional Collaboration: Amplify success through partners like KC Rising, KCADC and Greater Kansas City Chamber by connecting strategies, avoiding redundancies, and focusing on connecting workforce tactics locally with employers and education partners

4. Retain Talent 

  • Retain Graduates: Partner with local educational, trade, and technical institutions to engage alumni and attract graduates back to the area
  • Roundtables: Host sessions to share retention best practices and tactics
  • Retention Toolkit: Develop an employee retention toolkit 
  • Community Connections: Create system to match Leadership Overland Park alumni and Overland Park Young Professionals to leadership, engagement, and personal development opportunities

5. Target and attract talent

  • Marketing: Brand and position Overland Park as a premier magnet and destination to find quality talent
  • Attract: Develop a talent-focused communications campaign highlighting career opportunities and lifestyle assets in Overland Park to increase the working age population, particularly 25-44 year-olds
  • Trailing Partners: Create trailing spouse / partner program, “Trailing Partners KC,” to identify job opportunities, often a barrier to recruiting
  • Direct Support: Provide direct recruitment support to employers, including community profiles, executive briefings, and customized community tours
  • Employer Resources: Determine, through Business, Retention & Expansion (BRE) calls and roundtables, the specific kinds of information, training and workforce resources employers need, especially those pertaining to enhancing DEI

6. Address barriers to talent sustainability

  • Barrier Identification: Identify talent retention and attraction impediments (e.g., housing affordability, transportation access, lack of affordable childcare) and develop / implement programmatic solutions
  • Advocate: Address barriers to attracting and training a quality workforce through policy / legislative advocacy


  • Current and future employers are able to find the talent with the appropriate skills they need
  • Increased number of students participating in work-based learning and certification programs
  • Increase diversity across business and community leadership


  • Development of a comprehensive talent/workforce plan
  • Development and deployment of marketing plan to support Overland Park as a top market for exceptional talent
  • Establish liaison between employers and education to communicate and fulfill needs and connect students to real-world-learning opportunities
  • Develop employer engagement in Talent Council and roundtables

GOAL 2: Boost Job Growth & Business Investment


The Chamber will expand the national and global profile of Overland Park by marketing its advantages as a business location to attract new jobs and investment, supporting existing business expansion, and assisting the entrepreneur ecosystem.


1. Market Overland Park as a premier location for target industries

  • Marketing: Develop and implement marketing campaign to promote Overland Park as a premier business destination for targeted industries and workers
  • Host Events: Host in-bound and attend out-bound events to market Overland Park to local, national and international businesses, site selectors, developers, and economic development partners
  • Leverage KCI: Leverage the new KCI airport to identify national and international prospects for Overland Park location and / or expansion

2. Retain and expand existing business

  • BRE Meetings: Conduct 100 one-on-one Business Retention and Expansion meetings annually to identify and respond to primary employers’ challenges and opportunities
  • Industry Groups: Convene industry sector roundtables to identify and address common challenges and opportunities 
  • Supporting Businesses: Develop a target list of service and support businesses desired by existing businesses and implement a plan to recruit and grow them
  • Engage HQs: Visit HQ locations of Overland Park companies to develop relationships with decision-makers located outside KC metro

3. Support entrepreneurs and small businesses

  • Promote: Champion local entrepreneurs by telling their stories and inspiring others
  • Small Business Council: Convene a small business council of experienced entrepreneurs, new startups, and incubators to provide mentoring and access to resources and organizations
  • DEI: Identify opportunities to support the growth of business owners of diverse races, ethnicities, and genders
  • Roundtables: Convene entrepreneur and small business roundtables to determine resources and services needed to promote growth

4. Attract and recruit quality new businesses

  • Target industries: Attract and recruit new businesses to Overland Park with a focus on target industries
  • Regional collaboration: Regularly meet with local, regional, and state partners to share ideas, ensure alignment, and communicate Opportunity NOW’s role in attracting targeted businesses to Overland Park
  • Available sites: Expand and promote robust listing of available buildings and land

5. Drive reinvestment

  • Redevelopment: Catalyze redevelopment and increase commercial and residential investment
  • Enhance assets: Promote expansion of infrastructure, arts, and culture to ensure Overland Park’s stature as a premiere place to live, work and visit
  • Modernize inventory: Actively promote reinvestment in aging office stock to increase the availability of modern and appealing commercial real estate and amenities desired by current and future talent


  • Corporate Headquarters
  • Professional and Business Services
  • Banking and Finance
  • Healthcare Services
  • Shared Service Centers


  • New jobs and capital investment through startups, business expansion and attraction, and redevelopment
  • Improvement in economy-related data: employment growth, per capita income, poverty rate, median home value, etc.


  • 100 formal BRE visits annually
  • Number of entrepreneurs / startups assisted
  • Development and deployment of marketing plan to support Overland Park as a premier business location
  • Number of attraction/retention projects generated and won, especially in target industries

GOAL 3: Enhance Pro-business Environment 


The Chamber will continue to serve as the lead Overland Park “voice of business,” articulating and messaging the business perspective to the community that:

  • Our quality of life is intrinsically tied to our economic success;
  • The impact of the business climate on location, expansion, and
    investment decisions; and
  • A thriving business foundation is necessary to build economic prosperity for all.


1. Impact government policies with a proactive strategy

  • Policy Identification: Identify and address policy issues that impact Overland Park businesses through:
    • regular attendance at City Council meetings and committees, Planning Commission, and County Commission meetings
    • timely alerts to key constituencies about actions taken by local /state officials impacting business
    • policy and fiscal analysis of issues under consideration by local /state bodies
    • sector-specific roundtables to gather feedback and provide education about government issues and policies
    • collaborate with regional partners on key initiatives
  • Advocacy Strategy: Develop advocacy strategies for local, state, and federal governments that engage public and private sector partners
    and stakeholders through tactics such as:
    • briefings to elected officials and business leaders about impacts of policies under consideration
    • “Voice of Business” speakers bureau deployed to represent issues that impact business and quality of life
    • topic-specific education (e.g., on public / private partnerships)
    • utilize advocacy-specific software to target and track grassroots activity on key economic and quality of life issues
    • white papers to provide relevant history, policy details and impact to community and business and Chamber position

2. Support pro-business candidates

  • Candidate Pipeline: Grow and support a pipeline of business-friendly candidates
  • Boot Camps: Equip candidates with information and training as they build their platforms

3. Engage voters

  • Marketing / Communications Campaign: Develop and implement a multi-media marketing campaign to educate residents about the linkage between Overland Park’s high quality of life and its business climate through tactics such as:
    • social and earned media campaigns
    • “Story-telling” toolkit for businesses
    • Legislative Scorecard to compare voting records of local officials to Chamber positions
    • Election Cycle Communications: During election cycles, communicate economic implications of candidates’ positions to businesses and voters


  • Pro-business majorities on city council, planning commission, county commission, and representatives of Johnson County in the state legislature
  • Strong Business climate supported by the residents who understand the importance of business to quality of life 


  • Advocacy/pro-business strategy developed and implemented
  • Successful adoption of Chamber and business agenda items at city, county, regional, and state levels
  • Increased public officials' engagement and endorsement

If you are interested in becoming an Opportunity Now investor with the OP Chamber, please contact: Tracey Osborne Oltjen at (913) 766-7600 or