MANHATTAN, KS – (October 12, 2011) Unemployment rates throughout the countryremain high but in Manhattan, Kansas growing companies like CivicPlus, the leadingdeveloper of local government websites, continue to display Help Wanted signs for wellpayingprofessional jobs.
Known as the “Little Apple” and located 57 miles west of Topeka, Manhattan is a thrivingsmall city of nearly 53,000 and a contender for Money Magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 BestSmall Cities in America. It is home to Kansas State University and Fort Riley Army Base.
“America’s heartland isn’t exactly a location that comes to mind when most job seekers arescouting for high tech positions, but Manhattan has a lot to offer,” said Jeff Wheeler, vicepresident of human resources for CivicPlus. “You have Silicon Valley in the West andSilicon Alley in the East. Now we’re developing a budding ‘Silicon Prairie’ in America’sheartland. It’s often hard to convince candidates to move here but once they come toManhattan they love our great schools, cultural programs, recreational facilities and easycommuting.”
John Pagen, vice president of economic development for the Manhattan Area Chamber ofCommerce, said that in 2011 Manhattan was named by Forbes magazine as the #1 BestSmall Place in the U.S. for Business and Careers. “Manhattan’s economy is definitely on therise,” Pagen said. “According to USA Today our city currently is the hub of the state’s mostaffluent metro area. That’s impressive when you consider that in 2000 we were the poorestof the state’s six metro areas.”
CivicPlus currently is looking to fill more than two dozen jobs in areas including softwaredevelopment, graphic design, project management, software sales, business developmentand marketing. The ten-year-old company, which specializes in developing websites thatincrease citizen engagement, government accountability and operational efficiencies,recently was selected by Inc. Magazine as One of the Fastest-Growing Privately HeldCompanies in the U.S.
“Six new employees completed our ‘Red Carpet Rollout’ on-boarding program inSeptember,” Wheeler said. “These are well-paying professional jobs with benefits and theopportunity for advancement. Our company is a perfect example of the silver lining in thenew economy. Cities and counties need to do more with less, and citizens are demandingonline access to government services and transactions. These trends are fueling our growthand creating new opportunities for professionals with the skills and talent to createinnovative ways to help communities engage and interact. Our workforce has grown six-foldin our first 10 years and we expect that number to double in the next two to three years --from about 100 employees today to 200 and possibly more.”
Even as the statewide unemployment rate edges higher – 6.7 percent in August – jobseekers in Manhattan continue to have their pick of a variety of good jobs.
“Manhattan's unemployment rate is presently 4.8 percent, well below the statewide averageand the national rate of 9.1 percent,” said Pagen. “This can be attributed to the fact thatManhattan is the service, retail and entertainment hub for an eight-county region. In 2001retail sales were about $600 million; in 2011 they will top $1 billion. Area leaders arecommitted to diversifying the Manhattan economy and continuing to make it a place thatattracts and retains world-class talent.”
Recent Kansas State University grad Kevin McRell, of Manhattan, is one of the newemployees who joined CivicPlus last month. “CivicPlus has the energy and excitement of astart-up but the stability of a ten-year-old company,” he said. “I really enjoy the passion ofCivicPlus people and the atmosphere of innovation. I attended a ‘Lunch Plus’ brainstormingsession my first day on the job and was impressed with the fact that here, everyone has avoice.”
Richland Park, Kansas native Erica Hopwood, a graphic designer and 2008 graduate ofKansas State, agrees. “I felt appreciated and valued from day one. The company trulywants me to be happy in my job and that, in turn, energizes me to do great things,” she said.
Wheeler said that innovation and creativity are valued and nurtured at CivicPlus andemployees quickly get the sense of being part of something big. “The way that citizens usethe web has changed and it’s our job to keep governments ahead of the curve,” he said.
For more information about CivicPlus careers visit http://www.civicplus.com/careers or call888-228-2233.