Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cerner campus to serve as "important destination" for health care industry, economic growth in Kansas

By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

The groundbreaking of potentially the single largest job creator in Wyandotte County history was held Tuesday morning.

Dubbed the "Cerner Continuous Campus," ground was officially broken on the Village West and State Avenue site on Tuesday.

Economic estimates predict a huge impact made by the Cerner campus once it's operational beginning in 2013.

  • Overall, nearly $500 million worth of economic impact is expected to be made by the project once it's complete.
  • Two nine-story towers will be built on the location of the southeast corner of Village West Parkway and State Avenue.
  • In total, over 4,000 jobs are predicted. Once the first tower opens in the middle of 2013, 1,000 new jobs will be created instantly. When the second tower opens in 2014, 1,000 more jobs are expected then. Within a decade, Cerner expects to hire more than 4,000 people for various positions.
  • When all is said and done, the campus will be over 660,000 square feet in size.
  • Cerner Continous will be maintaining technology networks for over 30 percent of the country's health care systems. 
Speaking at the ceremony, Unified Government Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon said the Cerner campus is an example of how Wyandotte County has "reinvented itself."

"This is the single largest job creating program we've had," Reardon said. "We're taking advantage of the public and private (enterprise) relationship. This project became a reality when the economy was almost at its worst."

The Cerner Continous Campus will be funded by private dollars from Cerner and funding from the State of Kansas.

"What's happening here is really impressive," said Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. "This is a pro-growth project and we need to grow the economy in Kansas."

Cerner Vice Chairman and co-founder Cliff Illig said the center will be operational 24-7.

“Health care never stops,” Illig said. “Cerner’s clients are always operating. Here in Kansas City, Kan., Cerner will concentrate the human capital that will keep Cerner’s clients and their systems up and operating flawlessly and continuously.”