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Capital Investments

   State capital Topeka, one hour west of Kansas City, continues to see new corporate projects, especially in the food processing sector. This year has included a $22-million, 100-job expansion from Reser's Fine Foods and yet another expansion from homegrown Hill's Pet Nutrition, to the tune of $30 million.
   Reser's founder Al Reser hails from Topeka, and first located a facility there in 1991. The company operates 15 plants nationwide, but the Topeka complex, already employing 600, is the largest and most inclusive across Reser's range of products.
   A subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive, Hill's has been around Topeka a little longer — since 1906 — and employs 900 in the area.
   In an example of legislation customized to keep jobs, the Qualified Manufacturer Act was signed into law by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in April, which will allow the Secretary of Commerce to enter into an agreement to pay back 100 percent of the withholding from Kansas wages paid to employees at the qualified manufacturer for 3 to 4 years, not to exceed 1 million dollars "to a qualified manufacturer engaged in the production of cellulose in Shawnee County" (Innovia Films).
   In the "economic development trends to watch" department, a commission was created this year to address government consolidation in Topeka and Shawnee County.

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