Cowley First News

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Check out the latest information and announcements from Cowley First!

How to Become a Better Team Member Class

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Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development has partnered with Wichita State Center for Management Development to bring workforce development classes to Cowley County.  

How to Become a Better Team Member will be offered June 23 at a cost of $100. Deadline to register is June 16th.  The class will be held at the South Central Kansas Medical Center, also known as the Ark City Hospital, in the community room from 8 am to noon. If the class fills, a second class will be offered that afternoon.

How to Become a Better Team Member, led by Dr. Don Hackett, covers practical methods an employee can use to begin the blending process of becoming a more effective team member. Topics covered includes: defining a team versus a group, the role of personality in teams, decision making and tam based organizations. Continue Reading

2015 Discover Cowley County Treasure Hunt

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2015 Treasure Hunt Location Clues

The Cowley County Tourism Alliance kicks off the annual Discover Cowley County Treasure Hunt on May 18 and continues through September 11.  This is a unique summer event that highlights quirky sites, historical stops and local favorites.  Treasure hunters seek out ten locations across Cowley County, which can be completed in a weekend or found throughout the summer.

This is the 6th year that the treasure hunt has been organized with new treasures to find each year. Many are located on the back roads or in parts of the county that local residents have never visited before. The treasure hunt is an inexpensive and fun way to spend time with family and friends or to take visitors new to the area. Continue Reading

Volunteers Needed to Paint Barn Quilts

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Cowley First has partnered with Volunteer Kansas to host a Barn Quilt Block Party on May 30th starting at 9:00 am. Cowley First is seeking volunteers to help paint barn quilts, which will be hung and displayed on barns across Cowley County and will be added to the Cowley County leg of the Flint Hills Barn Quilt Trail. The painting event will be held at Tisdale Church, 17507 US Hwy 160, located 7 miles east of Winfield.

A barn quilt is a quilt design painted on sign board, hung on a barn or outdoor structure, preferably viewable from a public road. Cowley County is one of twenty-two counties participating in the Flint Hills Quilt Trail; a trail formed to celebrate agricultural heritage, promote rural pride and attract visitors to the area.

The “Barn Quilt Movement” started in Ohio when a daughter wanted to honor her mother and her Appalachian heritage by having a painted quilt hung on her barn. This simple idea has spread to over 48 states and to Canada with over 7000 quilts participating in the organized American Quilt Trail, which includes over 200 quilts on the Flint Hills Quilt Trail and 35 on the Cowley County leg. Continue Reading

Business Appreciation Month Luncheon

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June is “Business Appreciation Month” across the State of Kansas.  Cowley First, Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce, Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Winfield Main Street partnered to nominate outstanding businesses in Cowley County for consideration of the 2015 Kansas Business Appreciation Awards presented by the Kansas Department of Commerce. 

The following area businesses were nominated: Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, Country Mart, Eagle Nest, Inc., Grouse Valley Grill, Legacy Regional Community Foundation, Kansas Veterans’ Home, and RCB Bank. Continue Reading

Cowley County Dining Survey-Please complete

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Complete anonymous survey by clicking here.

Cowley First prepared a survey regarding restaurant options in Cowley County and is requesting local residents over the age 18 to participate.The following topics will be addressed: 1) Why are people leaving Cowley County to dine? 2) What is missing in Cowley County? 

Research shows there is a considerable amount of money being spent on dining outside of the area. County residents spend in excess of $4.9 million dollars on full-service dining outside of the county, according to a recent retail market profile. To support economic stability, Cowley County would benefit from capturing some of the dollars leaving the county.  Continue Reading

FREE Business Workshops

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Cowley First is partnering with the Ark City Chamber and hosting free business workshops in Ark City. All workshops will be held at the Corner Bank Community Room, 125 N Summit St.


Kansas Department of Revenue Tax Specialist Carl York will join us on April 22nd for two tax workshops. The first class is directed towards contractors and will address sales tax issues that pertain to contractors and sub-contractors such as plumbers, electricians and roofers. Carl will discuss how sales tax applies to materials and labor, the use of Project Exemption Certificates and explain the process of filing sales tax returns and billing. Click here to register for this free class. Continue Reading

Cowley County Job Fair

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Cowley County Job Fair will have 22 businesses with job openings for all skill levels and expertise. Click here to see a full list of businesses and resources that will be present and a partial list of job listings and descriptions. Jobs postings are being added every day!

Workforce Development Training Survey

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Please take a few moments to take a quick survey as we consider several workforce development training options. Cowley First has been coordinating professional and workforce development classes in the county. We would like your input on what training topics and classes interest you or your employer.

Click here to take the survey.

Barn Quilt Class in Ark City

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There is still time to register for the next Barn Quilt class scheduled for Feb 21st in Ark City at the Ag Building, 712 W. Washington. You can make your very own barn quilt ranging from a 2′ to an 8′. The barn quilt craze has hit Cowley County! So do not miss the fun!

Register by Feb 4th by calling the Winfield Chamber at 620-221-2420 or email The class is hosted by Ark City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cowley First, CCTA, and Winfield Convention and Tourism.

Class details


Cowley County Job Fair Approaching

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There is still time to register for the Cowley County Job Fair scheduled for March 3rd from 9am to noon at the Winfield High School and March 4th from 3:00-5:30 pm at Cowley College Wright Room in Ark City. Cost to participate is $50 per day to offset advertising expenses.

So far the following businesses have signed up to participate: Employers-City of Arkansas City, Four County Mental Health, Easter Seals Capper Foundation, Creekstone Farms, Morton Buildings, Mosaic, MWV, Skyline Corp., The Arnold Group, Western Industries, Conco Construction, Jet AirWerks and Galaxy Technologies. Resources attending- Cowley College, K-State Global Campus, Southwestern College, ECCEL, Workforce Centers of South Central Ks/Cowley Workforce Center, Kansas Works Mobile Unit.

To take advantage of ALL advertising, please register by Feb 9. by emailing