Cowley First News

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Check out the latest information and announcements from Cowley First!

Customer Service Seminar

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Enhancing Your Customer and Quality Service Skills, taught by Wichita State Center for Management Development instructor Dr. Don Hackett, will be presented in Winfield on October 22nd at a reduced cost.
Cowley First-Cowley County Economic Development Partnership will be sponsoring the class at the Winfield Physicians Pavilion, 1230 E. 6th Avenue. The course has been consolidated to a 4 hour class and reduced from $229 to only $100. Class will take place from 8 am to noon.
This course is designed for any employee that deals with the public and external and internal customers. Employees are the face of the organization and represent the company to every customer they see, speak to and help. Taking time to refine customer service skills helps the company reap the benefits of stronger profits, satisfied customers and a happier workplace. The seminar will give attendees the practical skills they can use immediately to improve the service provided.
Dr. Don Hackett will lead the class through discussion, hands on activities and an exercise rating their company’s quality service. Handling complaints and the eight step method in preventing and reducing customer conflict will be covered. A complete course outline can be viewed here. Continue Reading

Barn Quilts and Burden Dayz

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Come Get Your ‘Merica On! Enjoy all of the family-friendly activities at Burden Dayz, Saturday Sept. 12th. Leading up to the big day-complete the “Selfie” Scavenger Hunt and seek out the quirky, fun and historical sites in and near Burden. A parade along Main Street at 10:00 kicks off the morning followed by events, vendors and plenty of food all afternoon in the park. Watch or participate in the 5K Obstacle Challenge-not for the faint at heart-or enjoy the King of the Hose competition as local fire fighters vie for the title! The day will end with free admission to the PRCA Rodeo, also in Burden, at 8 pm, following Mutton Bustin’ at 7 pm. Event details can be seen at the Burden Dayz website.

While in town, seek out the 20 barn quilts in and near Burden. Burden Barn Quilt Map

Reality U back in the schools

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Cowley First is once again coordinating the Reality U event to be held at Winfield High School Oct 6 and Ark City High School Oct 7. All sophomores Winfield, Ark City, Central of Burden, Dexter, Cedar Vale, Argonia, Belle Plaine, Udall, Oxford, Caldwell and South Haven have been invited to participate in this Communities In School program on Financial Realities. Cowley First is now signing up volunteers from our business community to man the booths where students make mock purchases such as housing, utilities, transportation, insurance, internet/phone, shopping center, entertainment, child care, medical, banking, etc. without running out of the income that was assigned to them.

To volunteer contact Deb Firebaugh at or call (620) 221-9951 or 442-3094.


WSU CMD Professional Development Classes in Cowley County

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Cowley First has scheduled more workforce and professional development classes to be conducted by Wichita State Center for Management Development here in Cowley County. All of the courses listed below will be held at in Winfield in the Physicians Pavilion conference room, 1230 E 6th Ave.; across from William Newton Hospital.

To register for the classes listed below email or call (620) 221-9951 or 442-3094. Continue Reading

FREE Business Start-up Workshop

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 If you are thinking of starting a small business, this workshop is a great place to begin.  This workshop offers essential information about marketing, management, and money that will help you assess the feasibility of your idea and start writing your business plan.  We will also discuss how you can access free assistance from the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC).  This workshop is offered free of charge and is presented by the KSBDC on August 18 from 2-4 pm at Cowley First offices in Strother Field Industrial Park, 22193 Tupper St. 

Registration is required one week prior to the workshop being held.  Call 620-412-3576 to register or email                                  


Cowley County Dining Survey Results

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Cowley First’s Dining Survey regarding restaurant options in Cowley County was concluded with 1,495 responses. Detailed comments on how people of Cowley County dine out and spend money in and out of the county were provided. According to a recent retail market profile, there is a considerable amount of money being spent on dining outside of the area. This research shows county residents spend in excess of $4.9 million dollars on full-service dining outside of the county. To support economic stability, Cowley County would benefit from capturing some of the dollars leaving the county. Click here to view full dining summary.



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

SBA Disaster Assistance Available to Cowley Co.

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Private Nonprofit Organizations

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to certain private nonprofit (PNP) organizations in Kansas following President Obama’s federal disaster declaration for Public Assistance as a result of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that occurred May 4 – June 21, 2015, announced Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). PNPs that provide essential services of a governmental nature are eligible for assistance.

 SBA disaster assistance is now available in Atchison, Barton, Brown, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Doniphan, Edwards, Elk, Ellsworth, Franklin, Gray, Greenwood, Harper, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Miami, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Stevens, Sumner, Wabaunsee and Washington counties. Continue Reading

Dexter Barn Quilts

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Printable Dexter Barn Quilt Map

Printable Cowley County Barn Quilt Trail Map

Cowley County Barn Quilt Trail Google Map

Barn Quilts have become a big deal in Dexter, KS, located in eastern Cowley County along K-15 Hwy. As the Cowley County Quilt Trail, a leg of the Flint Hills Barn Quilt Trail, expanded the City of Dexter has embraced the opportunity to showcase their community.

Currently there are barn quilts hung at 13 locations throughout the town; some locations with multiple quilts. The community hopes visitors, particularly during the Dexter BBQ this Saturday, will take a moment to seek out the quilt patterns that are painted on wood and hung on outbuildings. A map of the quilt locations in Dexter, along with a map of all of the barn quilts in Cowley County, can be found online at Paper copies of the map will also be at Dexter businesses, the Dexter Senior Center and the Dexter BBQ festivities throughout Saturday.

The barn quilt movement really took off in Dexter when Steve Joyce, Dexter social studies teacher and a group of Dexter teachers worked collaboratively with Cowley First and hosted an all day workshop at Dexter Schools in the spring.  Joannie Reimer, Dexter computer teacher had students submit barn quilt designs as part of a contest.  The winning quilts are on display at Dexter’s “old gym.”   Continue Reading

Cowley County Visitors Guide-Advertising Opportunity

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The Cowley County Tourism Alliance – a partnership of Winfield Convention and Tourism, the Arkansas City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Cowley First, and others – is developing a regional visitors’ guide that will serve as a promotional piece for tourism-related businesses in the Cowley County region. 

We have joined forces, once again, with the Winfield Publishing Company to produce a guide that will not only promote tourism opportunities in area, but also will be used to promote Cowley County as a top tourism destination in the region. It will be distributed throughout the state and available for use as a marketing tool for area businesses. This guide will be available online. 

The small, pocket-styled guide will showcase the many outstanding attractions, events, lodging facilities, dining establishments, destination shopping and recreation opportunities in the county. Additionally, it will include feature stories from each community — Arkansas City, Eastern Cowley County, Udall and Winfield — pertaining to each of these categories.  Continue Reading