15 Hot Jobs in a Mega Railroad Suburb - Overland Park, Kansas

Overland Park, Eastern Kansas

Click to Enlarge. (From the US Geological Survey agency, 2001.)
Click to Enlarge. (From the US Geological Survey agency, 2001.)

Major Local Employers

  • Sprint Nextel Corp - Global Headquarters.
  • Black & Veatch Corp
  • Loan Processing
  • Yellow Transportation Inc
  • South Creek Office Park - The local business incubator is graduating companies continually into commerical space in this modern office park.

Planned Business Booms

Planned communities of the 20th Century were often established exactly in the path of major transportation thoroughfairs used for shipping and passenger transport. Railroads in the 19th and 20th Centuries were responsible for many such communities as rail owners and executives began settlements along the rails.

This process is similar to the manner in which streetcar companies of the same era erected amusement parks and picnic parks at the end of the streetcar lines to encourage increased ridership. Both schemes worked well. In the case of Highlands Ranch just south of Denver CO, this Colorado Gold Rush town continued to expand to such an extent that in 2009, this planned community has 90,000+ residents and is not yet even incorporated.

Overland Park KS is such a planned community that has been booming in the 2000s and as a result, named to the list  as 22nd among the Best 25 Places to Move for work in the USA by Forbes, along with Highlands Ranch and other towns like them. Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City, is home to over 171,000 people, many of whom have moved in from other states and countries!

Employment Trends in OP - Jobs Increasing Summer '09

Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a search engine for jobs.
Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a search engine for jobs.
Jobs increasing in nearby Kansas City. Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a search engine for jobs
Jobs increasing in nearby Kansas City. Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a search engine for jobs

Help from the Wright Brothers

After this famous first flight at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers began to perform air demonstratons at places like Overland Park (1905) to help spur the airfield industry.
After this famous first flight at Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers began to perform air demonstratons at places like Overland Park (1905) to help spur the airfield industry.

The Wright Brothers Show

Irish railroad businessman William Strang, Jr. built Overland Park as a planned neighborhood (a large housing development) just south of Kansas City in 1905. He planned and biult  this community along a military highway that followed the old Santa Fe Trail (the Overland Trail). Strang worked hard from early goals as a teen to succeed in the 19th Century, where the Irish and Chinese railroad workers had often been considered second class citizens. His determination and the momentum of his work have carried through over 100 years to the 21st Century and are still instrumental in Overland Park's continuing improvements..

Strang promoted his community initially in several ways, but one of the most remarkable was with air flight performances by the Wright Brothers after their successes at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. Strang followed this by building an airfield and an interurban rail line (the Strang Line) that included trolley cars, and constructing a rail car factory, all facilitating travel into and through the community. Through these measures, Overland Park became a commercial hub and grwoing residential suburb. 

As a leading property developer that had begun work on Midwestern railroads at age 15, Strang helped to establish additional housing developments in the OP area, along with dining, dancing, an other entertainment places, and his rail car factory that produced :firsts" in railroading history, including the self-propelled engine..

OP was finally incorporated as a city in 1960 and experienced new planning along the lines of Strang's. The decade of the 1960s brought a continuing city plan initiative to Overland Park that underwent a new surge of ideas after 30 years. OP's revitalization, beginning in the 1990s to preserve historic landmarks and bring new residential and commercial properties into Overland Park, the Historic Downtown area now enjoys some 300 private and public businesses. A calendar of enticing events draw visitors and residents to Downtown OP all year long.

Overland Park caught the traffic entering and leaving the Santa Fe Trail corridor at the Missouri-Kansas border in both directions.
Overland Park caught the traffic entering and leaving the Santa Fe Trail corridor at the Missouri-Kansas border in both directions.

Overland Park Overview

Overland Park Botanical Garden

First Inhabitants & Local Development

Before the Santa Fe Trail was broken westward from Missouri, the eastern part of Kansas had been the province of several Native American nations for some 10,000 years.

A number of native groups included the Sioux that had migrated back westward from the east, and the Arapahoe, Comanche, Osage, Wyandotte, Fox, Kickapoo, Kanza, Kiowa, Shawnee, Arkansas, and other nations and bands that at some time lived in eastern Kansas. Their combined movements and migrations forged a natural passage upon which the Santa Fe Trail, or Overland Trail, was established. The railroads followed and in the future, highways.

The Prairie Band of Potawatomi are now located just to the northwest of Overland Park and Kansas City. The Kickapoo Nation are still located nearby in Kansas as well. The United Tribe of Shawnee Indians is just to the west of Overland Park, while the Iowa and Sac & Fox Nations hold lands northwest of Kansas City. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has provided funding for improvements on native lands or reservations, including water and healthcare services. Related hotel-resorts are also moderate contributors to the local economy that will benefit from continued infrastructure developments.

Other ARRA funding provides money for a major infrastructure projectin Overland Park to widen US Route 69. At the same time, the city is considering a rapid transit system to further improve transportation. Related to this, just southwest of Overland Park on I-35, Gardner KS is set to become home to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad's new Intermodal Railyard and Distribution Center-- Thus, the railroads are still a big part of commercial and passenger transportation in the Overland Park area.

Top 10 Official Job Projections for % Fast Growth to 2014

  1. Dental Hygienists
  2. Dental Assistants
  3. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  4. Computer Systems Software Engineers
  5. Personal Financial Advisors
  6. Social and Human Service Assistants
  7. Amusement and Recreation Attendants
  8. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  9. Food Preparation Workers
  10. Bill and Account Collectors

Top 10 Jobs Expected to Offer Most Vacancies to 2014

Seven (70%) of the Top 10 Projections already match job titles listed during summer 2009, as shown by bold type in the following two lists. (Top Job Listings are presented further below.)

  1. Customer Service Representatives (CSRs)
  2. Retail Salespersons
  3. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  4. Janitors and other cleaners, except commerical and residential housekeepers
  5. Food Prep Workers
  6. Truck Drivers - Heavy trucks such as semis.
  7. Accountants and Auditors
  8. Food Prep & Service - Casual dining, fast food, concessions, etc.
  9. Executive Secretaries & Administrative Assistants
  10. Receptionists

Top Hiring Companies

  1. All About Staffing
  2. Brack Hunter
  3. Truman Medical Centers
  4. AT&T
  5. Critical Connection
  6. StaffPointe
  7. US Army Medical Corps
  8. Kforce
  9. Burns & McDonnell
  10. Garmin
  11. Brookdale Senior Living
  12. Florida Hospital
  13. Deegan, Fernandez & Assoc.
  14. Bayer Healthcare

Top 15 Job Listings

  1. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  2. Assistant Managers - Often retail and dining.
  3. Physical Therapists
  4. Occupational Therapists
  5. Retail Salespersons & Sales Consultants
  6. Tellers
  7. Customer Service Reps
  8. Independent Sales Reps
  9. Software Engineers
  10. Civil Engineers
  11. Paralegals
  12. Staff Accountants
  13. Cooks
  14. Pharmacists
  15. Administrative Assistants

Several of these major job listings (in bold type) for summer 2009 are named as projected fast-growing jobs on official projections lists (see above) to the year 2014. This is a good sign -- This matching between actual openings and proijhections is one of the closest nationwide.. The ARRA 2009 and Stimulus funding programs also encourage the growth of new jobs in Healthcare, Infrastructure-related jobs (Engineers listed in this group of job listings), and other fields.

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Comments and Additions 3 comments

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

Very nice work!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 7 years ago from North America Author

Thanks, Sandy!


artrush73 profile image

artrush73 7 years ago

very interesting hub. thanx for posting :)

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