By Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius

In 1932, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis touted the fact that the then-48 states served as "laboratories of democracy" – trying new ideas that, if successful, could then be spread to other states and to the federal government.

Kansas' leaders have always been willing to use this freedom to the fullest, and our state's successes will be on display this week as governors from around the nation gather to share ideas as part of "Innovation America."  This initiative of the National Governors Association is designed to keep America competitive in the world economy by encouraging innovation by businesses and individuals.

Kansas companies are just as likely to be competing against firms in Europe or China as they are against businesses in Missouri or Oklahoma, so making sure our businesses have the tools they need to compete on the world stage has been a critical part of our job creation strategy.

Maintaining a well-trained, well-educated workforce has been a key part of this strategy, and the historic commitment we've made to Kansas schools will go a long way toward ensuring businesses have the skilled employees they need to compete.  And in the coming years, support for early childhood education, as well as higher education at universities, community colleges and vo-tech schools, will help us build on this commitment to K-12 education.

Additionally, giving businesses incentives to invest in new technology has been a cornerstone of our plan, and elimination of the property tax on business machinery and equipment gives companies another reason to create jobs in Kansas.

Along with our work to strengthen existing industries like aviation and agriculture, these efforts will help our state take advantage of new job creation opportunities in high-tech industries like biosciences and alternative energy.

Our strategy has helped Kansas businesses grow and create jobs and its one that other states can benefit from – while at the same time knowing they'll never quite be able to match the hard work, ingenuity and determination that make Kansas workers and businesses second to none.

The above content reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the policies of the National Governors Association.