DE SOTO, Kans. — A new project has Southeast Kansas preparing for a potential new wave of economic development.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced yesterday that Panasonic Energy is planning on building a new electric vehicle facility in De Soto.

The $4 billion investment is expected to create 4,000 jobs. According to experts, the project could then potentially bring in even more jobs along major roadways.

“The real hope that we have is that with highway 169 and US-69 being such vital highways in Southeast Kansas, that we will be very attractive to those subcontractors and vendors who are interested in growing with Panasonic. Panasonic will be creating 4,000 direct jobs. There could be a possibility of up to 4,000 indirect jobs by the economic impact. We’re talking about vendors, subcontractors, but also more teachers, more restaurant workers, more city workers, because we’re going to have growing populations,” said Matthew Godinez, Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission.

This project would be the largest private investment in the history of Kansas.