McPherson Industrial Development Co., commonly referred to as "MIDC", was incorporated in 1959 by a small group of civic-minded McPherson businessmen. These visionary founders realized that McPherson and McPherson County could not rely strictly on agriculture and the oil industry to sustain and grow the area's economy.
MIDC incorporated as a "for-profit" company because of the flexibility this provided over being incorporated as a non-profit company. It sold stock in the Company at $100 per share in order to build a revolving fund for industrial development purposes. The officers and board of directors of the company served, then and now, without salary, dedicated solely to the industrial development of the City and County. In typical "McPherson Spirit" enough shares were purchased by local citizens and businesses to purchase agricultural property adjacent to the City to be developed as McPherson's first industrial park. This land was to be sold at the original purchase price at no profit. Under this principle, MIDC has developed five additional industrial parks over the past five decades. MIDC continues the practice of retaining an inventory of property suitable and solely for industrial development, a practice only recently emulated by other, often larger communities.
MIDC has always enjoyed valuable partners in the City of McPherson, McPherson County and the McPherson Board of Public Utilities ("BPU").
One of the leaders in McPherson's industrial development (and one of MIDC's original Directors) was Mr. Fred Diehl, a pioneer in municipal electric management and the first general manager of the McPherson Board of Public Utilities. Under Mr. Diehl's leadership an inter-local, long-term contract was negotiated between Kansas Power and Light, and the BPU to allow the BPU to be an on-call peak provider of electric production for KP&L. This recently renewed contract has provided McPherson electric customers with the lowest electric rates in the State of Kansas, and among the lowest in the nation. Noting the cluster of electric-intensive industries in McPherson, it is apparent that McPherson's electric rates and the BPU's reliable service have weighed heavily in manufacturers' decisions to locate and expand in the community.
In recent years MIDC has operated under a contract with the City of McPherson to be its authorized industrial development and expansion agent. Approximately one in five workers in McPherson County is a manufacturing employee, making it perhaps the most industrialized county on a per capita basis in Kansas. MIDC has broadened its scope to include assisting local industries in recruiting and training of employees. It works very closely with the Kansas Department of Commerce in utilizing economic development and workforce incentives. Sharing similar goals, MIDC's executive director also serves as the BPU's marketing Director.
Serving both City and County governments in an advisory capacity, MIDC has developed a reputation of service and integrity. MIDC understands the importance of its' recommendations to these Governmental bodies and embraces its' responsibility. MIDC's foremost concern in evaluating prospective industries or expansions of existing industries is for the good of the community.
MIDC recently celebrated fifty years of service and has implemented new, strategic and long term plans to meet the challenges of the future. MIDC is dedicated to advancing the economic well-being of the City of McPherson and McPherson County.