McPherson Earns CompetitiveReady Seal

McPherson Earns CompetitiveReady Seal

McPherson, Kansas, has earned the CompetitiveReady Seal by passing a rigorous test of the city’s capacity to sustain business development.

Located between Wichita and Salina, the city of 14,000 boasts more than 50 industries, including Johns Manville, CertainTeed Corp, Hospira and National Cooperative Refinery Association. Industrial development efforts are guided by McPherson Industrial Development Co.

As an early adopter of CompetitiveReady, MIDC continues a tradition of forward thinking that started with its founding in 1959. Features that CompetitiveReady team cited include:

  • Lowest electric rates in the state of Kansas (as low as 4.3 cents per kWh average).
  • Rail-served properties with utilities at site, and excellent road access.
  • BPU Industrial Park (owned by McPherson Board of Public Utilities and operated by MIDC) has over 100 acres zoned for industrial development, with infrastructure to nine of 10 lots. MIDC also owns 134 acres of undeveloped property for future development.
  • At least three large industrial buildings ready to go.

Knowledgeable and responsive city staff — verified by local employers.

The CompetitiveReady Scorecard evaluates 10 categories—global positioning, real estate, physical infrastructure, human capital, organizational effectiveness, business climate, business resources, living environment, mitigated risks, sustainable practices (bonus category). Over 175 factors are considered.
The scorecard is based on the stringent criteria site selectors typically use when screening communities on behalf of companies for a business location.

To earn the seal, McPherson scored “competitive” or “very competitive” on all nine required categories, meaning the city is better equipped to support business than an average community of similar size.

CompetitiveReady spokeswoman, Michelle Comerford, a site selector with The Austin Company, said, “Certified sites have received a lot of press, but industrial properties cannot succeed in a vacuum. Our premise is that you have to do everything right.”

Brett Reber, president of the McPherson Industrial Development Company, said “We are pleased to achieve the CompetitiveReady designation for McPherson. The rigorous evaluation process will help us sharpen our focus and improve our community to make it the choice for industrial relocation and expansion.”

He added, “The opportunity to have our economic development assets and approach evaluated by an outside team of experts was invaluable. The CR team challenged us and provided independent professional insight we could not have achieved internally.”

CompetitiveReady is a collaborative effort of The Austin Company, Chabin Concepts, Applied Economics, and EDsuite — veteran economic development and site location professionals with expertise ranging from economics to marketing and website development.

Comerford said the CompetitiveReady evaluators were particularly impressed with how much industry is thriving in the relatively small town. She attributed it to
McPherson’s unique combination of favorable manufacturing environment, business friendly leadership, and good quality of life.”

More information about McPherson is available at Information about the CompetitiveReady scoring process is at

mcpherson_logoAbout MIDC
Organized and incorporated in 1959 by a group of civic minded businessmen, McPherson Industrial Development Co. set out to bolster the economy of McPherson by actively creating an industrial base in this heretofore rural community. It was instrumental in developing and filling 6 industrial parks. Over 50 industries now successfully manufacture and ship a diversified field of products throughout the U.S. and around the world.

cr-seal2About CompetitiveReady

CompetitiveReady ( is a collaborative effort of four strategic partners—The Austin Company, Chabin Concepts, Applied Economics, and EDsuite—to help communities compete on a global scale for business development. Their expertise includes economic development, site location consultation, economics, marketing, and website development.