The community of Inman, Kansas made a commitment to the future when it founded the Inman Community Development, Inc (ICDI) in late 2015. Community leaders saw the trends facing the other rural communities in Kansas and wanted to get ahead of the curve. They also recognized the incredible growth happening just up highway K-61 in McPherson and saw the opportunity to help continue and support that growth. Adopting the mantra, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” a board of nine members was assembled and started work on putting together a new and dynamic economic development organization. In January 2018, the ICDI launched its new website which will serve as the main marketing tool for the City of Inman.
As a region, south central Kansas is working hard towards an economic renaissance featuring a renewed focus on manufacturing and technology jobs. Economic development groups, such as the Greater Wichita Partnership and the South Central Economic Development District (SCKEDD), and Wichita State University are approaching development on a regional level. Regionalism is a powerful tool that rural communities can use to work together and it allows them to play to their strengths and mitigate their collective weaknesses. This regional approach makes addressing workforce and job training issues easier by expanding the area to pull resources from. One of the biggest resources available for training a manufacturing workforce is Hutchinson Community College, located just south of Inman.
Sitting on K-61, a four-lane highway, directly between Hutchinson and McPherson, Inman is in a great position to capitalize on recent growth in the Wichita and south-central Kansas region. To the north, McPherson is experiencing incredible growth in its plastics and manufacturing sectors. Hutchinson, located less than 20 miles to the south, is seeing a renewed vitality of its downtown business district. The City of Inman purchased more than 40 acres of land a few years ago that is now ready for industrial and commercial development. New growth is already being seen on Inman’s Main Street with the addition of two new businesses in the last quarter of 2017.
The launching of the new economic development website is a big step forward for Inman Community Development, Inc. Potential business prospects, regional partners, and existing industries now have a central place to go for information on economic development in the Inman community.