McPherson County is reporting high employment and an increase in the median wage for 2013.

McPherson County is reporting high employment and an increase in the median wage for 2013.
Brad Eilts of the McPherson Industrial Development Corporation related the employment numbers during a MIDC third quarter report at the McPherson County Commission meeting Monday.
According to the report, total employment in McPherson County increased by 920 jobs from 2012 to 2013. The median wage increased 90 cents from 2012 to 2013 from $15.10 per hour to $16 per hour.
Also, from January 2010 through July 2013, the civilian workforce for McPherson County has had an upward trend.
Three counties in the six-county region saw declines in per capita income between 2007 and 2012. Rice County saw a 1 percent increase, and Marion County saw a 5 percent increase. McPherson County saw a per capita income increase of 3.2 percent. Kansas had a statewide 4.1 percent decrease in per capita income during the same period.
Companies look at long-term sustainability in a community and the ability to keep good employees, Eilts said.
“As far as what we’re doing differently from other counties,” he said, “it’s probably a reflection on the quality of businesses we have. We have businesses here with solid economic opportunities, a relatively low cost of operation given factors like our electrical rates, and, in general, a low tax rate for the Midwest.”
McPherson County also has 1,074 residents accredited with Kansas Workready Certificates, the most for a county in the region. A Workready Certificate is a credential gained through taking a test, which certifies the applicant’s skills in a variety of fields. Workready certification gives employers confidence potential employees can do a job, Eilts said.
McPherson High School students are required to earn a silver level  Workready certification to graduate.

In other business
The commission approved paying a bill of $1,260 from Johnson Electric for electrical repairs for McPherson Airport.
The commission approved fire department requests for $2,060 for new fire hoses and for $6,500 for yearly physicals.
Inspector Bret Reynolds presented the monthly building report for August. The city issued 85 permits, 14 of which were for new single family dwellings and one of which was for a new duplex.
The city planning commission reported the current state of zoning regulations required no immediate action, and recommended six minor changes to be kept for inclusion at a later date.
The city approved a request from Terracon to drill 15 holes around town for soil and water testing. The testing is looking for pollution from dry cleaning chemicals.
In an update on the First Street project, Steve Schmidt,  interim public works director, said relocation of a main phone cable at Ash Street would take AT&T two weeks due to the complexity of splicing it. Construction work continues around the location.
The commission also gave approval for the Wylie Benefit Golf Tournament Oct. 5 at Turkey Creek Golf Course.
Approval also was given for pro-life organization Life Chain to meet and peacefully demonstrate on Oct. 6. The group plans to form a line on Main Street from Oak to Maple, and another line on Main Street from Elizabeth to Marlin. Participants will meet at Linnea Park at 2 p.m., with the demonstration planned to last an hour.