The Community Foundation is pleased to introduce one of its newest charitable funds, the Pittsburg Community Development Fund. This fund will promote economic development in the Pittsburg area. More than 30 individuals and businesses have contributed to the new fund by donating shares in Pittsburg Industrial Development Corporation, Inc. (PIDC). Thanks to their generosity, CFSEK will be able to support the Pittsburg area in new ways!
Read on to learn more about the history of PIDC and the future of this new fund!
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The History of PIDC
A group of Pittsburg business leaders formed PIDC in the 1950s as an industrial-development organization. It was intended to help the City of Pittsburg recruit new industry to the community and expand existing industry. A Pittsburg Headlight article published January 31, 1955 explained the then-new corporation’s goals:
The new corporation is an off-shoot of the Chamber of Commerce industrial committee, formed for the purpose of helping to encourage new industry to locate in Pittsburg.
Purpose of the new corporation is to help in the locating of new industry in Pittsburg by providing a medium to provide suitable quarters either by purchasing, renting or erecting buildings. For this purpose, the group is incorporated for $150,000.
In a 1978 letter, PIDC Subscription Chairman Edward McNally wrote that PIDC
also has provided leadership in the community in planning for the future. For example, [PIDC] acquired the Centennial Life Building to provide a new home for the Chamber of Commerce and to improve the image of the Chamber within the community. . . .
Pittsburg has had some recent progress in industrial development and we believe with united efforts this progress can continue.
In recent years, PIDC’s business has involved leasing an industrial building and supporting a handful of economic-development activities. However, over time many of PIDC’s shareholders have passed away, gone out of business, or been acquired by other businesses. As a result, its board of directors saw fewer and fewer proxies returned for its annual meeting. The directors became concerned that if that trend continued, they would eventually be unable to conduct PIDC’s business.
To avoid that outcome, PIDC’s board contacted its shareholders, proposing that they donate their shares to the Community Foundation. Their goal was to establish a charitable fund that could continue the mission of PIDC by supporting local economic development. In response, more than 30 businesses and individuals have now donated a majority of PIDC shares to CFSEK. Those donors include everything from individuals, families, and local small businesses to publicly traded companies and a major national bank.
The new Pittsburg Community Development Fund is a welcome addition to our family of funds. Once fully active, the fund will support the Pittsburg area through grants for economic development, community planning, affordable housing, education, workforce training, youth and leadership development, and similar charitable purposes. Its initial advisory committee will include local business leaders and representatives from the City of Pittsburg, the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Community Foundation, and Pittsburg State University.
The Community Foundation is grateful to the many donors who have made this fund possible. We invite other PIDC shareholders to contact us to learn more about how they can become part of building this new community resource for the Pittsburg area.