Seventy years ago, on Monday, May 13, 1946 Mid-States Concrete Products Co. was founded by Charles V. Harker.
Harry S. Truman was president. Perry Como’s Prisoner of Love was the number one song in the United States and A Night in Casablanca was one of the most viewed movies released that year.
Minimum wage was $0.40 and you could buy a gallon of gas for $0.21. A visit to the grocery store for a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs and a loaf of bread would cost you less than $1.50.
Although Mid-States began with production of hollowcore, the product line has expanded over the years. In 1955, Mid-States began producing 8” x 16” hollowcore. Wall panels went in to production in 1960 and in 1965 Mid-States evolved its hollowcore offerings to provide an 8” x 24” hollowcore. In 1986, beams and columns were added to the product line.
By 2000, Mid-States had modified its hollowcore again and began producing an 8” x 48” hollowcore. In January 2007, the company rebranded under the name Mid-States Concrete Industries and in 2013 Mid-States joined the AltusGroup and began offering CarbonCast insulated wall panels.
Now in its third generation of family ownership, Harker’s son, Charles H. Harker is CEO and his grandson, C. Hagen Harker is president. The company is a leader in the precast industry, providing hollowcore plank, wall panels, beams, columns and balconies to its clients.
Like every company that has been around this long, Mid-States Concrete Industries has seen its share of ups and downs. However, with a culture where employees are encouraged to think and make decisions like an owner, combined with a focus on being financially conservative and staying at the forefront of the latest in precast, Mid-States has continued on.
“It’s inspiring to come to work every day,” Charles said.
The CEO is confident the current Mid-States team will continue to move the company forward. No matter where the future takes Mid-States, the company will continue its vision of changing the world by being the safest and most innovative precast building company.
Hagen acknowledged that much can be learned in 70 years and what really great companies do over time is evolve. Knowing you are only as good as your people, Hagen added Mid-States has been fortunate as the company has always had really great people who have helped Mid-States move forward.
Looking toward the future, Hagen has world class facilities as part of the company’s vision.
“We want to be an expert and a partner in designing these world class facilities,” Hagen said.