Community Data Ellis County City of Hays
Population 2018 28,685 20,510
Median Household Income 2018 $46,340 $45,502
Median Age 2018 32.4 29
Education Attainment - Hays, KS 2018
High School or higher 94%
Bachelors degree or higher 31%
Graduate or professional degree 11.40%
Age Dispersion - Hays, KS 2018
% of residents under 19 yrs. old 26%
% of residents 19-64 yrs. old 60%
% of residents 65 yrs. old and up 14%

Development Opportunity Profile

The e2 – Entrepreneurial Ecosystems believes in empowering research – making data-driven decisions about economic development to be more strategic and, ultimately, create the kinds of economic development outcomes and long-term community or regional prosperity you desire. We work hard to build tools and resources that communities can use to access and understand data and turn that raw information into knowledge you can apply in your community. This Development Opportunity Profile as prepared for Ellis County in Kansas by the e2 and Network Kansas for the Ellis County E-Community Teams

Major Employers

Ellis County and the City of Hays are home to a diverse group of employers. From healthcare to manufacturing, telecommunications to education, Ellis County and the City of Hays are an ideal area to locate or expand a business. Below are some of our major employers:

Company Employees Industry
Hays Medical Center 1235 Healthcare provider
Fort Hays State University 1000 Division II college
USD 489 - Hays 775 School district
Ellis County/City of Hays 427 Local government
Wal-Mart 393 Retail goods
Hess Services 287 Oilfield supply manufacturer
EnerSys 267 Sealed lead battery manufacturer
Eagle Communications 260 Telecommunications
DSNWK 259 Health Provider fordDisabled individuals
Nex-Tech/Rural Telephone 206 Telecommunications
Dillons - a Kroeger store 160 Retail grocery
Amphenol Adronics 157 Automotive parts manufacturer
McDonalds 134 Fast food
Midwest Energy 118 Utility provider
Nex-Tech Wireless 107 Wirelss provider
Wheelchairs of Kansas 104 Medical equipment manufacturer
S & W Supply 88 Oilfield supply/manufacturer
Thomas More Prep-Marion 88 Parochial school
USD 388-Ellis 87 School district
APAC Kansas - Shears Division 79 Heavy construction
Sunflower Electric 66 Utility provider
Midland Marketing 66 Grain storage/AG products
Glassman Corporation 60 Building mechanical systems design/mfg
Cross Manufacturing 50 Hydraulics components manufacturing

Industrial Parks

The Heart of America Industrial Park is a 94 acre development.  Zoned industrial, the property has direct quick access to I-70 via Commerce Parkway.  The lot can be divided into smaller segments or developed as a whole. Utilities are already at the site.  Potential for rail access on the south end, with Class I rail provider.


The State of Kansas provides a number of incentives for relocating or expanding businesses:

  • Training grants for workforce development
  • Property tax abatements
  • Sales tax exemptions
  • No inventory tax
  • Machinery and equipment property tax exemption
  • No Kansas franchise tax
  • Tax credits for research and investment in training
  • Machinery and equipment expensing deduction
  • Promoting  Employment Across Kansas (PEAK)
  • CID/IRB/TIF financing  

For more detailed information on the advantages Kansas offers, Click Here. 

The City of Hays offers local incentives to qualified business, based on job creation and capital investment:

  • Tax abatements
  • Community Improvement Districts (CID)
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • Others determined on a case-by-case basis

Contact Grow Hays for more information.


Midwest Energy, Inc., is a customer-owned electric and natural gas cooperative serving 90,000 customers in Ellis and 40 other central and western Kansas counties. Midwest Energy has the capacity to serve the energy needs for both large and small consumers. Learn more at:


Located on the junction of I-70 and U.S. Hwy 183, Hays is ideally suited for distribution, and provides quick access to major metro markets:

  • Kansas City 265 mi
  • Omaha 334 mi
  • Denver 339 mi
  • Oklahoma City 342 mi
  • St. Louis 514 mi
  • Dallas 544 mi


Ellis County Housing Rehab Program

The Grow Hays Housing Rehab Program was initiated via a Dane G. Hansen Foundation grant with the primary purpose of increasing the supply of affordable housing in Ellis County. The program funds developers for the purchase, renovation and resale of distressed properties.


  1. Provide more affordable housing to the Ellis County Real Estate Market
  2. Improve distressed properties thus improving neighborhoods
  3. Generate sales and financial impact for local contractors and material providers
  4. Generate sales tax for the City of Hays via the sale of materials used for improvements
  5. Increase the taxable value of properties thus increasing the overall tax base in Ellis County
  6. Provide an opportunity for an entrepreneurial developer to make a profit

Program Parameters

  1. Properties must be located within Ellis County
  2. Grow Hays provides interest-free financing to eligible developers for 100-percent of the purchase price, rehab costs and holding costs
  3. Developers must be able to demonstrate experience in the area of property rehab or present a plan utilizing resources to accomplish the rehab process
  4. Properties currently owned by the developer are eligible for the program
  5. The property must be purchased, renovated and resold in nine months or less
  6. The property must sell to an owner occupant
  7. The end sales price of the property cannot exceed $275,000
  8. Upon sale, Grow Hays will charge a $2,500 administrative fee


1. A developer finds a suitable property that fits the program

2. The developer places the property under contract with the clause that they purchase is subject to approval and financing from the Grow Hays Housing Rehab Program.

3. The developer submits an executed contract, developer application and all of the required items specified in the application to the Grow Hays Housing Rehab Committee for their review.

4. The Grow Hays Housing Rehab committee approves or rejects the application. Upon approval, the developer is notified and one of the local title companies prepares a title commitment and schedules a closing time.

5. Closing takes place and the rehab process begins. The funds needed to close are disbursed on the day of closing. The rehab funds are held in escrow and disbursed as the project progresses. Lien waivers from subcontractors are required at the time of payments. Grow Hays staff will perform inspections throughout the project.

6. Upon completion the property is to be listed and sold, the closing of which is to be completed within nine months of the original closing date.

7. Upon closing, the loan to Grow Hays is paid in full along with the $2,500 administrative fee.

2017 Housing Needs Study

The City of Hays has released the 2017 Housing Needs Study generated by The Docking Institute.  The study provides good information on the gaps in the Hays housing market, in terms of need, pricing, under-served demographics, etc. This is good information for any business dealing with the housing industry. Please call us to get a copy of the report, or contact us at 785.628.3102 with any questions.