Representatives from local governments met in Ulysses in October to discuss the creation of an organization to represent Southwest Kansas to state and federal agencies. Invitations were sent to local governments for a meeting in February 1972 to discuss the development of a Regional Planning Commission.
At the February meeting, representatives voted to proceed with the organization. It was named the Greater Southwest Regional Planning Commission (GSRPC), and covered 19 counties: Clark, Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Lane, Meade, Morton, Ness, Scott, Seward, Stanton, Stevens and Wichita.
The GSRPC Board determined the organization needed a different emphasis and direction to meet the needs of the region. They wanted to have more direct services to the region's public and private sectors. The Board voted to drop the Regional Planning Commission to become an EDA Economic Development District and an SBA Certified Development Company.
In order to meet both EDA and SBA organizational requirements, the Greater Southwest Kansas Certified Development Company (GSKCDC) was established in February. The organization was also involved in making applications and administering HUD CDBGs. It provided the same services as the GSRPC, with the excepting of adding loan packaging and servicing for the SBA 503 Loan Program.
During the 1970s, two additional Regional Planning Commissions, Golden Belt RPC and Indian Hills RPC, were formed to serve the eastern region of the GSRPC. They later merged to form the Nine County Development Inc. In May 1987, GSKCDC and Nine County Development merged to create the Great Plains Development Inc (GPDI).
The EDA designation was given to the counties that formerly comprised Nine County Development region, which resulted in all 28 counties comprising the GPDI region being included in the GPDI EDD designation.