Steel production began in Midland, Pa., in 1906 by the Midland Steel Company which was purchased in 1911 by the Crucible Steel Company. Through expansions until the 1950s, Midland became a center of stainless steel manufacturing. The company was purchased by Colt Industries in 1968, sold again in the 1980s to LTV, and then sold to J&L Specialty Products Corporation.
Several generations of Midland residents were employed in steel manufacturing in Midland between 1906 and the 1980s. As with many steel towns in the region, the mill was where most people worked and wanted to work. With the stability of mill employment gone, businesses failed and many workers had trouble finding new jobs. Many workers suffered from what was called the "impossible dream syndrome." Some even believed that the plant closing was temporary, so no efforts towards job retraining were made.