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January 11, 2014

Matching workers to jobs at MAIP

PRYOR, OK — In his State of the Park Address, MidAmerica Industrial Park Chief Administrative Officer David Stewart outlined the park’s 2014 education initiative.

Stewart, who was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon, began by providing a status update.

He previewed the park’s new promotional video, which stresses “Whatever your challenge, MidAmerica Industrial Park is ready.”

It boasted MAIP works “smarter, faster and stronger.”

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there,” the video quoted Will Rogers as saying, leading Stewart to discuss the park’s plans moving forward.

When it comes to the brick and mortar request of the park, Stewart said, MAIP has what potential businesses are looking for.

“The only thing that’s truly missing is the workforce. When a business asks where their employees will come from, that’s the one thing we can’t answer,” Stewart said. “Our work for 2014 will focus on getting the last piece of that puzzle in place.”

He said because the park has both businesses and educational institutions, the partnership is too good an opportunity to pass up.

The plan is simple, he said. Businesses will adopt individual schools to provide education on employment with the company.

“People from the business will physically go to the schools and tell the students what sort of jobs exist at their particular business and what it takes to get there and what type of salary they are looking at. People don’t know the jobs that are available out here, they really don’t,” said Stewart.

The businesses that choose to adopt a school will offer both mentorship and internships to their school.

This plan was announced on the heels of the dedication ceremony for Rogers State University in MAIP. RSU joins Oklahoma State University Institute

of Technology and Northeastern Technology Center in the 9,000-acre park, showing the park’s commitment to education.

Stewart said the goal is to provide potential businesses with employees with the desired skill set, which also keeps skilled workers in this community.

“We have partnered with GRDA (Grand River Dam Authority), our co-sponsor for this initiative. With our combined resources, this gives us just over $1 million to put towards this initiative, to get our students employed locally,” said Stewart.

It’s a project Stewart called “a righteous job.”

“We are excited to partner with the MidAmerican Industrial Park on this new education initiative. Preparing our students for a successful career will develop the needed workforce to grow and expand our economic base,” said Dan Sullivan, GRDA CEO. “Fostering realistic expectations of available career paths will help businesses in the Pryor area in their recruiting needs. Matching a prepared graduate with a business that has a hiring need is a win-win combination that will help the entire region.”

“From a strategic point of view, this campus will be the cornerstone of future development for MidAmerica,” Stewart said in a press statement surrounding the dedication of RSU’s new Pryor campus. “We clearly understand the necessity of well-trained and work-ready employees to facilitate the growth of our existing companies and to attract new ones. We want the people of northeastern Oklahoma to know they have a bright future right here at home.”

“We appreciate your support, we’ll need it,” Stewart said in closing. “Our RSU campus is a kick-off to a new era.”

 

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