Forward Together: Ponca City Development Authority
used to be about new inventions, expansions and new markets. With the onset of COVID in 2020, the news has revolved around lack of employees, contractions and supply chain issues. But here in Ponca City, industry found a way to keep going: business to business contracting, sharing employees and growing our own. Now these things didn't happen overnight. PCDA staff might even say, this is what we do. COVID just showcased the ability of one company to work with another to get those jobs, keep jobs locally and grow the Ponca City economy even during the C-word. Or is it the P-word? Whatever it is, things will never be what they were. Change is happening. Shift happens. Yes, shift.
How is your business shifting? PCDA is interested in your shift. Whether it is to attract new employees, retain existing workforce, find new clients or products; how has your business shifted to survive and, we hope, thrive. Check out some of the stories below for shift.
Has your company invested in new technologies or equipment in response to customer's needs or to attract new contracts? That's shift. BUNK'R owner Brad Fredericks has embraced new technology at Pioneer Tech where PTC Machin eTool students completed a difficult to weld part in less than 20% of the manual time with a higher weld quality. This does not mean robotics and automation are replacing humans, but employees will have to embrace managing the machines and being able to program robotic machines. Thank goodness Pioneer Tech programs are already training that next workforce.
How have your hiring practices changed and shifted? For some companies, the hiring process is faster than two years ago. "We don't have time to wait six weeks to find a new sales person," Justin from a local industry said recently. "A new sales person may not be a perfect skills fit, but if they are willing to learn, have customer service experience and fit our culture, we are going to hire quickly." PCDA is excited about this shift from long interview processes and long lead times before hiring. Quality workers want to work and staff is hopeful other companies will hire faster. Here is a video on how Cookshack has shifted their hiring processes for better "employee fit" with their company culture.
INVESTING IN SHIFT
Companies have to spend money to make money. Two local companies spending to grow are Cookshack with a 10,000 foot expansion project in the works at their current building. And to see a completed growth project, take a gander at Custom Mechanical Equipment's widened drive approach to accommodate some "huge" outgoing skids. That baby has back!
Not sure how to shift your products? processes? people? These two can help: PCDA's Laurence Beliel and Johnny Thornburgh from Pioneer Technology Center Business Services. Between these two guys and the people they have on speed dial, you have a consulting service at your disposal. Did we mention they are free? Invite them over and hit them with your shift. They are big boys and can help you with your company's next .....shift.