Forward Together: Ponca City Development Authority
SHIFT HAPPENS.....and never more than after a worldwide pandemic. And when the economic community talks of "Shift" it can be industry, workforce, retail, or any number of topics and areas which impact our economic health. Think of how food service has changed. Or the "open hours" at Walgreens or Walmart. The days of "open 24 hours" may be a thing of the past due to workforce and supply shortages. And what do consumers do? We shift. Changing habits; changing schedules; change period. This is shift.
The past few weeks PCDA staff has been meeting with businesses in Ponca City to assess business needs including hours, employees, products, issues both positive and negative; and it has been very informative. If you are reading this and thinking "I AM having trouble finding workforce," you are not alone. Every employer is having issues with this very subject. Some areas like emergency resources and broadband access received very high marks, with other areas such as supply chains, shipping and workforce....well, let's just say those had lower scores. Welcome to the shift.
You are in good company.
THE SPLASH CO SURVIVAL SWIM.....had their official ribbon cutting last Friday and it was very well attended. The Splash Co is the Summer 2021 Ponca City Business Plan Pitch-Off winner and are signing up students (children ages six months to six years) for the next session of survival swim classes starting in October. If you want to know more,check out the websiteorthis informational videoorfollow them on Facebook. Brittney Rector is everywhere teaching kids and promoting water safety.
CHAMBER BUSINESS PARTNER.....Kelly Cross, Chair of the Ponca City Business Council presented My Media Matters with the September Chamber Business Partner of the Month award for September. The Chamber Business Partner participates in Chamber events, supports the business community and is integral to small business success. Yup, that about sums it up. Proud of My Media Matters involvement in the community.
WHAT’S IN A NAME???...You hear a lot about “robots” being used more and more in business and the image it produces depends upon your imagination. The reality is that a robot is nothing more than a machine, and we have had those for a long, long time. Machines can do more these days thanks to the integration with better computing, but the fundamentals remain the same. A lot of people worry that “Robots” or “robotics” will replace jobs. With all of the “help wanted” signs flying around, this is less of a concern but still a rallying cry. Robotics, or automation as it used to be called in decades passed, does certainly change jobs. A single worker that used to produce 300 widgets could, as an example, possibly produce 2,000 with the help of robotics. On one hand, they will almost certainly be paid more because their skill level will have to go up to operate the robot (the automation). On the other hand, “they” may not be the same person if the original worker does not have, or cannot get the skills, needed to operate the robot. We could cuss and discuss all day long but it’s really misleading to suggest that there is an option not to use robotics. It has been happening, it is happening right now, and it will continue to happen in the future with or without political consent.
Greater automation continues to grow as it has for centuries. The only option is whether or not we want industry and manufacturing in our community, or whether we would prefer they go somewhere else and take the jobs with them. A company that adds robotics typically does not see a big overall change in the number of jobs (yes, there may be impacts to individuals) although they do tend to see rising wages. A company that leaves a community or goes out of business because they can no longer compete does, however, lead to big job losses. It is for this reason that PCDA works with companies seeking ways to become more efficient and employ automation. We do not provide incentives for increased automation but we do provide information, encouragement and networking assistance. PCDA’s goal is to keep Ponca City companies on the cutting edge of industrial technology so that Ponca City continues as a leader in manufacturing. Fighting inevitable change is not a winning strategy and the data strongly points to resistance costing jobs, not saving them. So when you hear about a company adding “robots,” think wage increases, not job losses, and encourage younger folks (and that grumpy so-and-so who seems to think there was something magical about 1953) to get the training they need to participate. We may call it by different names, but the reality is that process improvement has been going on since the invention of the plow.
Saturday, Sept 18 // PetsTival Run & Fun Day // Lake Ponca Park
Runners, walkers and animal lovers - head out to Ponca Lake on Saturday to support Ponca CIty becoming a No-Kill Community. Run begins at 9 am. See flyer below.
Saturday, Sept 25th // Brewfest // City Central Courtyard
Hosted by the Ponca City Main Street. Sample home brewers beers while checking out the ART.
Contact Ponca City Main Street for tickets.
Saturday, Sept 25 // PC Art Festival // Central Fare
Hosted by the Ponca City Art Association all day at Central Fare,
Across from City Central. Sample some beer, buy some art!
POSTPONED - September 30 // Po Hi Hall of Fame Banquet - POSTPONED
Has been postponed. Keep your tickets and stay tuned for the future date announcement.