Forward Together: Ponca City Development Authority
IN-MIGRATION....of population to our lovely state is a good thing. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) updated economic developers this week about increases in 2021 of over 27,000 people to the state. Roughly 7000 people from Texas, 8500 from California, 1000 from Colorado and the rest from other states. These newbies to the neighborhood are mostly in our larger cities of Tulsa and OKC, but the fact population numbers are on the increase means information on the Oklahoma lower cost of living, job opportunities and entrepreneur support are starting to get some traction. Of course, we have known these things for years!
As your economic development office, PCDA has added workforce recruitment to our programs which support existing business. Ponca Works manages a job board with local job listings, hosts the award winning Girl Power Camp each summer and is currently hip deep with internship programming at PoHi. This future workforce to existing jobs alignment is crucial for Ponca City to retain high school and college graduates as well as offering training and certifications for in-demand trades people. Keep reading for more information on these and other workforce attraction and retention programs.
1 MILLION CUPS....happens every month on the first Wednesday, 8:30 am at Pioneer Technology Center. This week, Steve Kelley with H&H Asset Protection Specialists enlighted attendees with the why and how to document your possessions. Or as the saying goes, just call H&H and they will get it done for you.
If you are interested in sharing your business story with the local business community, click here to get started with 1MC.
INTERNSHIPS.... Ponca City Public Schools and PCDA have been working on growing a high school elective class which allows students to intern at a local business for one hour each school day. In the last two years, 121 student interns have been placed in local businesses. Last semester alone, Ponca Works tracked six students who stayed on as part time employees for the company they interned with and three others were offered full time positions. This is a pipeline program of students filling our workforce; AND it is working.
Ponca Works spent all day at the high school this week talking to each individual student enrolled in this year's program: listening to student's dreams, desires, uncertainty, confidence, awareness and naivety gave staff a renewed sense of pride in our future. Breaking the silos of education and industry takes time and gentle prodding, but it's happening in Ponca City. PCDA is excited to be a partner in this. If your company would like to host an intern in the future, please reach out.
GIRL POWER!.....This year Ponca Works hosted it's 7th annual Girl Power STEM Camp. This Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing camp began as a way to better align girls with careers in male dominated industries. The need for this type of STEM camp was based on primary data collected by having hundreds of applicants for a secretarial position (female), and none for a manufacturing position. Often times these male dominated industries are more profitable as a career, which would provide more stability in life for women, and many local employers vouch that women do the jobs better than men overall.
With two classes of former Girl Power participants graduating and going into their career fields, PCDA staff see's them all over Ponca City as members of the workforce. Each one remembers and speaks about the impact that girl power had on their mindset towards what they can accomplish. Many are in STEM careers, or training for them. On this summer's tour of a local company, our 2022 class of Girl Power students got to witness a former Girl Power student from 2016 who was working in this manufacturing industry. It was inspiring, to say the least. (pictured, lower right) Many former campers are asking to come back and volunteer to tell the future Girl Power students about the amazing experiences they've experienced. Keep your eyes out for information on the 2023 Girl Power STEM camp. You and your company can be involved in many different ways.
BUSINESS START UPS
YOUR TIME IS NOW.....to start your small business. The Fall Ponca City Business Plan Pitch-off is just around the corner. Writing the business plan can be a daunting process.But for Ponca City businesses there are free resources available.