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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Oklahoma Department of Commerce

MidAmerica Industrial Park

Workforce Challenge

MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor, Oklahoma’s largest industrial park, faced losing employers to other parks and markets because they couldn’t find qualified employees to fill job openings.

Workforce Solution

Park officials met with local economic developers, city officials, and the Northeast WIB to discuss ways to retain jobs and investment. These discussions launched the Mayes County Project for Prosperity (MCPP) and started the Mayes County Work Ready Communities project.

To avoid losing companies, MCPP identified Oklahoma’s Career Readiness Certificate as a way to meet the need for skilled workers. MCPP brought partners together to screen, train, and test workers for the park’s employers. MCPP also identified the Work Ready Communities program as an avenue to strengthen its overall economic development efforts.

Building on its CRC program success, Oklahoma launched Work Ready Communities in 2007 to help communities up-skill their local incumbent workforce, meet the talent needs of their existing employers, and recruit new companies. Mayes and Grady counties became the nation’s first partnerships certified as Work Ready, followed by a 13-county partnership in southeastern Oklahoma led by Chickasha.

Outcomes & Benefits

When the first 24 candidates finished the CRC program, 21 qualified to re-interview, and a MidAmerica company hired 12, keeping jobs in Oklahoma. Several months later, MidAmerica landed Google as a tenant. “We are a relatively small community yet Google selected us,” says Barbara Hawkins, Chairperson, Pryor Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to the infrastructure at MidAmerica, our area’s ability to offer companies a highly skilled and certified workforce was a major deciding factor."

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