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    June 01, 2017
    OADC Partners with Education and Industry

    There’s a new endeavor and collaboration between education and industry in Okmulgee - the Okmulgee Manufacturing Plant Managers' Group.
    The Okmulgee Area Development Corporation (OADC), and area manufacturing companies announce their partnership with Okmulgee Public Schools. This new partnership will build a connection between educators, students and industry workers to highlight the emerging high-tech workforce opportunities in the greater Okmulgee area and throughout Oklahoma manufacturing. 
    The manufacturing industry is once again becoming an attractive career option for a young person wanting to make a difference while also earning money with a rewarding career. “We hope to increase high school students’ awareness of career opportunities in the manufacturing sector and increase the number of students in the pipeline of highly skilled workers,”  Nevyle Cable, chair of the Board for OADC, said.  “Working together will increase the students’ problem solving skills, understanding of the need for technical training embedded with math skills, and the importance of working well in a team.”
    Renee Dove, Superintendent of Okmulgee Public Schools and Mariah Price, Science Teacher are also partnering with Stephanie Cameron, Oklahoma State Director of Dream It Do It and are excited about bringing this program into the schools along with the Plant Managers Group. Dream It Do It is a national program sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute.  Cameron says in 2015, Dream It Do It successfully engaged: 426,000 students, 76,000 influencers (parents and educators) and 8,600 manufactures across the United States.
    Dream It Do It activities will open students to careers that use the latest technologies, produce some of the most amazing products in the world and offers career paths, many of which lead to six-figure salaries. The Plant Managers Group will host presentations to high school students and teachers will spend nearly 20 hours during the summer touring and learning the educational requirements at different manufacturing facilities. Planned for this fall, high school students and teachers will have opportunities to tour the following plants:  PACCAR , CPKelco, Thompson Pump, PolyVision, Pump & Motor Works and Covington Aircraft.  
    Investments in manufacturing also have a ripple effect for the broader economy. According to the National Manufacturing Institute, every 100 jobs in manufacturing create an additional 250 jobs in other sectors. The average wage of manufacturing workers in 2013 was $77,506. 
    'A strong manufacturing industry is fundamental to the greater Okmulgee area’s economy', says Dennis Ward, Plant Manager of PACCAR. He cites data that shows a potential loss of up to 11 percent of net earnings for companies unable to fill open positions with qualified employees. The Manufacturing Institute predicts that as many as two million future jobs could go unfilled from the lack of workers with the right technology, computer and technical skills. 
    While there is a skills gap, for advanced manufacturing jobs, this is not the most fundamental problem.  The major problem is the continuing negative public perceptions of a manufacturing job, as dirty, dangerous and with low job security.  The challenge ahead for all manufacturers will be to showcase the modern manufacturing that now demands a highly-educated workforce that can use new and emerging technologies to produce a mixture of products used globally.