08-28-2017 Monday Memo

Some of this, some of that, and a whole bunch of hurry up…

As promised a few weeks ago, we wanted to give our readers a bit more detail into what we are often asked to respond to, specifically when it comes to a request for information tied to a potentially large employer.

We are fairly certain by now that you are aware that we are sold on Shawnee and the surrounding region, and we can’t wait to share our views on what makes us the center of quite a lot.

We know it’s our job to sell the area, but… it really helps when you are sold on the attributes of this place we call home ourselves.

Almost every month we receive a request for information, (RFI), that is tied to a larger sized company that is looking for buildings or properties, which can specifically align with what their needs are.

Our role in those kinds of requests are to see if we have the critical items that the prospect is looking for, and if we can stay in the process of being considered as a suitable site for their operations.

In the business of economic development, what may seem minor to us, can make the difference in staying on the list of suitable sites, or one that is disqualified, and more often than not, we are never totally sure what that deciding factor was.

When it comes to larger projects, especially those that are tied to manufacturing, the list of “wants” can be a bit daunting.  Depending on the type of prospect, the list of critical needs ranges from having available land that already has rail to the site, with all of the required utilities, at the specific capacities and volumes required by the prospect.

The prospect may require a dual feed electrical service, high pressure and volumes of natural gas, or a potable water supply that exceeds the capabilities that our municipal service can provide.

With every project comes the workforce component that requires our area to demonstrate that we can supply the skilled workers in numbers required to meet the prospect’s needs and to be able to substantiate their skills abilities.

With any large project, we are keenly aware that it would be easy to create an in-balance in the workplace by ignoring what is already here, and suggesting that we strip the skilled employees from existing employers.   While we want and need to grow the diversification of employers in the community, paying attention to what is already here is equally as important.

Anytime there is a large prospect looking at a community, there is always a heavy dose of what can we get for FREE from the local community, which puts us at a bit of a disadvantage, as our budget does not have a line item that allows for such expenditures.  While there are a few things that can be offered in the area of incentives, we do not have the luxury of buying the jobs or giving away the farm.

Our response to those requests is typically two fold, one being that the community has rarely offered anything for free and secondly, we don’t have any money to give them.   Call what we do old-fashioned economic development, but we believe the attributes we offer will have to be enough for those we are fortunate to entice to our community.

And to put a cherry on the top of many of the projects we review, on average we have less than seven days to respond, which is a daunting task if we are dealing with multiple layers of utility needs, a build to suit project that requires a lot of specific building amenities and of course, finding those who will invest in the project so our prospect can then lease the facility.

Our centralized location, a strong manufacturing based economy, which already has a great deal of diversity, our proximity to OKC, access to the interstate system, the multiple skills training institutions in our community, the population growth we are seeing, being a regional center for a lot of different things, plus a low cost of operations, has been a winning ticket for this area for a long, long time, and in our opinion, continues to serve us well.

We are also fortunate to have a great group of partners in the economic development process who understand that even if we check off every box on the list of needs, there is no guarantee of success or that we will even get a site visit.  Such is the makeup of the economic development process and one that we eagerly enjoy applying our efforts toward.

Make no mistake about us being ready to attract more businesses to our community, but we are not in the category of those who are desperate to attract any type of business they can, as we know any new business has to fit what we can offer, it also has to be sustainable with the resources we can offer, and realize that we can’t force it to happen.

At the same time, that which is easy is rarely good, and if we will remain dedicated to the tasks before us, we will continue to attract more businesses that fit well with our area.

Finally, rest assured that we love to take a look at every project we can, to determine if we can make the prospect’s short list.  Rejection is part of the process, but we are never going to kick ourselves to the curb if there is a chance we can bring another company into the fold.   Call us crazy, but it’s what we do…

Educator’s Notes:

 A few weeks ago we were able to meet with some professionals whose job is to assist international companies find suitable locations for their clients to locate their business.   To give a sense of the size of project these individuals work with, they typically don’t work on projects that are less than $75 million.

While we were impressed with their candidness and insight about their role in helping their clients to find the ideal location, we were once again reminded that NOTHING can overcome not having a skilled workforce that meets the needs of their clients.

We know we sound like a broken record about this, but the message we have been receiving, which is crystal clear, is that more and more decision are being based upon the availability and sustainability of a skilled workforce.

The individuals we met with shared that they are seeing more and more international firms look to the US as a preferred site for business location as the aging population in Europe is an increasing concern for manufacturing firms and the cost of doing work in China has increased to the point that they can no longer offset the shipping costs that once made them a favorite site.

They also stated that the skilled workforce that most advanced manufacturers are seeking are those who have a better understanding of STEM related training, which we know is an intense focus in the classrooms all over this immediate area.

In an age where robotics are becoming more and more prevalent in the world of manufacturing, there is an ever growing need for those who understand how to program, maintain, and repair those pieces of advance manufacturing equipment.

In a perfect scenario, we could predict what the future’s best paying occupations will be for those who have an interest in preparing now for those opportunities.   While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it all out, those who continue with their STEM skills development and those who elected to be part of the demand occupations, which relate to advanced manufacturing, are going to do quite well in the current and future job market.

And we believe you can bet the farm on that….

“We Like ‘Em A Lot”    

Over the course of the past few months, the SEDF staff and members of the leadership from the Gordon Copper Technology Center have been meeting with various manufacturers in the area to learn a bit more about how the company’s business is doing in our area and also to gain a bit more information on what they see their future workforce needs to be.

Getting in front of these manufacturers always reinforces to us that we have a great deal of diversity in what is made locally and that we are fortunate to have an outstanding group of business leaders who are passionate about what they do, which benefits us all.

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet with one of those leaders and his passion for what his company does and his commitment to those who work with him made our visit an enjoyable one.

For us, we can often tell when an individual truly cares about what they do, sometimes by the tone of their voice or the manner in which they share the information about the company that they own or that employs them.

We can also gain a great deal of insight when they share the challenges they are facing and at the same time explain how they are in a constant state of working to make their manufacturing plant a better place to work and to help it become more efficient.

The attitude of the individual who leads an organization is a key factor in the success of a facility and is also a critical contributing factor when corporate decisions are being made on where to invest capital to modernize a facility or to expand its capacity.

In the business of economic development, when a company expands capital toward modernization, facility expansion and improved production capabilities, it’s like winning the lottery.  Indeed those three areas of investment are music to our ears.

And the individual we are recognizing this week is absolutely the right person to be leading one of our local facilities, as he gets the bigger picture in relation to keeping this facility, or shall we say HIS facility running smoothly and efficiently.

We appreciate his enthusiasm, his passion for what he does, and his ability to lead a great team of employees, who are part of what makes Shawnee such a great place.

The person we wish to recognize this week is Don Clark who manages the Old Castle Building Envelope facility in Shawnee.  If you know Don, give him a call, send him a note or an email, and tell him how much you appreciate all he does for Shawnee. And if you don’t know him, make yourself a note as someone you have to meet.  Your life will be better for knowing him.


A-1 Staffing & Recruiting Agency:  Visit http://www.a1staffingok.com/apply-now.php or contact Brandy Helm at brandy@a1staffingok.com or 405-788-0001

Absentee Shawnee Tribe:  http://www.astribe.com/astribe/?reload 

BancFirst-Shawnee:  Contact Deloris Page at dpage@bancfirst.com

Black Hawk Casino:  Contact Shirley McCormick at shirley.mccormick@blackhawkcasino.org

Blue Zones:  Send resumes to jon.werger@healthways.com or visit https://workforcenow.adp.com/jobs/apply/posting.html?client=sharecare&ccId=19000101_000001&type=MP&lang=en_US#

Buckle:  Apply online at http://corporate.buckle.com/careers following application contact the store to schedule interview at 405-878-0920

Chick Fil A in Shawnee: Apply online only at http://www.work4cfashawnee.com/

City National Bank:  Visit https://www.cnb1901.com/ or contact 866-385-3444

City of Shawnee:  Visit http://www.shawneeok.org/jobs

Citizen Potawatomi Nation:  Visit http://www.firelakejobs.com/

Daliyah Greek House:  Contact Mazin at 580-235-8999 to set up an appointment and interview.  Restaurant located at 2033 N. Harrison, Shawnee OK.

Dickson Industries:  Visit http://www.roadproonline.com

Direct Colors:  Email resumes to: shipping@directcolors.com or fax to 405-275-2815 

Eaton Corporation:  Apply online at www.eaton.com/careers, keyword Assembly 

Enviro Systems:  Visit http://www.enviro-ok.com/careers/job-opportunities/ or email Personnel@enviro-ok.com

Express Employment Professionals:  Visit http://www.expresspros.com/ or contact David Kitts at 405-275-7575

Extreme Inflatables:  Visit http://extremeinflatables.com/EI/index.php.  To apply, contact us in person at 301 N. Oklahoma, Shawnee OK, call 405-878-0747or email apply@extremeinflatables.com

Farmers Insurance:  Contact Tim Seelig at 405-377-6671 or tim.binman@farmersagency.com

First National Bank:  Contact Darci Williams at 405-275-8830 or dwilliams@fnbokla.bank

First United Bank:  Contact Paul Bass at 405-273-6100 or paul@firstunitedbank.com

Freedom Personnel:  Contact Janet or Hyla at 405-275-9675

Gateway Pipeline LLC:  Visit http://www.gatewaypipeline.com and contact Kristin Paule at 405-275-0954

Georg Fischer:  Visit http://www.centralplastics.com, email Dani.Shields@georgfischer.com or call 405-878-3978

Global Production Solutions:  Visit http://www.globalproductionsolutions.com and contact Sherry Pennington at  spennington@gps-us.co

Great Plains Kubota:  Apply in person at Great Plains Shawnee, Highway 177 and Acme Road

Indaco Metals:  Visit http://www.indacometals.com/ or contact Jordan McLaughlin at 405-273-9200

Jindal Films: Apply online at http://www.indeed.com/q-Jindal-Films-l-Shawnee,-OK-jobs.html or send resumes to careers@jindalfilms.com

Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma:  Visit http://kickapootribeofoklahoma.com/ and contact Vasant Hanratagorn at 405-964-2075 ext. 107, 405-605-9390 or itoffice@kickapootribeofoklahoma.com

Mills Machine Company:  Send resume to Mills Machine Company at 201 N. Oklahoma Ave., Shawnee OK 74801 or email it to chuck@millsmachine.com

Newton Wall:  Apply in person at 1600 N. Harrison, Shawnee OK

Norwesco:  Email Coy Carpenter at coy.carpenter@norwesco.com

Office of Juvenile Affairs: Nurses Needed – Sent resume with cover letter referencing job title to teresa.wolfe@oja.ok.gov

Oklahoma Baptist University:  Visit http://www.okbu.edu/businessaffairs/hr/jobs.html

Primrose Retirement Community:  Visit www.primrose-careers.com

Red Lobster:  Apply online at https://www.redlobster.com/employment/

Shawnee Milling Company:  Visit http://www.shawneemilling.com and call Jane Lewis at 405-273-7003 ext. 314      

Shawnee News-Star:  Mail resume to Shawnee News-Star, PO Box 1688, Dept. 359, Shawnee OK 74802 or email to jalewis704@gmail.com 

St. Gregory’s University:  Visit http://www.stgregorys.edu/about-us/employment Development Director and Systems Analyst – All interested candidates should submit their cover letter, resume and references to hr@stgregorys.edu.

TDK Ferrites:  (Workforce Oklahoma representing TDK) Contact Malisa Daniel at 405-275-2100 ext. 397 or by email at malisa.daniel@us.tdk.com

United Dynamics, Inc.:  Visit http://united-dynamics.com/ and contact Michelle Needham at 405-275-8041 ext. 280

Vyve Broadband:  Visit http://www.vyvebroadband.com/careers.html, call Angela at 914-234-8325, email employment@vyvebb.com and send resumes to career@vyvebb.com

Wolverine Tube:  Visit http://www.wlv.com/ and contact Express Employment Professionals  at 405-275-7575

HOW TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL JOBS:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY5Z_pfFUK4 


OBU –     Contact Oklahoma Baptist University and send them your job postings.  They can screen them and will be happy to

share them on their website.  – Visit their job board at https://okbu-csm.symplicity.com/

OSU –      Contact the Shawnee area Employer Development Coordinator Alicia Jackson (alicia.jackson@okstate.edu, 405-945-

8617) today to develop your personalized recruiting plan to Hire OSU Grads!


Shell Building Information:  http://sedf.biz/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Shell-Building-Flyer1.pdf

Downtown Façade Grant Program – The Historic Shawnee Alliance Is Now Accepting Applications

For a complete list of guidelines and the application, visit the HSA’s web site at: www.historic- shawnee.com or contact HSA member and city planning director, Justin DeBruin, at 878-1616.

September 4:  SEDF Office Closed for Labor Day

Additional Dates: 11/10/17 Veteran’s Day; 11/23-24/17 Thanksgiving; 12/25-26/17 Christmas

September 11:  Guns and Hoses Golf Tournament

9am at Shawnee Country Club

September 13:  SEDF Board Meeting

9am at SEDF Conference Room, 131 N. Bell, Suite 208, Shawnee OK 74801

Additional Dates:  10/11/17; 11/8/17; 12/13/17

September 14:  The Voice – United Way of Pottawatomie County Kick-Off Event

6:30 at Life Church Campus Shawnee, 5630 N. Harrison, Shawnee OK 74804

September 21:  Harvest for Hope Banquet Fundraiser, sponsored by COCAA

6-9p at Expo Center, 1700 W. Independence, Shawnee OK 74804

RSVP by August 30th to info@cocaa.org or 405-214-3426

September 28:  A Tasty Affair

5-9pm at Expo Center, 1700 W. Independence, Shawnee OK 74804

For more information, visit http://www.shawneechamber.com/chamber-calendar/m.calendar/874/view/888

October 26:  Harvest Moon at the Market

5:30-7:30pm at Community Market of Pottawatomie County, 120 S. Center, Shawnee OK 

Third Friday Each Month:  Downtown Block Party, presented by the Shawnee Art Guild

5-8pm in historic downtown Shawnee.  For more information, call 405-432-4131

Shawnee Senior Center Events:

Calendar of Activities & Programs, SSC Brochure and Quote & Pics of the Month

Savvy Seniors: http://savvysenior.org/seniorresources.htm

English as a Second Language Class

6-8pm every Tuesday and Thursday, Pioneer Library, 101 N. Philadelphia, Shawnee OK 74801.  Call Janie Davis at 405-273-3334 to register.

Yoga In The Park

6:30pm Every Tuesday at Sister City Park located at the intersection of Legacy and Airport Drive, Shawnee OK


Shawnee Little Theatre:

For show listings and more information, visit http://www.shawneelittletheatre.com or call 405-275-2805

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