OK2Grow, Dream It Do It Oklahoma Celebrate Outstanding Companies

AWARD WINNERS: At a recent awards show recognizing excellence in manufacturing are, from left, April Sailsbury, OK2Grow executive director; Cheryl Hill, former CEO of Hill Manufacturing/ OK2Grow board member; Dianna Davis, human resources manager, Muncie Power Products; Matt Newman, director of business management at Covanta; Geoff Hager, CEO of Big Elk Energy, LLC.; Brad Frank, owner, Tulsa Tube Bending; Lynda Wingo and Jerry Holder, OK2Grow Co-Founders.

GTR Newspapers photo

Manufacturing is one of the top industries in Oklahoma, employing more than 130,000 people. October is Manufacturing Month, a nationwide celebration of modern manufacturing to inspire the next generation of makers, builders and dreamers. Manufacturers in Oklahoma are working together to address the skilled labor shortage by connecting future generations to those working in manufacturing. The goal is to make sure this industry continues to prosper.

During Manufacturing Month, OK2Grow and Dream It Do It Oklahoma recognized outstanding manufacturing companies in the city and state. The awards showcase the important work manufacturing companies and their employees perform on a daily basis. They also work to address common misconceptions about the industry and educate people about the impact of manufacturing in Oklahoma.

Manufacturing companies employ about 132,000 Oklahomans.

Manufacturers account for 10 percent of state’s total output, employing eight percent of the workforce.

Annual compensation for a manufacturing employee is $65,046 in Oklahoma – about 20 percent higher than other sectors.

Total output from manufacturing is $17.8 billion annually according to the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance – 2018 Annual Economic Impact Report.

Keynote speaker and award winner Geoff Hager, of Big Elk Energy, , spoke about the State of Manufacturing in Oklahoma. Big Elk Energy is number 123 on the 2018-2019 Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies list. It is the fastest-growing company in the state and fastest-growing manufacturer in the country. Hager was also among those named to the national 40 under 40 list for oil and gas by Oil and Gas Investor magazine.

OK2Grow & Dream It Do It Oklahoma Executive Director April Sailsbury gave the latest information about the State of Oklahoma’s Workforce and how their programs and activities give students experience and training to create a pathway to success.

2018 Manufacturing Month Award Recipients:
• Safety & Wellness: Muncie Power Products
• Doug Sullivent?Innovation in Workforce: Big Elk Energy, .
• Geoff Hager?Sustainability Award: Covanta
• Matt Newman?Community Engagement: Tulsa Tube Bending – Brad Frank
The premier award is the Larry Mocha Advocacy Award which is awarded to an individual that is working to further the vision the late Larry Mocha (President of APSCO) had for the manufacturing industry.

The Larry Mocha Advocacy Award went to Cheryl Hill, former of Hill Manufacturing.

In discussing the Larry Mocha Award, Lynda Wingo, OK2Grow Co-Founder, said, “Larry was always reaching out to find ways to help people and encourage people, no matter how old or how young. When we started giving these awards out several years ago, we were looking for people who really carried out the same mission in their heart and the passion that he felt and shared with so many of us. Each year, we look and we find someone who has that same feeling for small business, for manufacturing and for people who need help.”

Three students from Union High School Career Connect in the Manufacturing/Certified Production Technician program along with their Tulsa Community College Instructor Don Crall also attended.

OK2Grow helps sponsor and fund three programs in area high schools, the most recent in Broken Arrow, as well as in Union and Sand Springs Public Schools.

About OK2Grow:
OK2Grow’s mission is to facilitate the development of Oklahoma’s future workforce by creating awareness of careers and promoting pathways that build confidence and excitement for workplace success. OK2Grow is focused on youth entrepreneurship, career awareness and supporting education pathways available to students in our community. The organization was founded by three local business leaders, Lynda Wingo, Jerry Holder and the late Larry Mocha in 2012. Each division of OK2Grow helps provide resources for educators as well as gives students a path and vision for success whether it’s higher education, technical education or entering the workforce. For more information, visit www.ok2grow.org

About Dream It Do It Oklahoma:
Dream It Do It Oklahoma, under the non-profit OK2Grow is an initiative that showcases the incredible career opportunities available in manufacturing to the emerging workforce.

Dream It Do It works to change perceptions of manufacturing careers by connecting manufacturers with students, parents and educators to create an understanding of the manufacturing renaissance in the United States and salary opportunities over $60,000 for Oklahoma employees.

Key programming elements include classroom visits, internships, job shadows, educator and student tours, career fairs, collaborative training programs and an awareness campaign. Advantages of pursuing a career in manufacturing include: 1) low threshold of entry; 2) Early advancement opportunities; 3) Early increases in salary levels compared to other industries. For more information, visit www.dreamitdoitok.org.

Updated 11-16-2018

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