Forging Career Paths

Multiple entities work together at MAIP to keep the workforce pipeline stocked.

If you want to understand the pivotal role that MidAmerica Industrial Park plays in workforce development for some of Oklahoma’s employers, the person to talk to is Scott Fry.

Scott Fry is the director of workforce development at the MidAmerica Industrial Park (MAIP) in Pryor Creek, Oklahoma. In this capacity, Fry oversees a program that makes it possible for many of Oklahoma’s largest employers to grow. Oklahoma: The State of Success recently caught up with Fry to learn more about MAIP and the role it plays in training workers.

What are the principal goals of the MidAmerica Delivers workforce development initiative?

SCOTT FRY: The MidAmerica Delivers workforce development initiative works to align resources to create pathways that provide the educational/training resources that lead to in-demand careers at the MidAmerica Industrial Park. We are fortunate to have three educational partners located on-site at MidAmerica including Northeast Technology Center, OSU Institute of Technology and Rogers State University. Having these partners on-site is a great resource for our employers and area citizens.

A full range of educational and skill development opportunities exist that provides the opportunity to be skilled, and employed, at multiple levels of employment. Additional partners in our initiative include MAIP employers, public education, service agencies and tribal agencies. This allows us to leverage existing resources that can be used to create access for those interested in the existing opportunities. Bottom line, we understand that in order for us to attract new businesses and to help our existing businesses expand, we have to have a highly skilled and qualified workforce.

This effort truly creates growth and prosperity opportunities for everyone involved.

How many workers do you expect to train this year at this new facility?

FRY: Once all of our programs and initiatives are in place, we expect to impact hundreds of individuals throughout our community and at multiple levels. Through our three educational partners mentioned above, our public school partners and the various programs that will be put in motion, we expect to impact at least 2,000 on an annual basis.

How involved is private industry in the development of the training programs?

FRY: Programs that are currently in place are all industry driven. There has to be a proven industry need for the programs to exist. Our employers have been engaged at a very high level in the development of the programs and initiatives and also work very closely with the on-site educational partners working to develop and align the curriculum within the programs offered at their facilities.

Which companies currently train workers at your location?

FRY: Through the three educational institutions named previously I can honestly say that just about every major company in the park has been impacted through the existing workforce programs. However, some of our major partners have been American Castings, Orchids Paper Products, RAE Manufacturing, Google and the Grand River Dam Authority.

What are the advantages of placing this training center on site at MAIP?

FRY: Easy access is obviously the biggest advantage. Educational opportunity exists five minutes from every employer in the park and at times that are convenient for students.

The onsite location also provides opportunity for our educational partners to collaborate very closely with our employers. The public/private partnering that has been developed really sets our program apart. As a matter of fact, in many instances the faculty teaching courses are professionals coming from the companies to impart their knowledge. This is a great opportunity for these faculty and businesses to have a direct impact on the development of the future workforce and for our students to learn from the insiders.

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