This Week
THE PONCA CITY MODEL..... has been the topic of discussion this week.  First off, when staff refers to the term  "Ponca City Model", we are probably patting ourselves on the back a little.  PCDA, The City, The Chamber and Pioneer Technology Center work together pretty darn seamlessly to make sure all Ponca Citieans (and members and students) have the information, services, opportunities, assistance and information needed to succeed in business, work, play and training.  We (talking collectively) believe this is what makes Ponca unique and a great place to live, work, own a business, start a business, invent a new widget, etc.... Think PoncaWorks or LIghten the Load or The Business Plan Pitch-off or the City's Homebuyer Assistance Program or PTech's 13th year program.  Or perhaps you were part of the great turnout this very morning at the old train depot to welcome an Amtrak delegation, whose intent was to see if communities from Oklahoma City to Newton, Kansas are interested in passenger rail service.  Why yes; yes we are.  Let us show you with all the people gathered waiting for the train.  Speaking of the Newton, Kansas area, after a budget and roof filled agenda at the PCDA Board of Trustees meeting yesterday, a wonderful group of businesses, banks, commissioners and various chamber and economic development people from Henley County had lunch with the PCDA staff.  Price of admission was hearing from staff about that very same Ponca CIty Model including business retention & expansion on Thursday; PoncaWorks, demographics and data, Marketing and building projects were presented as well as taking the whole group for a tour around Ponca to get a feel for our town from historical to modern day manufacturing.  As the Mayor is often heard to say, "It is a great day in Ponca City."  This week was definitely full of great days. 

Upcoming Events
Sun N Fun is open this weekend with water slides, Putt Putt, bumper cars and lots of fun for the family.   Park has been newly renovated by local owners.  Please support this great attraction
This Weekend:  The 101 Ranch Rodeo
Get tickets at the gate.

Sat. June 10: Rodeo Parade 10:00 am

Friday, June 16:  Freewheel Oklahoma
150+ Cyclists will be in Ponca City

Thursday, June 17: Veterans Landing
Grand Opening  11:00 to 2:00 pm
400 E. Central, #304 (flyer below)

Thursday, June 29:  Cyber Security
Lunch & Learn 11:00 to 1:00 pm
Pioneer Technology - More info soon

Wednesday, July 19 - Truck Driver Training
Starts at Pioneer Technology Center
See flyer below to enroll
The Henley Kansas contingency stopped in yesterday to hear about some best practices, ask some questions (How do you do ______?) and take copious notes on our community, economic development, chamber and partnerships. Yes, we almost filled the Airport Bus.  It was fantastic!  Next stops for them is Norman and Shawnee.  Yell "Boomer" and Say "Hey!" to Tim for us!
Innovation is the calling card of the future.
                         -Anna Eshoo, U.S. Representative - CA
UNDERGROUND WIRES AND SWIVELING LIGHTS..... in a proud BR&E moment this week, a project which has been in the works for almost a year, is getting close to completion.  Keep in mind, PCDA staff get excited about road completions and sewer projects, but still, this project is pretty cool.  You may have seen those large vessels leaving the Airport Industrial Park over the last 18th months.  Every time one of those large (over 18 feet tall) vessels is shipped out, power lines, cables lines and stoplights have to be moved, raised, or taken down.  Fast forward to today:  all power lines are now underground all along Waverly; only a few cable lines are left and the stoplights are now on swivels.  Yup, swivels.  Cue the visuals.  The first picture is how the stoplights were taken down in the past.  The second is the new swivel base.  If you want to see a video on the swivel in action, click here and see a timelapse video on how we do it here in Ponca City!  Congrats to our partners at the City and our partners at Cable One for making this possibility a reality.  And good job to MJ&H Fabrication on their design & build.  Boom baby!
While attending budgeting meetings and approvals, making plans for next year, finalizing Girl Power Camp for next month and a myriad of other things for PoncaWorks this week, one thing kept sticking in my craw, to borrow a southern phrase, (we are trying to fit in!)  That something is how economic development is really about the human story.  Facts and figures, land and infrastructure, government and education all play great parts – but without the human involved in this equation - none of it would happen.  Humans are influenced by things like family, love, pride, pleasure.  Working with the humans is what makes this job so interesting.  And as staff logically solves problems around a board room table full of professional people, real life is happening.  Babies are crying and moms can’t find day care to work that 2nd shift job that pays more;  Men are let go from positions that pay well because they’ve worked there for a decade and received lots of on the job training, but positions which pay similarly aren’t available without more education. What do they do about their kids at home that need to eat each day?  High schoolers are living with different family members throughout the years (sometimes even weeks) which doesn’t provide a stable environment to get homework completed, much less thinking about a future education.  The human story is messy, but it’s in entering the mess and learning from it which will start to help one story at a time.    As PoncaWorks continues to align future workforce with current employer needs, the human condition will be addressed with the need for mentors, internships and job shadows.  Stay tuned for more information on how to assist.