This Week
FDI by ODOC for PCDA in OKC…This past Monday, PCDA participated in a meeting in Oklahoma City sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC).  This meeting was about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and featured three site consultants who work with European companies on selecting sites in the United States.  The site selectors started by talking about how much FDI brings in to the country, in terms of jobs and investment (and it is a lot). We’re not repeating the figure because it’s a little misleading as a lot of it represents mergers and acquisitions, something we don’t like (Schlumberger…hello!). ODOC noted that 30% of the new projects they are working are from companies outside of the United States looking for a location here.  The session then went into what these countries are looking for.  They have three things they need.  Workforce, workforce and workforce.  Germany, one of the consultants noted, does not have any jobs that do not require a college degree or a trained skill.  This reminds us that the real issue facing workforce is one of alignment. We can shout till we’re blue in the face about get trained in a skill or get a degree but the real question is what skill?  What degree?  We know the jobs projected for Ponca City’s future so that is our focus when it comes to a lot of PoncaWorks activities (Girl Power, Cookies and careers, etc.). What we don’t know is what these companies are looking for.  We get one shot and it’s along the lines of “Do you have 350 trained radial saw technicians?” If we do, we’re in business.  If we don’t, they say thank you and move on.  They never say “we’ll wait while you train them.”
In 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, there were 5.73 million employer firms in the U.S. Firms with fewer than 500 workers and businesses with less than 20 workers made up 89.6 percent. 
See upcoming programs to benefit YOUR small business. 
Best Pitch words in a red and black ink grunge style stamp to illustrate the top, most convincing and persuasive presentation or proposal
BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION &.....Pitch-off. Interested in participating?  Make sure you get the criteria and incentive information listed on the GoPonca.com website.  Start to gather the information for your business plan:  what is your product or service?  Can you describe your business in 30 seconds or less?  Having difficulties articulating parts of the your business plan?  Make sure you sign up for the upcoming April 4th (that's 4x4) "How to write a Business Plan" at Pioneer Technology Center in the Business Services meeting room.  Make sure to bring your laptop, IPad or smart phone to be able to use the SBA.gov website which will be the basis for this program.  Bring your business information as well: financials, plans, marketing, investors, etc...  Sign up by calling Diane at 580-718-4222 or scroll down to see the flyer. 
FOR EXISTING COMPANIES.… the Spears School of Business program kicks off on April 5th! Mark your calendars for April 5th, May 24th and June 21st.  The first program on Wednesday, April 5th will feature Matt Bowler (who you might remember from Manufacturing Day at the Hanger) presenting a program about "Changing Roles:  Understanding Power and Leadership." Class size is limited so check out the flyer attached below or click on this picture and call or fax in your registration(s).  For more information on all these programs, click the flyer.  Special thanks to the University Center partnership with OSU Spears School of Business and Dorada Foods to bring quality management programs like this to Ponca City.  See you at the UC!

with Liz Pershing
BUILDING THE LOCAL WORKFORCE.....International Women’s day was several weeks ago; I wore my red (and pulled a red shirt out for my sig. o) in support of equality between sexes.  I felt inspired as I saw and heard women building up other women all day via social media, in the office and on the street.  It made me proud to be a woman and proud to partner with the Soroptimist group that has been hosting Dream it, Be it lunches for 40 8th graders from East Middle school; One of whom stood up this week and told us in front of her peer group that she learned through these lunches not to be afraid to try anything; that she is more proud and confidant because she knows she can do whatever she sets her mind to.  I am also proud to host our third annual Girl Power Summer Camp.  We met with 40 bright-eyed middle school girls who got really excited to learn about nontraditional careers, with lots of hand raising and high pitched questions.  They left the invitational meeting with dreams about learning to program computers, and build things, and turning their love of drawing into a career of drawing house plans.  Strong women, be them, know them, raise them. 
ON A BUDGET....... marketing tips and tricks will be the subject on March 30th, when Matt Maennche from Skynet Solutions presents his "Marketing Your Business" information for a Chamber Lunch & Learn.  This program is from 11:30 to 1:00 pm and will including information on optimizing your website, easy marketing solutions, using Facebook effectively and maximizing your marketing budget.  Sponsored by Skynet Solutions, Ponca City Chamber of Commerce, Pioneer Technology, Tulsa Score and Constant Contact, this program is a must for any small business operating on a fixed marketing budget. To register, Call Diane at 580-718-4222 or email Diane at Pioneer Technology
Upcoming Events
Thursday, March 30:  "Marketing Your Business"
Lunch & Learn with Matt Maneche at Pioneer Technology

Tuesday, April 4:  Prepare Your Business Plan
Pioneer Tech, BIS Bldg D101 (see flyer below)

Wednesday, April 5th:  "Changing Roles"
Spears School of Business Program at the University Center

April 7-8, 2017  Bison Bison Film Festival

Monday, April 17th: Deadline to submit Small Business Plans 
at the PCDA office - 102 S. Fifth Street, Suite #3

Tuesday, April 25: Small Business Competition "Pitch Off"
City Central Building is now leasing.  Call Lori Henderson at 580-765-7070.
Eastman Building has two floors of customizable space. 
Call Eastin Properties  580-761-5610