January 30, 2024


Hot Rodders of Tomorrow: Hands on Innovation at Pontotoc Technology Center

By: Sunnie Dawn Baker


Five high school students stand behind a work bench, their hearts beating with anticipation. They wait for the signal and then spring into action. Working together like a well-oiled machine, they disassemble a Chevy small block 350 engine down to a bare block and crankshaft, reassemble it, and return to their starting position—all in the time of 16 minutes and forty seconds. This kind of achievement requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and practice, but it also involves creativity, problem solving, ingenuity, and innovation. These students are the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow.

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The Oklahoma Department of Commerce just launched its next step in supporting existing businesses in rural Oklahoma. “Global Opportunities Oklahoma” or GO Oklahoma is a visionary program aimed at empowering rural companies to access the diverse markets of Asia, Europe, and the Canada-Mexico trade corridor.


For rural Oklahoma companies, this program represents a golden opportunity to access the global stage. By facilitating trade in Asia, Europe, and the Canada-Mexico corridor, rural businesses can benefit by diversifying their customer base, expanding their global presence, and increasing their revenue and profitability.


This 12-month pilot program offers a range of essential services tailored to the unique needs of Oklahoma businesses including Market Research, Export Development Plans, Matchmaking Services and Trade Missions. Eligibility requirements mirror those required for participation in the STEP grant.


Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be part of the future of rural Oklahoma’s economic growth on a global scale. To learn more about the GO Oklahoma program and how to apply, visit HERE


About the Ada Jobs Foundation...

The Ada Jobs Foundation (AJF) is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the City of Ada to promote economic development opportunities. Established in 1998, AJF's main goal is to create and retain high-quality jobs in the Ada area. Serving as a "one-stop-shop" for economic development, AJF coordinates with the city and other entities to benefit Ada, Oklahoma. Funding for AJF comes from membership dues, tax-deductible contributions, and a contract with the City of Ada.

What is economic development…

Economic development refers to the process of attracting and growing businesses, creating and retaining jobs, and improving the overall quality of life in our communities.


Why is economic development important…

Economic development is important because it strengthens our economy through the growth of businesses that provide locally produced goods and services. These businesses also contribute to taxes that fund vital services such as schools, roads, fire departments, and police departments. Additionally, they create good jobs that enhance people's financial well-being and quality of life.


Where is economic development important…

Communities that focus on economic development and provide quality jobs and a great living environment become attractive to individuals of all ages, ensuring a promising future.


AJF plays a crucial role in attracting and growing businesses to strengthen our economy. Some of the initiatives and programs implemented by AJF include:

  • Collaborating with Ada Main Street and the City of Ada to develop and administer the Ada Business Improvement Grant, resulting in significant investments in Ada’s downtown area. This program has created $689,675 of total investment in Ada’s downtown since 2019, with 75 completed projects impacting over 40 businesses and creating 8 new mixed-use housing units. 
  • Launching a Business Retention and Expansion program in partnership with Pontotoc Technology Center to provide support and resources to local businesses. Resulting in site visits and business support to over 26 local, export-sector businesses in Ada, this program has aided local companies by making connections to resources, research, workforce development programs, and grant programs. 
  • Local, exporting businesses are Ada’s most important economic driver. Ada is home to a diverse base of industries in this sector, from manufacturing to professional services to tech. The most important need for these companies is supply of talent at many levels, and much of our approach to support these industries is to help coordinate workforce partners, education providers, and private sector employers to better align talent to local career pathways. In 2022, Ada was designated as an Oklahoma Center for Workforce Excellence, and much of this plan builds on those efforts by carrying out a community workforce strategy. 
  • Expanding targeted industries, such as aviation manufacturing and water technologies, by conducting industry intelligence and research.


It is important to note that AJF does not function as an employment service. While AJF creates jobs through its initiatives, it does not directly provide employment opportunities.


Learn more about Ada Jobs Foundation at www.growada.com.


Register to attend.


Ada Jobs Foundation



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