I grew up in rural Oklahoma and have spent a large part of my life living there. A lot of excitement and buzz is created when a new business comes to town. Currently, a national workforce shortage is hampering business development across all industry sectors in the U.S. And while this isn’t an easy problem to solve, Regional University System of Oklahoma universities are playing a big role in helping to attract new businesses and industries to communities across the state.
Local, college-degreed talent attracts businesses. The caliber of talent in a workforce is a key factor in a business’s decision to locate in a particular area. RUSO universities are vital in showing prospective businesses that Oklahoma has the talent to support new jobs. Another key factor is the sense of a community. A recent example is Provalus, a company that provides information technology and other outsourcing support for businesses, which has opened a new technology innovation center in Tahlequah that will eventually bring over 200 tech and support jobs. Key to its decision was the talent pipeline Northeastern State University provides northeast Oklahoma due to its location and the dedication of the community and university to supporting veterans. This new employer is projected to have a multimillion-dollar economic impact on the local community over the next five years.
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**image courtesy Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce