This month, Leadership Rogers County spent the day focused on Economic Development. They started the day with breakfast and a panel of local experts: Ron Burrows, County Commissioner of District #3; Randy Highfill of Highfill Properties and Highfill Land Company; and John Feary, Executive Director of Claremore Industrial & Economic Development Authority (CIEDA). Ron Burrows discussed the many new housing developments in the area and how this will lead to our schools becoming more populated. Randy Highfill, a lifelong resident of Claremore, talked about the change in the relationship between the city and county over the last 20 years and how the environment now is much more prosperous for building and growth. John Feary reinforced the need to expose students to more manufacturing careers so that we have the workforce in order to keep manufacturing companies in the area to drive economic development. He ended by saying, “2020 is going to be an exciting year for economic development!”
Next, the Leadership Rogers County group took a tour of Pelco Structural, led by Jeanine Coleman, Director of HR. Pelco specializes in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of made-to-order steel pole structures. They manufacture structures for the distribution of energy, traffic signalization, roadway lighting, highway signage, and sports lighting. The group was able to hear from a few leaders from multiple branches of the company.
Pelco prides itself on buying most of their supplies locally. Safety is their number one priority and they have been a Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) Certified Plant for 8 years, which is the first in Oklahoma! Jeanine Coleman spoke about their apprenticeship program, which is a federal program in its second year. Pelco is proud of this implementation and development of the program. The program allows for people who have no experience to learn the skill of welding. She says some of these applicants become some of their best welders. They are striving to continuously improve this program for the future. Leadership Rogers County finished their visit with a tour of Pelco’s impressive 192,000 square foot facility where the group was able to see welders in action and observe the process of building the steel powerholds. If you are interested in applying for the registered apprenticeship program, please contact Jeanine Coleman at 918-283-4004.
The day ended with a visit to the AXH air-coolers facility. AXH air-coolers represents more than 50 years of experience and leadership in the air-cooled heat exchanger industry. As such, the company encompasses the entire spectrum of air-coolers from initial sales, thermal design and application through mechanical engineering, design drafting, project management and manufacturing to aftermarket support. AXH offers a complete line of air-cooled heat exchangers that are available in a wide range of sizes, types and models to fit virtually every application requirement in the natural gas compression, process and power generation industries. They are the #2 employer in Claremore, employing around 500 to 550 employees per day. The Leadership Rogers County group was able to tour their facility, which currently has a combined total of 553,500 square feet, located on 67 acres.
Leadership Rogers County learned that the current environment is a great one for building and economic growth. Rogers County has many opportunities for employment in manufacturing. Retail will continue growing. 2020 is going to be a great year for economic development in Claremore.