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OSRHE  Business Partnership Excellence Awards presented

May 2, 2023

Gathering at the partnership award ceremony were Regent Steven Taylor, Regent Courtney Warmington, Chancellor Allison Garrett, Durant city manager and former DIA executive director  Lisa Taylor, DIA executive director Nichole Tucker, and OKSBDC state director Michele Hockersmith.

Twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce. 

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions, businesses, and the community to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants. State Regents’ Chair Michael C. Turpen, State Regent Courtney Warmington, State Regent Steven W. Taylor, and Chancellor Allison D. Garrett participated in the ceremony, held April 27 at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Among the honorees were:

Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Durant Industrial Authority
Durant Industrial Authority (DIA) partnered with the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southeastern Oklahoma State University to develop Small Business Bootcamp, a small business retention and expansion program. DIA invested $200,000 for $5,000 grants to participating small businesses. Entrepreneurs were required to complete the Bootcamp or 30 hours of SBDC training and technical assistance. An additional $60,000 was provided to be awarded for technology upgrades. The Oklahoma SBDC developed curriculum for the program to educate small businesses in business plan development, financial projections, cash flow analysis, marketing, store design, business continuity, cyber security, human resources, and e-commerce. 

“Our colleges and universities continue collaborating successfully with public, private and nonprofit partners to strengthen economic and workforce development across Oklahoma,” said Garrett. “Producing more workforce-ready graduates by increasing communication with employers and connecting students to the workforce sooner is a fundamental goal of Blueprint 2030, the State Regents’ new strategic plan for public higher education. We are proud to recognize these partnerships and their positive impact on Oklahoma businesses and communities.”