Recently, three area leaders were recognized for their efforts and commitment to northeast Oklahoma through workforce development initiatives. Barbara Hawkins of the Pryor Area Chamber of Commerce, David Stewart, Chief Administrative Officer of MidAmerica Industrial Park and John Hawkins of Integrated Insurance Services and the Governor’s Council for Economic and Workforce Development have all been honored for their recent achievements.
Barbara Hawkins, a noted mentoring and leadership advocate, was recently honored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative. As part of National Mentoring Month in January, the foundation honored outstanding Oklahoma mentors who were selected by their respective programs within the Boren Mentoring Initiative’s statewide network.
“Barbara has worked tirelessly to promote programs that benefit and mentor students across Mayes County and especially in Pryor,” said Don Raleigh, Pryor Public Schools superintendent, who nominated Hawkins. “Through Barbara’s tireless leadership, she has assisted in creating mentoring programs and possibilities for literally a generation of students in all of Mayes County.”
Barbara is responsible for the Mayes County Third Graders Go to Work program and is also the founder of the Mayes County Leadership Academy. She has also been instrumental in the success of the Leader In Me program at Pryor Public Schools.
MidAmerica’s Chief Administrative Officer David Stewart recently received the 2016 Oklahoma Business Champion for Northeast Oklahoma at the Oklahoma Works Alumni and Business Leaders Celebration held at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Mr. Stewart, who also serves on the State Career and Technology Board of Directors, has been a leader of workforce development efforts at a local and state level.
“The annual alumni event is a chance to honor those who have made our state a better place through their hard work and determination,” said Erin Risley-Baird, executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. “Oklahoma’s workforce system offers a pathway for job-seekers to find the employment and training they need to be successful, and for businesses to find the talent they need to stay competitive.” Since joining MidAmerica Industrial Park in 2012, Stewart has worked to fulfill the park’s main objective – brining new jobs and economic prosperity to Northeast Oklahoma. Under his tenure, the park has gained new businesses and added jobs but his proudest achievement to date is the addition of the workforce initiative MidAmerica Delivers.
“MidAmerica Delivers is our response to employers needing a qualified workforce. We show area students the careers available to them in the park while simultaneously preparing them with the necessary skills to thrive in an industry setting,” Stewart notes. In part, this has been achieved by contributing $1.2 million for STEM labs in Mayes County schools. Stewart identifies the STEM subjects as some of the most sought after skills by employers today: “These types of skills are critical for success in today’s economy. MidAmerica wants to close the skills gap for the benefit of the entire region. Their success is our success.”
Integrated Insurance Services owner and founder, John Hawkins, was also honored at the Oklahoma Works Alumni and Business Leaders Celebration held at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Mr. Hawkins received Oklahoma’s top workforce award, the 2016 State Business Champion of the Year at the
John has worked for the Pryor area and Mayes County communities for many years and his impact is truly immeasurable. He has led various efforts aimed at economic and workforce development over the years. John has served on the northeast Oklahoma Workforce Development Board for two decades and served two terms as chairman. In 2004 he was the founder of the Mayes County Project for Prosperity, which brought together the forces of business, industry, state and local agencies, the Cherokee Nation, K-12 education, technical training and higher education. Primary goals included increasing high school graduation rates in Mayes County and working to engage those who had already dropped out in Career Ready Certification, GED Certification and increased training. Most recently, Hawkins was a founding member of the Pryor and Mayes County Trails Project, Mayes County Trails Foundation and serves on the City of Pryor’s Comprehensive Plan the Steering Committee.
John has been an active advocate for business and industrial communities throughout the region and a continued champion of workforce development and has recently been appointed as a member of the Oklahoma State Ethics Commission.
Mayes County is fortunate to have leaders who understand the importance of workforce development and who dedicate their time and effort for the betterment of the community.
Recently, three area leaders were recognized for their efforts and commitment to northeast Oklahoma through workforce development initiatives. Barbara Hawkins of the Pryor Area Chamber of Commerce, David…
MidAmerica Industrial Park provides a $1.4 billion economic impact annually according to a report compiled by the Tulsa Regional Chamber. Officials at MidAmerica recently completed the 2016 impact study…