In 2005, a group of individuals interested in creating a regional economic development entity for a 20-county region in southwest Oklahoma received a University Research grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The seven founding entities have worked over the last two years to build the foundation for the organization by securing 501(c) status; developing bylaws and strategic goals; securing funding and hiring an executive director.
Although SOIC is still in infancy stages, the organization has hosted two business conferences, interviewed over five I hundred businesses utilizing the e-Synchronist Business Interview System and submitted workforce development grants that will provide new opportunities for training and education in the southwest Oklahoma region.
"SOIC's aim has been set high -our partners believe there are measurable advantages to sharing and leveraging assets, expenses and programs with our neighboring communities in the region. They also have agreed to work with each other to develop economic opportunities and not be constricted or defined by geographical or political boundaries," stated Dr. John Hays.
Yes, it will take time, maybe even a decade or more, to create the necessary collaboration and cooperation on issues that affect everyone, such as transportation or water resources. Enhanced communications and an improved sense of camaraderie and trust will break down those territorial barriers that have long obstructed regional cooperation and success.
For more information about SOIC you may contact:
SOIC Executive Director
Nash Library, Room 302
1727 W. Alabama Avenue
Chickasha, OK 73108
(405) 574-1395 FAX