State Regents Honor SWOSU & Bar-S Foods Company Partnership
Southwestern Oklahoma State University was among 17 institutions throughout the state recently recognized for their outstanding partnerships with community businesses.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Economic Development Grant for the Partnership Recognition Program is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.
Bar-S Foods Company provided six students from SWOSU’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems with internships at the company’s Clinton and Elk City locations. Students participating in the internships received hands-on experience in learning how to identify and solve problems in a modern company.
At the Elk City facility, interns helped the Bar-S plant management set up productivity and work standards for the floor workers. The interns also assisted the management in streamlining the package data entry process using bar-code readers. Improvements made it possible for the management of the Elk City Product Distribution Center to reduce the number of shipment errors, while increasing the productivity of the workforce by 10 to 15 percent.
Interns at the Clinton facility helped the management identify technical problems in the product package labeling system. Furthermore, the interns helped Bar-S evaluate and select laser printers for direct label imprinting on product packages and assisted Bar-S personnel in successfully installing the new system.
“Our colleges and universities are now implementing very innovative collaborations with their business partners,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser. “Oklahomans receive the benefits of these model partnerships, by having access to more services and because our businesses become stronger and can offer more and better-paying jobs.
Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses, internships for current students of the institutions to work at the partnering businesses or faculty externships with the partnering businesses. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers
The Partnership Recognition Program is an annual event. For more information, visit www.okhighered.org/eco-devo.