News and Events

Western Oklahoma Business Commercialization Center Will Continue Thanks to Large Grant

May 6, 2009

WOBCC
A center that has helped create more than 90 jobs and train over 200 workers in western Oklahoma will continue for another two years, thanks to a $238,755 grant that Southwestern Oklahoma State University has received from the United States Department of Labor (Employment and Training Administration). The Western Oklahoma Business Commercialization Center is located on the Weatherford campus of SWOSU and helps with manufacturing employment and job-skill training in rural communities. Pleased with the grant are (from left): Anita Blankenship, director of the SWOSU Office of Sponsored Programs; Dr. Marvin Hankins, director of the SWOSU Center for Economic and Business Development; Paul Walenciak, director of the WOBCC; SWOSU President Dr. John Hays; and SWOSU Senior Vice President and Provost Dr. Blake Sonobe.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University recently received a $238,755 grant award from the United States Department of Labor (Employment and Training Administration) for the continuation of the SWOSU Western Oklahoma Business Commercialization Center on the Weatherford campus.

Paul Walenciak is the program director for WOBCC, which is housed within the SWOSU Center for Economic and Business Development directed by Dr. Marvin Hankins.

In 2005, U.S. Third District Congressman Frank Lucas assisted in securing funding to establish the WOBCC at SWOSU.  The current grant funding will continue the center for an additional two years and will enable the WOBCC to continue to be a resource for creating manufacturing employment and job-skill training in rural communities of western Oklahoma.

The WOBCC, to date, has created more than 90 new jobs and trained more than 200 workers. 

With the funding, Walenciak said the WOBCC will provide assistance through a "Workforce Development in Manufacturing" program.  Workforce Development in Manufacturing will allow for the development of new resources and skills for overcoming business growth obstacles. 

The goals of the Workforce Development in Manufacturing program are to: 1) assist existing businesses with the training and development of a skilled workforce; 2) provide business growth services to entrepreneurs and innovators to establish, sustain and grow new businesses; and 3) assist established manufacturers with business assistance to increase growth. 

The WOBCC will assist any entrepreneur, inventor, manufacturer or technology-based service provider in western Oklahoma with special emphasis on Beckham, Blaine, Custer, Dewey, Greer, Kiowa, Roger Mills and Washita counties.

The WOBCC is another link in the chain of support that SWOSU offers entrepreneurs and small businesses in western Oklahoma.  The SWOSU Center for Economic and Business Development provides economic development, planning and research for western Oklahoma communities.

Entrepreneurs and small manufacturers that are motivated to grow but find it difficult to develop the technology, processes, procedures, products, marketing and other skills necessary to grow are invited to contact Walenciak at (580) 774-7071 or paul.walenciak@swosu.edu or Hankins at (580) 774-3750 or marvin.hankins@swosu.edu.

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