FORT GIBSON - The Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance and the Port of Muskogee-Industrial Development Office will host the 2016 Muskogee-Area Manufacturing Workforce Summit on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the River Center at Three Forks Harbor in Fort Gibson.

This Manufacturing Workforce Summit is an invitation for manufacturers and educational leaders to nalyze and discuss current and future manufacturing workforce needs. The event is free to attend.

"Our office is pleased to partner with NORA to host this year's Manufacturing Workforce Summit," said Eric Miller, director of the Port of Muskogee's Industrial Development Office.

The purpose of this synergetic summit is to identify and obtain successful solutions for manufacturing staffing, as well as share best practices designed to improve training, recruitment and retention of talented manufacturing employees in Muskogee area. During the summit, the aggregate findings of a survey of local manufacturing companies will be shared.

"Workforce has the biggest impact on a company's bottom line. If our existing manufacturers cannot find the qualified employees they need, we will be challenged to make the case for sufficient available labor, in the recruitment of new manufacturers to Muskogee," said Miller.

NORA is conducting research in Northeast Oklahoma revolving around three sectors: manufacturing, health care, and hospitality.

"These sectors will see the largest projected job growth in the next five years," said NORA Executive Director Darla Heller. "We are proud to partner with the Port of Muskogee and others like Indian Capital Technology Center and the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance to ensure that we create an environment in Northeast Oklahoma that is conducive to a vibrant and sustainable pipeline of available labor in the targeted industry sectors. We are engaging employers through surveys and personal interviews to better understand their challenges and create an environment of collaboration."

Based on 2016 job numbers, there are 52,140 manufacturing jobs in Northeast Oklahoma, according to Oklahoma Works. By 2025, total jobs demand in Northeast Oklahoma's manufacturing sector is projected to increase to 54,370. That is a positive job growth of 2,230 jobs for the region.

For more information contact Darla Heller at

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