Companies along the OK9 technology corridor have the advantage of being located near a major university, the University of Oklahoma (OU). OU provides benefits to both the companies and their employees in many ways.
One of the primary benefits of the close proximity of OU to the OK9 technology corridor is the opportunity for continued education.
Michael Beier, Vice President at Shaklee Corporation explains, “Many people working here sought higher degrees in special programs or night school. That opportunity has helped support our business for the last 20 years.”
“The opportunity for continued education also helps to attract the best type of employees to the Norman, Oklahoma area. It is easy to recruit people to work in Norman because of OU and the opportunity for continued education.” -Bruce Pearson, VP Pharmaceutical Manufacturing: Yamanouchi Pharma Technologies Inc.
In addition to attracting employees to the Norman area, OU turns out a fantastic work force from its undergraduate and graduate programs. Businesses along the OK9 technology corridor use both graduates of OU and current students to fill positions from internships to Presidents.
Hitachi Computer Products(America)Ltd. recently selected a Norman employee and graduate of OU as their president.
OU graduates make up 14 of 28 positions on the professional staff of Shaklee, along with chemist and industrial engineering summer interns.
Dean John Snow comments, “OU turns out good people-people with skills and a strong work ethic. Right now we export this great workforce to places all over the country; but with the development of the OK9 technology corridor, we will be able to use more of this great workforce right here in Norman.”
Karla Marshall of Moore Norman Technology Center agrees, “We support OU in the technical aspects of their education programs because they turn out a great wealth of skilled and highly technical people for employment in the area.”
“The University of Oklahoma has an excellent geography department that has provided top-notch graduate and under-graduate students with the educational background required in the remote sensing field. There is a considerable cost savings to local companies in the amount of on-the-job training time involved and in relocation costs associated with bringing this experience in from out of state.” -Jim Meyer of Space Imaging
Businesses along the OK9 technology corridor also benefit from research partnerships with the OU. Dean John Snow explains, ‘Part of my job is to facilitate the companies along OK9 technology corridor by pairing them with research faculty and staff in a research partnership.”
“We support the pharmacy school with a $20,000 grant and provide a scholarship of $20,000 each for the biology and the bio-chemistry departments at OU to help the future of our company, because we see OU as a great resource.” -Bruce Pearson, VP Pharmaceutical Manufacturing,Yamanouchi Pharma Technologies Inc.
Michael Beier of Shaklee comments, “From a Human Resources perspective, we can get engineers, chemists, etc. to support our business, but it also allows for a cultural environment.” The proximity of the OK9 technology corridor to OU also improves the quality of life for employees with sporting and cultural events.
“OU is poised for true national greatness. People who get involved now are getting in on a great thing.” -Dean John Snow
The new Research Campus will benefit the businesses along the OK9 technology corridor, in addition to housing private industries with interests congruent with the major projects on the campus. The new wealth of resources that comes along with the new Research Campus will contribute to the community of technology and innovation along the corridor.
Dean John Snow states, “The location of the new research campus on the OK9 technology corridor will stimulate both the existing relationships of the companies there and the development of new relationships with incoming companies.
“ The facilities on the new Research Campus will supplement the existing facilities of the businesses on the OK9 technology corridor for further product research and development. Bruce Pearson of Yamanouchi believes, “The biggest advantage of the new Research Campus will be a decrease of our time to market for our products, the cycle time will be shorter.
“ The research done on the new Research campus will benefit many different businesses with diverse interests. For example, Dean Snow points out, “The information that will come out of the genome work at the new research campus has great promise for better drugs, crops, and the use of living things as production products.”
“The biggest benefit of the OK9 technology corridor is the ability to share information, share technology, and share ideas. It is a great opportunity to improve all our operations.” -Bruce Pearson, VP Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Yamanouchi Pharma Technologies Inc.
This statement sums up the OK9 experience.
Having technology companies in close proximity to each other fosters the sharing of information and resources in the Norman, Oklahoma area. Resources such as the Moore Norman Technology Center and the National Center For Employee Development allow businesses to continue training and educating their employees, while the Research Campus facilitates an atmosphere of innovation and growth.
Karla Marshall of the Moore Norman Technology Center explains that the shared knowledge base of the OK9 technology corridor leads a concentration of many different types of technology sharing resources that keeps each other sharp and up to date with the latest products. Sharing her opinion is Rose Zvarick, manager of the Information Technology branch of the National Center for Employee Development. Zvarick called the OK9 technology corridor “a community of like-minded people.” This environment is a benefit to the technology companies along the OK9 technology corridor.
The Norman Economic Development Coalition (NEDC) provides support for the businesses along the OK9 technology corridor, by helping to make contacts and facilitating relationships between the companies and the city of Norman.
Michael Beier of Shaklee Corporation affirms, “We have developed an excellent relationship with state and local government-programs that supports and protects industry cuts even during budget cuts. The state is dedicated to building a relationship with manufacturing companies like Shaklee. We work with local government on projects-such as environmental protection-and they support us.
“ The OK9 technology corridor is also located near major highways with easy accessibility to both nearby Oklahoma City and interstate travel. The companies already located along the OK9 technology corridor have found favorable property costs and availability for both relocation and expansion.
“To remain competitive, we must stay abreast of the latest technology related to our processes. The new Research Campus should provide us with yet another avenue for obtaining information on the latest technological developments.” -Hitachi employee