Seaboard Foods is a community partner for the estimated 10,000 square foot technology training center that is being built in the Guymon, Okla., community, across the street from the processing plant. Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) and High Plains Technology Center (HPTC) officially announced a joint $1.5 million grant to build the training center at a ground-breaking ceremony last Friday.
“We are physically breaking ground with shovels, but also introducing a ground-breaking new educational program to blend the best of trade and academic education,” said OPSU President Dr. Tim Faltyn in a Guymon Daily Herold press release. “We are starting this program with a new welding center, but we believe the concept is transformative for the region and will soon expand to other career applications for our students and the communities of the Panhandle.”
Students can earn their technical certificate at HPTC while taking classes at OPSU to earn their associate’s or bachelor’s degree. After their education, they will be equipped to succeed at Seaboard Foods’ technical careers.
“There are hundreds of technical jobs and careers at Seaboard Foods, including CDL drivers, welders, mechanics, operators, electricians, automation support specialists and much more,” says Alaina Sill, talent acquisition and recruiting manager. “We anticipate that we will be able to recruit and hire several qualified people from this program once it’s up and running.”
The local investment from community partners, like Seaboard Foods, will create an estimated 30 new jobs and entice students to come, and hopefully stay, in the Oklahoma Panhandle. The other community partners include Tri-County Electric Cooperative, DCP Midstream, Cactus Feeders, Guymon Industrial Park and the City of Guymon.
“Oklahoma must ensure the availability of skilled welders and other metal and industrial technology professionals to fill critical in-demand workforce positions,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming in a press release. “The new training center will offer the training that workers need to compete for jobs in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.”