The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently recognized 27 collaborative partnerships between institutions and businesses throughout Oklahoma including OSU Institute of Technology’s partnership with OG&E.
The Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.
The partnership with OG&E impacts several programs, departments and activities across the OSUIT campus.
Molly Peters is director of human resources strategy and analytics for OG&E.
“The relationship between OSUIT and OG&E has grown out of OG&E’s need to have a highly trained, workforce-ready pool of technical talent. The relationship has developed into an invaluable partnership,” Peters said. “Our unique collaboration has been the key component in the education, development and training for some amazing students, and ultimately employment opportunities for highly specialized talent.”
OG&E has also supported OSUIT through numerous in-kind donations including trucks and transformers for the School of Construction Technologies’ High Voltage Lineman program.
Steve Olmstead, dean of the School of Construction Technologies, said OG&E has also supported the program by offering paid internships to students, hiring OSUIT graduates and company representatives serving on advisory board committees.
“Without industry partners like OG&E, it would be extremely hard to have the quality program we have today,” Olmstead said. “Industry involvement is crucial to our existence; they validate our curriculum, provide needed donations, and provide internships and jobs for our students.”
OG&E has also been involved with recruitment events such as Career Encounters and Senior Day, and has provided funding and sponsorship for An Afternoon with Pete, a financial literacy and scholarship workshop, as well as Women in Technology, an event promoting careers in STEM to high school girls.
“OG&E actively utilizes OSUIT’s outreach and recruiting events as branding opportunities with targeted markets. This crucial mechanism allows OG&E to inform students about pay, benefits, internships, scholarships and career opportunities while encouraging them to carefully consider OG&E as their employer of choice upon graduation,” Peters said.
Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering business; internships for current students to work at the partnering business; faculty externships with the businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents award a $500 matching tuition waiver to the partnering businesses.
“This distinctive opportunity has proven to be extremely beneficial to both OG&E as well as students at OSUIT. The customized technical education provided serves as a catalyst to successfully perform in the workplace. OSUIT provides students the classroom knowledge while OG&E supplies internships with hands-on experience and real-world scenarios,” she said. “Lastly, our donations of training equipment, industry knowledge and scholarships allows OG&E to be a community partner committed to OSUIT’s success and to students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to finance a higher education.”