In August, the Alliance for Innovation visited Oklahoma to learn about the trending issues in the State.
The Alliance held an idea exchange at the Downtown Library and in attendance at the forum were represntatives from Ponca City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Stillwater. The library was a great venue but what was most impressive to me as a comic book fan was the massive display of vintage comics. They even had X-Men #1!
So what are the hotest challenges in Oklahoma...drum roll: 1) Process improvement 2) Employee Engagmenet 3) Succession-planning and recruitment and 4) Performance Management
Looking specifically at Succession-planning and recruitment, the the challenge everyone agreed was important was overcoming antiquated hiring practices. The group decided the top innovation addressing the challenge was the work Tulsa and Oklahoma are doing to build recruitment partnerships and internal training opportunities.
Oklahoma City has a program called the Utiilties University (UU). "UU derived from the Utilities Department succession planning process to deliver training specifically designed for our employees. The innovative three-year program offers a mix of traditional instructor-led classes taught by local career tech instructors; Utilities-specific classes taught by our own subject-matter experts, directed studies or intern assignments and industry-specific online courses provided by the American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation and Solid Waste Association of North America. A professional services agreement with our local career tech provides a large portion of our UU training" (Susan McCormick, City of Oklahoma City Utilities Department)
Tulsa's has also formed unique partnerships to help with recruitment: "Tulsa has fromed a partnership between the City of Tulsa and Union Public Schools the EMD group created a hands-on internship for high school students, the Learning With a Wrench Program which began in the fall of 2014. At the beginning of the program students had to spend a significant amount of time in a classroom type environment where they learned about safety and the tools they would be exposed to during the internship. Upon completion of the safety training, the students were then allowed to start working on actual City of Tulsa equipment and vehicles under the supervision of skilled technicians. Throughout the year, students have been offered the opportunity to take online training classes to become Ford certified technicians" (Penny Macias, City of Tulsa, Project Management).