He Cares: Head Country booster brings new jobs, high tech to Ponca City
PONCA CITY, Okla. — Ask any economic development CEO what is on his or her wish list and nine times out of 10 one will hear the same thing: Jobs. And possibly with a qualifier like “higher paying jobs” or “targeted industry jobs”.
The tenth time that question is asked, the likely answer is “workforce.” Any way you slice it, jobs are the economy’s driving engine. The more jobs, with higher pay, the more money will be added to the local economy.
Finding companies that add higher paying jobs to the community, which also align with local workforce availability and on hand resources, is the challenge. But what if existing companies in the community recruited these types of companies and jobs to your community? How cool would that be?
It happens here in Ponca City, Oklahoma. Head Country Inc. has its headquarters and famous barbecue sauce bottling facility here. And the company has a great relationship with the Ponca City Development Authority (PCDA).
While getting some routine lab testing completed on a new Head Country product, Vice President Paul Schotte was examining the results with Dr. Siobhan Reilly, the food safety and testing microbiologist who was performing the tests.
Reilly mentioned the site location search for her new food safety and testing company, Log10, was not going well . The lack of response time from the sites she had already contacted was disheartening.
PCDA had just completed a new building shell and was looking for a custom design tenant. That was great. But where was Log10 supposed to work while the building was being custom finished?
Enter the Pioneer Technology Center Business Incubator. Space was available there for Log10’s manufacturing and office needs. The company was accepted to stay until space was ready in the new building.
Fast forward 18 months. Today, Log10 continues to grow and thrive in Ponca City. The offices and new lab area are staffed and functioning. Sales are up. Research and development is moving forward. And the manufacturing area build out is in process.
Pioneer Technology Center continues to house Log10’s manufacturing process of a proprietary probiotic additive for now. The close proximity of the Pioneer incubator to the Airport Industrial Park plus the willingness of all involved parties to work together is what makes projects like this not only happen, but succeed in Ponca City.
“This really is an economic developers dream project” said David Myers, executive director of PCDA. “We have a great existing company that refers another great company that fits perfectly into a shell building we had developed for just such a project and it creates some great, high paying jobs. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Photo provided by Head Country BBQ.