Focusing on tomorrow’s workforce

Workforce development continues to be a priority for the Grand River Dam Authority.

Time for a technical tour… GRDA’s Choya Shropshire (seated at left) uses a schematic to teach Northeast Technology Center students about GRDA electric substation operations and maintenance, during a tour last school year. GRDA is proud to be part of efforts to show tomorrow’s workforce the many career opportunities in the technical fields.

It’s a priority because the round-the-clock, 24/7/365 operations of the GRDA cannot be accomplished without a dedicated and skilled team of Oklahomans. Our team of roughly 600 Oklahomans performs the many diverse and critical functions that allow GRDA to generate and transmit reliable electricity, care for important Oklahoma waters and provide economic development support all across the state. For all these reasons, maintaining, training and planning for Team GRDA’s future is always at the top of the list.

Just this week, at the October meeting of its board of directors, GRDA will recognize the efforts of four longtime-employees who are joining the ranks of the newly-retired. Yet, even as we celebrate their long and dedicated careers to the Authority, we also realize their combined knowledge of the organization – totaling close to 120 years – is also retiring. How do we fill their shoes and prepare for future retirements and workforce needs? By continuing to work with other partners in the area who are also placing an emphasis on training tomorrow’s employees today. Through technical training, school programs, student internships and other methods, these partners are helping not only GRDA but also our customers, plan for future workforce needs.

Just last week, on October 6, GRDA received the “2017 Champion In Workforce Development Award” from the MidAmerica Industrial Park, which has established the “MidAmerican Delivers” program to help connect the future workforce with jobs in manufacturing and technical trades. GRDA is proud to partner with MidAmerican on these efforts.

Together, we want to educate tomorrow’s workforce while also helping create opportunities for it to be successful.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.