The Western OK I-40 SET group held the Module 3 Training Session on November 19, 2012. Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford hosted the group. Several new members were in attendance for Module 3. Some of the key areas the group explored included discussions about recruiting additional individuals and representatives from economic development organizations from the area to insure the best opportunities for productive and progressive planning. As a part of the recruiting strategy, the group selected a working group to develop an “elevator pitch” to be used to recruit new members. To provide a better understanding of the value of recruiting a good planning group, a case study was provided by the trainer to allow participants to experience, vicariously, a planning process. The successes and failures of the case study revealed to the group the importance of recruiting representatives from various backgrounds and economic development roles throughout a region. Team members signed up to recruit additional participants from some of the sectors that were identified as missing from the current group. These sectors included local chambers of commerce, the financial community, retirees, and tribal organizations.
About a week after this meeting, the working group came up with the following “elevator pitch:”
Because Western Oklahoma is uniquely positioned at the crossroads of our nation, we are provided many opportunities to keep our local economy thriving. As a person with a vested interest in this area, you need to know about a new coordinated effort to insure we capitalize on every opportunity possible by leveraging our resources, regionally. The Western Oklahoma I-40 Corridor team was organized to provide a venue to coordinate and move forward with the concept of regional economic development. Made up of representatives of Beckham, Caddo, Custer and Washita counties, the group has been selected to participate in the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program. The SET program is designed to strengthen the capacity of communities to work together to develop and implement a strategic plan building on current and emerging economic strengths of our region. Clearly, your commitment to participate in this effort would add value to the group as we work to identify a shared vision and develop a plan for continued growth. We would love for you to join the team!