Moving Oklahoma Forward: The OK2030 Initiative

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Posted by Matthew Leon, Ph.D. on 09/21/2017

Improvement requires vision, strategy, and commitment. No one knows this better than the leadership team for OK2030. OK2030, a project of the State Chamber of Oklahoma Research foundation, is a three-year initiative designed to lay an economic foundation for the success of current and future generations of Oklahomans. OK2030 focuses on five strategic foundations to promote long-term success in Oklahoma: business climate and competitiveness, fiscal stability and governance, quality of life, workforce talent and development, and innovation and growth. Edmond Young Professionals was fortunate enough to host State Chamber representative Rachael Hunter during her statewide tour to gather input on the future of our state. Senator Adam Pugh, representative for District 41, also attended the meeting to hear directly from some of his constituents in EYP.  We learned about the incredible amount of data the State Chamber gathered to design the OK2030 strategic plan, the direct actions taken based on OK2030 findings, and how young professionals can affect change through OK2030.

This past summer, the State Chamber interviewed 120 CEOs, business leaders, and other stakeholders to identify the most important economic issues that directly benefit our local communities. After completing interviews and bringing data to state legislators, the Chamber has shifted their focus to the input of young professionals – the future business leaders who will see the benefits of OK2030 in the years to come. During our time with Rachael, EYP discussed how to keep young voters engaged and informed, how we can emphasize the importance of local elections, and what we can do today to invest in the future of our state. We walked away with a renewed sense of responsibility and information we wanted to share with other young professionals about how to get involved.

Taking action is difficult for young professionals – we juggle work, family, friends, and many “firsts” (our first home, our first child, our first big job). Often, that means neglecting our role in local politics as we focus on creating our own roles and identities in our communities. But, it is our responsibility as young professionals to be informed and active voters, civic servants, and supporters of our state. Broadly, that means knowing your local representatives like Senator Pugh, gathering information on upcoming elections and initiatives, and actively advocating for the future of Oklahoma. OK2030 will release the “big ideas” of their findings publicly on October 1st for review. Following the release, six regional forums will be scheduled to collect additional feedback (dates TBD). We hope that you will spend the time to reach out to your state legislators, learn more about OK2030, and participate in crafting the future of Oklahoma! You can visit the OK2030 website at http://www.ok2030.org/.

 

Matthew Leon is an Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business at the University of Central Oklahoma and serves on the EYP Steering Committee. His experience includes Human Resources work in customer service, healthcare, manufacturing, and military settings with organizations such as Hertz, Boeing, and the U.S. military.      

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