Shelly Stutchman, North Central Workforce Investment Board chairman, is a woman with a mission to gain nationwide recognition for the way the stimulus is working in this area. Basically the money is being used to train or retrain displaced workers. She is taking the mission to the White House and President Barrack Obama.
She has been in touch by e-mail and telephone with the White House about the success of the stimulus dollars designed to put people to work.
Pioneer Technology Center was informed earlier by the Oklahoma Securities Commission that funding would be available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide funding for training through Northern Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board . Ponca City Development Authority was also involved.
Stutchman, Enid, has already been in touch with the White House, by phone and e-mail. She recalls attending a conference in Washington D.C. in March, where former President Bill Clinton was a speaker. Clinton said, "The stimulus is not a solution, but a bridge over troubled waters, which we desperately need."
The NOWIB, which covers a nine county area, received $800,000 in funds in June. The officers had written letters to all the career centers in the area offering to buy classes to help provide better jobs in Oklahoma.
Stutchman said, "Pioneer Technology sent a wonderful proposal to us. In July we received all proposals and we purchased classes for PTC. We got to use our money in a positive way."
About the money to be spent in Ponca City at PTC, Stutchman said, "I was excited that we got to use the money in a town that had been hurt by the economy and by the loss of jobs at ConocoPhillips and Tyson, so it seemed like exactly what President Obama wanted us to do with the Recovery Dollars."
Currently Pioneer Tech is receiving $65,000 to buy classes. At the next meeting of the NOWIB Broad, Stutchman said $150,000 more for classes may be awarded and PTC may have a chance for more classes.
Immediate past chairman of NOWIB, Brad Parker, president of Parker Pest Control, said, "Anytime we have dealt with government there has always been a lot of red tape. In business you make a decision and implement it right now. When you are dealing with the government it takes months and months to get the smallest thing done. With the stimulus the government got on the ball and PTC got on the ball and provided a proposal and it was done right away."
Touching the White House
Stutchman found an address on the Internet for Obama and sent a message that said, "We have used the stimulus money in a positive manner and I think it would be great for you to come to Oklahoma and let us visit with you about what we've done and you could show America the direct effect it has had in Oklahoma."
Then she began getting some form e-mails back. On one of those was a phone number. She called it and a lady answered, "White House." Rather taken back Stutchman asked, "The White House of the United States of America?" The White House operator said "Yes."
Stutchman began to tell the story and the operator said, "That is exactly what we want to hear," and gave her a number to call for Public Affairs. When she called this number a voice mail asked for her to leave a short synopsis of why she had called that it might be several days or months before they got back to her.
Mission Not Impossible?
"I didn't want to stop there. I thought I had a glimmer of hope." She began compiling a high class notebook to send the White House. One of the things she included was The Ponca City News story about the president's mother living in Ponca City. Next step will be sending the notebook to Oprah Winfrey.
Stutchman, of Enid, a Professional Service s Coordinator for Carter Health Care and Hospice, has educational experience in marketing and writing.
She is determined to follow this mission through saying, "We, the NOWIB, are on a roll and we are using the funds right. We are a role model and we are changing lives." She plans to continue the mission saying, "I'm gong to continue until they say 'stop you are a nut.'"