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New, expanding businesses can benefit from center’s employee training program

Written by Sharla Bardin for 19th St. Magazine, November 2020

Businesses that are new to Oklahoma or expanding within the state can utilize a customized employee training program offered through the state’s technology centers.

The Training for Industry Program helps prepare new hires and can lead to more collaboration between the companies and technology centers.

“It allows them to see our capabilities and also it opens up opportunities with their existing employees to offer them training, as well,” said Chris Lange, business development coordinator at Moore Norman Technology Center.

Lange works with the program that is offered in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Businesses who qualify for the program include manufacturing, aerospace, energy, transportation and distribution, agriculture and bio-sciences, information and financial services and health.

Funding also is available through the program to provide reimbursement to companies for training expenses, according to program information.

Technology center representatives work with program participants to determine training needs and whether the training will take place at the company’s site or Moore Norman Technology Center’s campuses. Some of the services offered include job analysis, training needs assessment, pre-employment training and pre- and post-production training and instructional materials and development.

Lange said the training covers technical skills but also can highlight other subjects, such as customer service, interpersonal and team skills, safety training and other workforce training needs for the company.

Lange said the Training for Industry Program also provides an opportunity for companies to learn about the resources and support that the technology center can offer them in the beginning and in the years ahead.

“It’s the opportunity to help all these companies grow within Oklahoma, which helps our economy and helps people obtain and retain jobs,” Lange said. “I think it helps keep companies rooted here in Oklahoma, instead of looking elsewhere.”

Avara Pharmaceutical Technologies Inc. of Norman is one of the companies that has been involved in the Training for Industry Program.

Avara manufactures and packages pharmaceutical capsules and tablets for a global market, said Pam Maguire, director of human resources, in an email response.

Norman is the headquarters for Avara, and the facility employs 200 people.

Maguire said the company has used the Training for Industry Program for new employees and said the benefits include a return on investment financially for the company and also “the performance return on investment is visible in the reduction of time it takes a newly hired employee to begin contributing to the work product.”

“Invest in training your employees and they will feel better equipped to do the job and more committed to the organization that cared enough to contribute to their development,” Maguire said.

Maguire said Avara also has worked with Moore Norman Technology Center on other types of training and learning opportunities and is impressed with the services offered, the areas of expertise of the trainers and the ability to customize curriculum to meet the company’s needs.

She encourages businesses in the state to check out workforce training and additional programs available through Moore Norman Technology Center and other technology centers in Oklahoma.

“If you plan to expand your workforce, reach out and talk to someone about the Training for Industry Program. If you are not expanding, I would still encourage you to reach out to your career tech and allow them to acquaint you with a plethora of value-added service for your organization,” she said.

For more information about the Training for Industry Program, visit