**For Immediate Release**
Tri-County Electric Honored by State Regents
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 05-03-07
by Laura Hays
Goodwell, Okla. — Tri-County Electric has partnered with Oklahoma Panhandle State University through the years in several endeavors, and the local electric cooperative was recently honored for their commitment by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) at the annual Economic Development Grant for the Partnership Recognition Program ceremony in Oklahoma City. According to OSRHE officials, the program is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants. OPSU was among 22 institutions throughout the state recently recognized for their outstanding partnerships with community businesses.
Both entities share a vision to make the communities they serve a better place to live. One of the successful programs in the partnership is Community Service Learning. Financed by Tri-County, senior-level OPSU students serve in functional positions with area nonprofit agencies, which allows the students to learn on the job and the agencies to benefit from the assistance. Students gain valuable work place experience while completing credit hours towards a degree and the agencies profit by having students perform a variety of functions such as building databases and designing websites. In addition, Tri-County funds a yearly scholarship for an OPSU student and the company also encourages their employees to take advantage of their company-wide educational reimbursement program, and several employees study at OPSU. The entity also employs a number of OPSU graduates and intends to hire more in the future.
When OPSU announced plans to construct a new science and agriculture building to respond to the need for more academic programs, research and technology, Tri-County immediately responded by providing a generous initial contribution, as well as a large amount of gratis site electrical work. Once the building is completed, both partners will work together in more specific areas of technology sharing.
Chancellor Glen D. Johnson said, “If we’re to improve Oklahoma’s future, we need creative collaborations like this program. The partnership between business and higher education benefits us threefold: businesses retain employees, employees improve their education, and immediate needs are solved in Oklahoma’s economy.”
Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses, internships for current students of the institutions to work at the partnering businesses, or faculty externships with the partnering businesses. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.
Tri-County Electric Cooperative and OPSU believe in progress through learning, and plan to continue to explore ways to serve their communities together. have been in very strong growth processes in recent years and through a mutual relationship, both have grown together in several areas.