Choctaw Nation Designated as One of Five Promise Zones
Announced in last year’s State of the Union Address, the Promise Zone Initiative is part of President Obama’s plan to create a better bargain for the middle-class by partnering with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand educational opportunities, increase access to quality, affordable housing and improve public safety.
On January 9, 2014, the president announced the first five Promise Zones, and Choctaw Nation was one of them.
The first five zones, located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, have each put forward a plan on how they will partner with local business and community leaders to make investments that reward hard work and expand opportunity. In exchange, these designees will receive the resources and flexibility they need to achieve their goals.
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s key strategies include:
- Improving skills for tomorrow’s jobs, through workforce training for skilled trades and professionals and more rigorous summer and after-school programs.
- Leveraging its role as the largest employer in southeastern Oklahoma to create a strong base for economic revitalization by working with partners, like Oklahoma State University, Eastern Oklahoma State College, and the Kiamichi Technology Center to improve workforce training for skilled trades and professionals, with a focus on providing nationally-recognized STEM certifications.
- Investing in infrastructure that lays the foundation for economic growth, including water and sewer infrastructure. These infrastructure challenges have been identified as impediments to investment in an area with otherwise strong growth potential.
- Improving educational outcomes by working across 85 school districts throughout the region to share data for continuous improvement, and bolster early literacy and parent-support programs.
- Pursuing economic diversification by utilizing natural, historic and cultural resources to support growth, including evaluation of market capacity for local farmers’ markets, as well as implementation of technology-enhanced “traditional” farming and ranching, and large-scale greenhouses and specialized training in business plan development, marketing, and financing to support the development of women-owned businesses in the Promise Zone.
For more information about the Promise Zone Initiative, visit this link.