Two Locals Awarded GMMA Education Scholarship

Left to Right: Eric Anderson, GMMA Vice Chair; Alexander (Xan) Hazen, Scholarship Recipient from Fort Gibson High School; Shawn Vance, Scholarship Recipient from Acme Engineering and Manufacturing Corp.; Jeff O’Neal, GMMA Chair

Muskogee, OK- The Greater Muskogee Manufacturing Alliance (GMMA) Education Scholarship committee met late in May to determine the 2020 award recipients. The committee, all local employees of local manufacturing companies, unanimously voted to award the scholarship to Alexander Hazen and Shawn Vance.

“The committee made a great decision awarding the scholarship to Alexander (Xan) and Shawn,” said Lindsey McCall, workforce development manager for the Port of Muskogee. “The committee reviewed the applications including their recommendation letters and determined these two would be great additions to the Muskogee-area manufacturing community when they complete their educational programs,” added McCall.

Alexander (Xan) Hazen, a Fort Gibson High School recent graduate this May, plans to attend OSU IT in the Fall semester. “The committee chose Xan because he is a well-rounded student, he was very active in his community and performed well academically” said McCall. “His interest in manufacturing and plans to return to our area after he graduates from a local college, made Xan a perfect candidate for the scholarship,” McCall added.

Shawn Vance, a current employee at a local Muskogee manufacturing company, is attending Tulsa Community College majoring in Manufacturing Engineering Technology. “Shawn’s currently working in Muskogee manufacturing, which is a great career path,” said McCall. “His desire to continue his education and learn additional skills to help improve his ability for advancement made him an easy choice for the committee.”

The committee determines the scholarship recipients as well as the scholarship award amounts each spring. This year, the members of GMMA raised $4,000, which the committee decided to split evenly between the two scholarship recipients. The $2,000 scholarships will be sent to the recipients’ school during the Fall 2020 semester.

The GMMA Education Scholarship was created in 2018 by Muskogee-area manufacturers who recognize that a skilled workforce is critical for their future success. The goal of the GMMA Education Scholarship is to assist individuals in improving their manufacturing skill sets. In 2019, the committee awarded four scholarships to local recipients.

With this scholarship, the recipients also receive mentorship opportunities and will make valuable connections in the Muskogee Manufacturing community. “Many scholarship programs give students money and that’s the end of it, said McCall. “The GMMA Education Scholarship is different, we want to maintain contact with the recipients throughout their educational journey. The members of GMMA can provide insight to the industry, along with possible internship opportunities. We want these students to succeed and come back to make great employees right here in Muskogee.”

For more information about the GMMA Education Scholarship, contact Lindsey McCall, Workforce Development Manager, Industrial Development Office for the Muskogee City County Port Authority, (918) 682-7887 or email to