Ready Set Move: Striving to make Muskogee Work Ready

Muskogee, OK- With a record number of job openings locally and nationally, employers are scrambling to find talent. The Port of Muskogee’s economic and workforce development effort is creating tools for employers in this plight. Supported by the City of Muskogee and Muskogee County the Port understands the importance of recruiting talent to our community by advancing the Ready, Set, Move incentive and the Work Ready Muskogee job board.

 

Ready, Set, Move is a $10,000 incentive for home ownership to entice new talent to Muskogee and the newly created job board clearinghouse of job opportunities in the county. The Port is advancing both efforts to help businesses identify hard to recruit talent. In a meeting on Monday June 29, 2022, the City of Muskogee Foundation supported the Port’s proposal to incentivize employees of Muskogee area businesses to build or purchase a home in Muskogee city limits. Companies can make application for newly created positions or hard to fill positions. Wage and sector restrictions do apply. For a full list of criteria please visit www.muskogeeport.com .

“The incentive can be awarded to those making more than 110% of the average county wage in sectors that provide for greater earning potential and add investment in our community,” said Darla Heller, Port of Muskogee Workforce Development. “This was truly a brave move by the City of Muskogee Foundation and their support communicates that Muskogee is truly work ready. We hope this will become a tool that can be used to increase high-wage talent and encourage homebuying in the city of Muskogee.”

In addition to helping industry identify talent, the incentive will also address the healthcare and education sectors. “We understand that our public-school districts and our healthcare facilities are struggling to recruit, our proposal to include classroom teachers and healthcare workers communicates that we are committed to building a stronger more vibrant community,” said Kimbra Scott, Port Director.

“We need to address workforce attainment,” said City of Muskogee Foundation Chair, Wren Stratton. “Our businesses and our future businesses must know that we are serious about helping them prosper in Muskogee Oklahoma.”

In addition to the Ready, Set, Move incentive, the Port announced an interactive job board to make it easier for companies to connect with the talent they need. The Work Ready Muskogee job board is a work in progress. “We launched the site with 30 companies and will be adding more over time,” said Heller.  To review positions, visit https://jobs.muskogeeport.com/jobs or if you would like your company added contact darla@muskogeeport.com .

“It is about making Muskogee competitive,” said Port Chairman, Earnie Gilder. “This incentive impacts the return on the public investment as recipients must live in the local taxing jurisdiction and thus will add tax dollars to support our city.”

“It is incumbent upon smaller municipalities to have every tool in their arsenal when recruiting new industries to their communities. It is not enough to have jobs, but employers are also looking for communities that are complete live, work, and play friendly. To that end, we must have housing incentives that encourage employees to live in the communities where they work. This incentive builds the footprint our community needs for employers and their families,” said Mayor Marlon Coleman.

Within the next thirty days Port staff will strive to educate Muskogee businesses, resources and talent on how they can utilize the job board and take advantage of the Ready, Set, Move incentive.