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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests to Help Establish Welding Technology Training Center at Oklahoma Panhandle State University

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to Oklahoma Panhandle State University (OPSU) of Goodwell, to build a new welding technology training center in the Guymon Industrial Park. The grant, to be matched with $389,504 in local investment, is expected to help create 30 jobs.

“President Trump has been a champion of learning a trade as a means of securing a good job,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The new Oklahoma Panhandle State University welding technology training center will give students the skills needed for secure and good-paying careers.”

“Oklahoma must ensure the availability of skilled welders and other metal and industrial technology professionals to fill critical in-demand workforce positions,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “The new High Plains Technology Center will offer the training workers need to compete for jobs in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.”

“This $1.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to build a new welding technology training center in the Guymon Industrial Park is welcome news,” said Senator Inhofe. “I am proud of the continued success we are seeing under the Trump Administration and these new jobs are just one more testament to our combined efforts. Congratulations to Oklahoma Panhandle State University on this win—it is well deserved.”

“The new welding technology training center in Guymon is a great example of what can be achieved when matching the passion of local leadership with the resources of the federal government,” said Congressman Frank Lucas. “Oklahoma Panhandle State University has been a cornerstone of western Oklahoma for over a century and this new facility demonstrates their continued dedication to education and workforce development. The welding technology training center will prepare students for the high-quality jobs needed in Oklahoma’s growing and diversifying economy.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Oklahoma Economic Development Authority (OEDA). EDA funds the OEDA to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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