Peak Innovation Center Receives $500,000 Grant from OGE Energy Corp. Foundation
Fort Smith, AR (November 14, 2022)- Peak Innovation Center (PEAK) received a $500,000 grant from the OGE Energy Corp. Foundation to support the new OG&E “Live Safely” initiative at PEAK. Designed to incorporate and promote safety and safe workplace practices, the “Live Safely” initiative will be a foundational part of learning at PEAK, especially in the Advanced Manufacturing, Health Sciences, and Information Technology labs. The OG&E grant will help provide additional safety and training equipment in labrooms and digital technology throughout PEAK’s building. The OG&E’s “Live Safely” initiative will be displayed alongside other key messages, presentations and videos.
Dr. Terry Morawski, Fort Smith Public Schools Superintendent said, “Fort Smith Public Schools is grateful to the OGE Energy Corp. Foundation for this substantial investment in our students. We share OG&E’s commitment to the importance of creating a culture of safety to prepare students for the workforce where safety is critical.”
OG&E continues to be a leading community partner in economic development and workforce education in Western Arkansas. Fort Smith Public Schools K-12 emphasis on career focused education ensures stronger foundations for students as they move toward high school and transition into careers. Ken Miller, Vice President for Public and Regulatory Affairs at OG&E said, “OG&E is proud to join other key community partners in the mission and work of PEAK to create and sustain a state-of-the-art Career and Technical Education Center for, not only the region, but the state of Arkansas. The need in Fort Smith is for a skilled and well-trained workforce with new manufacturing companies and many expansions over the past year including Owens Corning, Rheem, Mars Petcare, and Hytrol to name a few. With its training programs in many needed areas, and concurrent credit program with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, PEAK is a gamechanger for not only local companies to fill their employment needs, but also for local students to be prepared and gain high-paying jobs.”
Eddie Lee Herndon, Community Affairs Manager for OG&E said, “Safety is at the core of everything we do at OG&E from start to finish. One of our beliefs is to live safely –stating that ’I will protect myself and others from injury by constant engagement, always living safely.’ We are proud to highlight and sponsor this core belief and know it to be relevant for every career path and future employer. Safety is a constant thread throughout everything that we do, and we are honored to partner with PEAK to instill a commitment to safe work practices in our future leaders and our future workforce.”
About the Peak Innovation Center
The Peak Innovation Center (PEAK) opened in March 2022 and operates as the flagship of western Arkansas’ top-to-bottom rethinking of Career and Technical Education. It is operated as a Fort Smith Public Schools (FSPS) owned facility, primarily housing programs taught by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS) and is available to students from 22 regional school districts. At PEAK, 11th-12th grade students from these districts have the opportunity to earn technical concurrent credit and industry recognized certification. Programs include Computer Integrated Machining, Automation and Robotics, Electronics Engineering, Network Engineering Technology, Unmanned Aerial Systems, Practical Nursing, CNA and EMT programs, and Emerging Art and Design. In off-hours and during the summer months, the Peak Innovation Center will be leveraged for adult/incumbent worker training and skills upgrade, industrial training, and other community uses.
Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE), is Oklahoma's largest electric company. For more than a century, we have provided customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes with some of the nation's lowest electric rates, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Our employees are committed to generating and delivering electricity, protecting the environment, and providing excellent service to approximately 882,000 customers. OG&E has 7,207 MW of electric generation capacity fueled by natural gas, wind, low-sulfur coal, and solar. OG&E employees live, work, and volunteer in the communities we serve. For more information about OG&E, visit us at OGE.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.