Employees, be they faculty, administrators or staff, keep their focus on providing what is best for Cameron’s students. After all, the university is one of the first colleges in the nation (if not the first) to promise that those achieving bachelor’s degrees in their fields would be fully qualified to work anywhere in their respective disciplines. This Cameron Guarantee, as it’s known, “provides additional education, at no expense to the graduate or employer, to CU baccalaureate graduates who enter the workforce and whose employers identify a deficiency in core employment areas in the graduate’s major field of study.” Such commitment by the entire university takes concentrated teamwork by employees to provide resources to students at all levels.
Mid-America Christian University
Oklahoma City www.macu.edu
The past four years at MACU have seen explosive growth in its population (from 909 students to more than 2,800), which means it has added to the services offered to those students. That translates into more faculty, support staff, administrators and buildings, including Kennedy Hall (which houses the library), the Student Center and the College Bookstore. Two residence halls will near completion soon, and plans are in the works for an expanded gymnasium, a leadership center and a new auditorium.
Northeastern State University
Northeastern State has a closeness that makes everyone in the community supportive of each other. This family atmosphere pervades the workplace, which in turn affects students. Communication between employees breeds cohesion, comfort and collaboration. Plus, faculty and staff enjoy the interactions with a diverse student population as well as the rich history that the university has with the Cherokee Nation, with which it shares Tahlequah as a home base.
Oklahoma Baptist University
Founded in 1910, the Home of the Bison is almost as old as the state. In the next decade, OBU wants to implement programs that address the quality of life for all its employees. This will include professional development and community outreach. In addition, OBU officials say that faculty and staff are among the highest paid at schools with membership in the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Employees have also embraced OBU’s commitment to environmentalism and its arboretum, one of the best in the state, symbolizes that stewardship.
Oklahoma City Community College
Oklahoma City www.occc.edu
Faculty and staff follow OCCC’s 2018 Roadmap, which aims to increase the number of students who receive a certificate or degree by 50 percent, to close achievement gaps among under-served populations, and to double annual giving for scholarships, community events and the endowment. Employees, encouraged to take calculated risks to accomplish these goals, remain committed to the college’s core tenets: access to all students, college readiness, student success, graduate success and community development.
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma City www.okcu.edu
Chartered as Epworth University on Sept. 1, 1904, OCU, like the state capital, actually existed in Guthrie for a while before settling in for good in Oklahoma City. The school has survived economic downturns through the years, yet students frequently describe OCU faculty as dedicated, passionate and demanding; support staffers and administrative workers only add to this student-focused work environment. “We’re all about you” is each employee’s mantra to the student body. Staff members are often recognized for strategic initiatives that they contribute to OCU, as well as health and wellness on and off campus.
Oklahoma State University
OSU workers are in the habit of not just saying, but also living, the university’s self-proclamation as America’s Healthiest Campus. It has one of the oldest stand-alone wellness centers among U.S. colleges and universities, along with one of the oldest tobacco-free policies in the nation. OSU employees have embraced these policies and opportunities. Officials say, “[H]ealthy employees … are happier, more engaged, resilient, confident, and successful. [They] are better prepared, both physically and mentally, to achieve … personal and professional goals.” In addition, OSU provides its 6,064 workers with an assistance plan for confidential counseling services, a work-life solutions program and on-call legal support. Diversity among faculty members has also increased in the past five years, particularly among Asian Americans, African Americans and Hispanics.
Oral Roberts University
Passion is the operative word for ORU’s 590 full-time employees, some of whom have been at the South Tulsa school for 45 years. Many more have worked for 20-30 years. One official says ORU’s staff and faculty “love the students and really want to see them succeed, whether they are working in the cafeteria or in the classroom.” Employees frequently take advantage of tuition remission for themselves or dependents, as well as on-site fitness facilities. ORU also has an online employee feedback portal that guarantees anonymity. The result is a workplace dominated by faith, spirit, fun and energy.
Rogers State University
Rogers State’s existence and essence are interchangeable with Claremore’s. The symbiosis between the college on the hill and its city forms a bond that permeates the workplace. A fitting example is the close relationship with Claremont Elementary, whose main building was where RSU began in 1909 as Eastern University Preparatory School. RSU staff and faculty devote thousands of hours there. One of Rogers State’s missions is “to enhance the educational attainment, social awareness and quality of life of Claremont students.” In many ways, working at RSU means working for the community.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
The core values of employees at Southeastern are: kindness to all; honesty and integrity; professionalism; customer- and student-focused service; innovation and creativity; open and effective communications; accurate, timely and reliable information; and teamwork. When everyone works off the same page of essential behavior, the outcomes improve for everyone throughout the university. The school’s commitment to staff and faculty is straightforward: providing opportunities for professional development; adhering to well-defined organizational instructions, policies and procedures; adapting to changes in higher education; administering a system of shared governance that foster clear communication; and nurturing a campus community responsive to the needs of a diverse population.
Tulsa Community College
TCC has undergone a major reorganization of employees, duties and coverage areas since President Leigh Goodson arrived in 2014. The college has tried to operate as one large entity instead of four primary campuses and three community campuses. While their assignments may have changed, employees retain their zeal for the role community colleges play in society. Staff and faculty, part-time and full-time, embrace TCC’s racial, socioeconomic and age diversity. Employees understand that a vast majority of students have jobs that take up most of their time, so they put in extra effort to help those students succeed.
University of Central Oklahoma
Working on a college campus has inherent advantages, such as landscaped gardens and lawns, impressive buildings, access to fitness facilities and significant amounts of time off. Yes, UCO has those perks, but others that have proved popular with its 1,200 full-time employees are opportunities for professional development, the tuition waiver program, a sense of family, the three C’s (character, community and civility), quality of life in Edmond, volunteering with organizations off-campus, programs that help workers facing crises, diversity and transparency from the top, starting with President Don Betz. These factors form an atmosphere that has a voluntary faculty turnover rate of 0.5 percent and a voluntary staff turnover rate of 10 percent.
University of Oklahoma
The state’s flagship university, with campuses in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, prides itself in being one of the best workplaces in the region. Employees have access to many of the facilities and services that students use. Employee reviews of the university are overwhelmingly positive because of the support of administrators and a collegial atmosphere overall.
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
USAO is one of a handful of small liberal arts schools in the United States that are not private. That in itself makes USAO a unique place to work as Oklahoma’s only publicly funded, liberal-arts college. Like most liberal arts schools, USAO fosters closeness throughout the campus. Employees seem to thrive in this environment. Because the school’s mission statement commands that “an education integrates knowledge from many disciplines,” faculty and staff work together to bridge gaps and support each other. Plus, Chickasha has a down-home, small-town feel, even though Oklahoma City is only 45 minutes away.
University of Tulsa
TU’s 1,250 employees share a common sense of decency and duty, especially when it comes to giving back to the community. Faculty and staff volunteer hundreds of thousands of hours off-campus, mainly through its True Blue Neighbors Program. TU encourages volunteerism by paying employees up to 8 hours of time per month to perform community service work off-campus.
Human Resources and Employment
American Checked Inc.
This miniature dynamo, a woman/Native-owned company, has just 22 full-time employees but some well-known clients, such as the U.S. Forest Service, the City of Tulsa, Hickory Farms and the Cherokee Nation. As a nationally accredited background screening service, American Checked has developed software that helps to differentiate the types of red marks that can appear on someone’s history. Employees know that not all warning flags are the same. As part of training, each employee goes out of the way to make a customer’s day better. This mirrors what American Checked does for its workers, who have a monthly budget to conduct fun activities to spice up the workplace. “The company also gives its “Make Their Day” crew $50 for each person’s birthday to spend on surprises and a cake,” one officials writes. “We all take turns and serve on the ‘Make Their Day’ crew two months a year.”
Since 1978, this Certified Woman Owned Company has provided job placement for everyone from entry-level workers to experience professionals. Mutual respect, professional enjoyment, a sense of fulfillment and a team-focused atmosphere are some of the highlights of working at Key. “Being a smaller company allows us to utilize every team member’s ideas and have discussions about our successes and struggles,” an official writes. “Our management … facilitates discussions on how to improve the ‘Key Experience’ for our employees and customers…. This is one of the reasons we are so successful and [a top] staffing agency.”
The company formerly known as Premier Staffing began in 1996. It provides temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire placements in dozens of industries. Other services include background screening, skill- and job-fit testing, training, payroll and risk management. While HireCall has expanded over the years, in both employee numbers and states served, “we still see ourselves as a group of individuals with a start-up mindset,” an official writes.
Oklahoma City and Tulsa www.roberthalf.com
In 1948, Robert Half began his self-named company, one of the nation’s most established staffing agencies. It offered specialized services long before many others did. The Tulsa and Oklahoma City offices focus on placements for accounting, finance, technology and administrative positions. Robert Half has a global reach in its placements. The company, under its founder, has always fought against discriminatory employment; its lead principals are: leadership by example; ethics first; an openness to new ideas; and dedication to excellence.
American Fidelity Assurance
Oklahoma City www.americanfidelity.com
Collaboration, transparency, meaningful work and openness are the operative norms for workers at American Fidelity. It’s not unusual for the company’s leaders to just drop by for a chat. American Fidelity’s 1,757 employees, spread across 27 U.S. cities, may voice their opinions freely, especially with online, anonymous submissions offering feedback, suggestions and critiques. Worker ratings of the company are top notch, specifically when it comes to workplace atmosphere (96 percent), corporate citizenship and donations (95 percent), employee pride in American Fidelity (94 percent), internal communication (94 percent), bosses (94 percent) employee pride in accomplishments and work (93 percent), autonomy and responsibility (92 percent) and the ability to take time off work when necessary (92 percent).
BlueCross BlueShield of Oklahoma
With 1,019 full-time employees, BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in Oklahoma. Since its founding in 1940, the company does not forget the personal sides of its workers’ lives. “Every employee in every department is valued,” an official writes. Because BlueCross BlueShield is member-owned, not corporate-owned, employees are empowered to advocate for their clients. BlueCross BlueShield, part of Health Care Service Corp., strives and is recognized for a diverse workplace, especially with women, racial minorities and veterans because it wants “a workforce increasingly aware of and sensitive to our collective differences,” writes HCSC senior vice president Nazneen Razi. “Realizing the full strength of our diverse employee population, however, will ultimately stem from continuing to build on our capacity to demonstrate inclusive behaviors. This is our opportunity.”
Community Care Oklahoma
Saint Francis Hospital and St. John Medical Center created CommunityCare in 1993 as a joint venture, Tulsa’s first health maintenance organization. It has expanded significantly (with preferred-physician organization, a Medicare HMO and a Medicare supplemental plan) and employs more than 450 people in its Tulsa and Oklahoma City offices. CommunityCare’s guiding principles are respect, integrity, confidentiality and ethics.
Oklahoma City www.globalhealth.com
GlobalHealth represents more than 45,000 people in all 77 counties in Oklahoma. It primarily serves federal, state, municipal and school employees and has more than 250 workers.
Oklahoma has a plethora of first-rate law firms, and it’s no coincidence that many attorneys come from the state’s three law schools (the University of Oklahoma, the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma City University).
Crowe & Dunlevy, begun in 1902, dates to Oklahoma Territory days and became the first recognized law partnership the next year. It opened its Tulsa office in 1989. Crowe & Dunlevy also has had its Diversity Scholars Program since 2005 with scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 .
Echols & Associates, formed in 1979, is primarily engaged in contested, complex family law cases. The firm takes a team approach with many cases because of the complicated layers of family disputes.
Foliart Huff Ottaway & Bottom, since 1949, has prepared and tried civil cases in all Oklahoma federal and state courts. Staff lawyers often present seminars, develop corporate policies and assist with employment issues.
Hammons, Gowens, Hurst & Associates has focused for 40 years on employment law, from sexual harassment and disability discrimination to wrongful termination and violations of the Family Medical Leave Act. The firm has a track record of holding employers accountable for poor behavior and irresponsible actions. The firm also provides catered counsel for disputes over Social Security.
Tawwater Law Firm, for more than 36 years, has specialized in personal injury lawsuits, from insurance disputes and motor vehicle accidents to medical malpractice an product liability. Tawwater has had success against large multinational corporations, but prides itself on not being a “law factory.”
Barrow & Grimm began in 1976 and specializes in business, estate, labor-employment, construction and tax law, along with dispute resolution. Attorneys often combine their areas of expertise to address cases that don’t fit into one particular legal area.
Boesche McDermott is a traditional law firm formed in 1927; it focuses on business, estate, tax, real estate, financial, commercial and oil-natural gas law. The firm’s clientele ranges from the individual small-business owner to global conglomerates.
Conner & Winters was founded in 1933 and has offices in Oklahoma City, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Northwest Arkansas and Washington. While its early reputation was built on oil, banking and business matters, Conner & Winters has had success in income, estate and financial law.
Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson is down-to-earth in saying, “We are not a cookie-cutter law firm.” Founded in 1896 in Indian Territory, DSDA was one of the first law firms in Oklahoma to hire a female attorney and is a member of the prestigious Meritas global alliance of legal companies.
GableGotwals, with 90 attorneys and Fortune 500 clients, is one of the largest law firms in the state. Founded in 1919, the firm’s lawyers give back to the community through civic organizations.
Jones Gotcher, which opened its doors more than 50 years ago, has fostered three state Bar Association presidents, five Tulsa County Bar Association presidents and a member of the American Bar Association’s board of governors. The firm expects its attorneys to see the profession “as a lifelong educational process. All lawyers participate in a continuing training and development programs.”
Latham Wagner Steele Lehman, which goes by the initials LWSL as its brand, prides itself on another meaning for those letters: Lawyers Who Still Listen. They tend to each client’s individual needs and have followed that motto since the firm began more than 15 years ago.
Manufacturing and Industrial Supplies
This family-owned company, begun in 1994, specializes in water-treatment technology. Its product line has grown from simple analog water controllers to a single high-tech cluster that monitors and controls cooling towers, boilers and waste systems. Advantage employees “build authentic, personal relationships, which makes it easier to collaborate and work as a team to reach a common goal,” an official writes. “We strive to act with caring, humility and confidence. We take calculated risks – testing new ideas and innovations – and we accept our mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve. Variety and diversity are not only ever present; they are essential.”
Oklahoma City www.boardmaninc.com
For 106 years, Boardman has provided myriad manufactured products. For thousands of Oklahomans, the company has made water well casings and buckets, hog feeders, stock tanks, cotton seed gins, oil mill equipment, fuel storage tanks, grease racks, smoke stacks, breechings, culverts, and tanks for trucks and trailers. From 1929 to 1996, it even made firetrucks. It’s the largest Oklahoma-based bridge builder, too. Workers dedicate themselves to the company’s values: integrity, safety, commitment and teamwork. “Our ‘can do’ attitude continues as we lend our custom fabrication expertise to new customers and opportunities,” an official writes.
Oklahoma City www.centekgroup.com
Centek designs, markets and manufactures innovative oil field centralizers and stop collars. Central to this 4-year-old company’s growth are its 48 full-time employees. “If we do right by our people, success will follow, and it has,” an official writes. “Our culture is built on family, trust, teamwork, empowerment, mutual respect, integrity and opportunity.” Centek’s workers design their own work areas, lead plant tours, solve problems individually and collectively, and volunteered 1,620 hours to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. More than 95 percent of employees have perfect attendance.
Oklahoma City www.delcoelectric.com
A family-owned electrical contractor since 1979, Delco prides itself in its professionalism, safe work practices, service and reliability, all of which have fueled employee commitment and financial strength.
The Perry powerhouse, known for its bright orange equipment since its founding in 1949, invented the underground utility construction industry. It designs, builds and markets a complete line of directional drills, drill pipe, tooling for horizontal directional drilling, vacuum excavators, trenchers, sprockets, mini-skid steers and vibratory plows. “We bleed orange because the majority of our employees, past and present, have brought to their jobs the grit, work ethic and pride of ownership that come from growing up in rural America,” an official writes. “And we bleed orange because our employees don’t just work at the factory; they own it, along with the [Malzahn] family that founded it. Orange blood courses through the veins of every Ditch Witch employee, and it fuels every piece of equipment we build.”
Goodyear Tire and Rubber
The Lawton plant and its 2,400 workers produce radial tires for passenger cars and light trucks for markets throughout the world. It’s one of the Goodyear’s largest, most efficient facilities, and is the largest manufacturing plant in Oklahoma (about 2.85 million square feet of production equipment on a 550-acre site). Employees and their families may use the on-site medical center, physician assistant services, pharmacy, vision clinic and physical therapy facility. The plant’s work ethic is reflected daily in continuous improvements, many from suggestions by employees. Total wages and benefits from the plant total more than $250 million annually, with an estimated $945 million pumped into the Greater Lawton economy. The Lawton plant, built in 1978, has five founding values: Put People First, Sooner Spirit, Integrity, Work Smarter Not Harder, and No Finish Line. This framework includes: communication; education and training; and employee involvement, teamwork and task forces.