March 26, 2023


Keeping Firefighters Safe: MSA Safety and Innovations in Manufacturing

A willingness to change lies at the heart of innovation. Many times, these changes come out of necessity. In the case of MSA Safety, a local manufacturer that produces Globe firefighter gear, these innovations lead to increased productivity and products. Many people in our region are unaware of Globe as a manufacturer which produces firefighting gear that is sent all over the country, as well as to Canada and Puerto Rico. The work that they do puts innovation to work so their products can save the lives of firefighters, which in turn helps them do the work of saving the lives of others.

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Ada Jobs Foundation Welcomes Jake Cantrell to Team

Jake Cantrell recently joined the Ada Jobs Foundation (AJF) as the new Scalable Investment Associate. In this role, Cantrell will work to connect potential investors with exciting opportunities to invest in rural scalable technology startups in the region of Southern Oklahoma, and to help founders access the capital they need to take their businesses to the next level.  


The Ada Jobs Foundation believes that investing in early-stage rural tech startups is a fantastic way to drive innovation and economic growth in our communities. By supporting rural entrepreneurs throughout our entire 10-county region, and providing them with the resources they need to succeed, we can help build a more inclusive and thriving tech ecosystem,” said James Eldridge, President and CEO of the Ada Jobs Foundation. “Jake brings important experience as a tech entrepreneur and investor and we are very excited to have him on our Team."

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Oklahoma Venture Resource Council

What Happened? On Thursday, March 23rd, the Oklahoma Venture Resource Council held their “On the Road” meeting at East Central University in Ada. The meeting featured presentations from Jay Calhoun, with Apis Holdings, Nathaniel Harding, with Cortado Ventures, Jim Eldridge, with the Ada Jobs Foundation, Jennifer McGrail, Executive Director of OCAST, Amarie Bartel, with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Sandra Wesson, with the Chickasaw Nation, and Jake Cantrell, as a local founder and staff with Ada Jobs Foundation.

Why it Matters: The Oklahoma Venture Resource Council is a leading voice in the state advocating for policy and legislation that supports startups, innovation, and investors in our entrepreneurial ecosystems in Oklahoma. This meeting was an opportunity for the Ada Jobs Foundation and our local partners to share the story of Ada as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship and build relationships with others working to advance this work throughout the state.

“Penny for Our City” Ballot Announced

On March 6th, the Ada City Council approved ballot language to extend a one-cent sales tax dedicated for capital investments in quality of life projects. According to the City of Ada, these projects include:

  • Capital improvements to the Ada Sports Complex featuring the construction of a Multi-Purpose Building which will include amenities such as basketball, volleyball, and pickleball courts, as well as an upstairs walking track. The Multi-Purpose Building will overlook numerous flat fields used for soccer and flag football.
  • Capital improvements to Wintersmith Park including dredging and rebuilding the retaining wall around Wintersmith Lake, adding additional playground equipment, and new bridges.
  • Capital improvements to Glenwood Park featuring a new bathroom, new playground equipment, and a new pavilion.
  •   Capital improvements to other area parks featuring new playground equipment.
  • Expansion of the walking/biking trails throughout Ada.
  • Operation and maintenance expenses for the Ada Sports Complex. One-eighth of one cent shall continue for operation and maintenance expenses for the Ada Sports Complex.

The vote is scheduled for May 9, 2023.

For more information, please visit the City of Ada’s website HERE.

Ada Jobs Foundation


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