Tri County Tech renewed its agreement Thursday to continue operating the Pawhuska Business Development Center located at Boundary Avenue and Virginia Short Street.

The unique partnership between Tri County Tech’s The Strategy Center, Osage County Industrial Authority, the Osage Nation and the city of Pawhuska began in 2012, when the 20,000 square-foot facility was dedicated. Built at a cost of $2.1 million, the building continues to generate economic development for Pawhuska and Osage County.

When the center was built, Tri County Tech entered into a 20-year lease to manage and operate the facility. Each year, the lease requires the Board of Education for Tri County Tech to approve renewal. That action occurred once again last week.

Larry Thrash, president of Tri County Tech’s The Strategy Center said the opportunity for the school to operate the Pawhuska Development Center is a win-win for all parties.

“We’ve had an awful lot of success with the Business Development Center,” he said last week. “It’s become an event center of sorts for the community of Pawhuska. It is a brand new, clean facility that has generated a lot of interest. We are grateful to continue that success through our lease.”

The primary goal of the facility, Thrash said, is to be the area’s first choice for entrepreneurs, businesses, and individuals seeking assistance for customized training, community education classes, business consultations and start up information. Pawhuska Business Development Center has five industrial bays, 10 office spaces, two classrooms, and one conference room that can be scheduled for use by incubator clients and members of the community.

In the five years of existence, the facility has grown into a highly-used resource for Pawhuska, with classroom and training services for the Osage Nation and community groups, as well as start-up services for entrepreneurs looking to grow business.

“We do a lot of educational training at the Pawhuska Business Development Center, plus being able to allow people to get started in business,” Thrash said. “We’ve had some real successes there. Arrowhead Pipeline was one of our early-on clients. When they moved out, they had 56 employees. That’s what we are there for — for economic development, to help people get started and to generate business opportunities.”

Besides the business incubators, the training classes Tri County Tech offers for the Osage Nation and for businesses that are thriving continue to be successful.

“One of our most ambitious projects we handled was all the new hire training for The Pioneer Woman Mercantile,” Thrash said. “Of course, The Mercantile has really caused a huge economic boom for not only Pawhuska, but for the entire Osage and Washington County areas. We are very pleased with the results, and were glad to partner with The Mercantile to provide this training.”

Thrash said more training opportunities, business programs and community education workshops are in the works for the rest of the year.

“It’s an exciting time to be in Pawhuska. We are proud of the Business Development Center and all the opportunities we are able to facilitate to bring Pawhuska and Osage County additional growth and prosperity,” Thrash said.

For more information about the services and programs offered at Pawhuska Business Development Center, call 918-287-3357.