“Getting up every morning with a purpose is what everyone wants," said Greg Lockhart of the OMES State Use Program.
For the past five months, Greg's mission has been trying to provide that purpose for a group of people that are often overlooked.
He works for the State Use Program operated by the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
The program provides meaningful and long-term employment for people with disabilities.
“Every dollar that is made by one of our employees saves the taxpayer on the other side," said Greg.
That’s because as more people are employed, the burden on state-assistance programs is reduced.
The State Use Program facilitates contracts through the state and not-for-profit agencies, with jobs ranging from maintenance to manufacturing.
In 2019, the program employed over 2,800 people, who earned approximately $16 million in total wages.
The state had 146 contracts that provided thousands of goods and services.
For Greg, his work is personal.
His 12-year-old daughter, who goes by Pepa, has Down Syndrome.
“She’s the reason I do this. She’s my world and all that I know,” said Greg.
His daughter loves ballet and theatre.
And while we’re looking a bit down the road here, Greg is proud that the program he administers could one day count his daughter as a member.
“Knowing that my child when she’s older, can learn a skill, learn a trade. It makes me proud. It makes me proud to be from Oklahoma,” he said.