Tuesday, April 02 2019
As new leadership takes the helm in Oklahoma, the state is charting the course to economic development success.
Newly inaugurated Governor Kevin Stitt has set his sights on achieving a top 10 economy. With a CEO-mindset and business acumen, he’ll focus the state’s efforts on some of the major concerns facing companies considering a move or expansion: workforce development, business climate and simplifying the process for companies expanding or relocating.
“During my campaign for governor, I visited every county in the state and I met with hardworking Oklahomans,” said Stitt. “The work ethic of our citizens is why Goodyear’s largest tire manufacturing facilities are located in Lawton, Oklahoma. It is why American Airline’s largest maintenance and repair facility in the world is in Tulsa. It is why our state was the birthplace of successful businesses like QuikTrip, Hobby Lobby and Sonic. There is untapped potential in Oklahoma and our team is going to capitalize on that and make sure the world knows that Oklahoma is a top 10 state.”
Talent that Works
While the state has long been a standout in workforce training programs, Oklahoma’s leadership is focused on streamlining workforce development efforts.
“Oklahoma has an amazing educational and training system. We offer the impressive Training for Industry Program through our CareerTech, which provides customized workforce training to businesses at little or no cost to companies,” said Kouplen. “Companies can only move to Oklahoma if they believe they can secure a quality workforce. We want to streamline our efforts and make ourselves known as the nation’s best in workforce development.”
Energizing the Economy
Company announcements from the past six months showcase the diversity of businesses choosing to grow in or expand to Oklahoma:
“Kratos chose Oklahoma, with strong encouragement from its Congressional Delegation,” said Eric DeMarco, President and CEO of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions. “The people of Oklahoma represent a highly patriotic, educated, and motivated workforce with the technical skills that will contribute to building the affordable but technology leading weapon systems needed for tomorrow’s world. We could not be happier to be joining this cost-effective business environment and family-friendly community.”
During the first six months of fiscal year 2019 (July 1 - Dec. 31, 2018), business announcements from projects worked by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce represented a wide variety of industries:
“Oklahoma has a business case for a variety of industries. The announcements we’ve seen in the past few months showcase that Oklahoma is a great place for business, no matter the industry,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “We anticipate that we will continue to see announcements in diverse industries, such as manufacturing, aerospace, logistics, technology, and information and financial services.”
“We have heard time and time again from site selectors and companies that we make the process easy, if you could ever call it easy,” said Kisling. “By bringing the right individuals to the table, we can help a company get answers without the so-called middle men. The decision to move to expand operations is hard enough – we want to do everything we can to make Oklahoma the top choice and to make companies confident in that selection.”
As Governor Stitt settles into office, expect to see more and more business announcements coming out of Oklahoma. And expect to see the state make strides in its efforts toward becoming a top 10 state.
Visit https://www.expansionsolutionsmagazine.com/oklahoma_ed for local economic development office directory listings.