Editorial by Vince Howie, Aerospace & Defense Director
In 2010, Boeing announced plans to move more than 500 jobs from Long Beach, Calif., to Oklahoma City. The announcement marked the start of a significant influx of jobs and activity for Boeing’s Oklahoma operations. Beyond the job opportunities it brought to Oklahomans, it also showcased the confidence Boeing had in Oklahoma – its business environment, workforce and the growth opportunities available. And the company’s confidence in its business decision has been met with success.
Aerospace is more than Oklahoma’s second largest industry, it’s our fastest growing. While the industry has been present in the state since the early days of aviation, the establishment of Midwest Air Depot (which later became Tinker Air Force Base) in 1941 set the stage for Oklahoma to become a major player. As the industry itself changes and advances, so does aerospace in Oklahoma. And to help the state move forward, we launched Oklahoma ACES, a statewide aerospace program that will set a strategy for the continued growth of the industry.
While Boeing is certainly a global leader in aerospace, their story in our state is not wholly unique. Oklahoma, with its business-friendly policies, hardworking employees and aerospace-specific incentives, is a top state for aerospace and I’m confident this is just one of many success stories that is taking place in the state.
The following article discusses Boeing’s growth in Oklahoma.
Momentum builds in Oklahoma City for Boeing as it organically grows
Critical mass is an attribute when you are working on growing your business.
Boeing Co. has it several years after creating an engineering capability center in Oklahoma City that serves not only the U.S. Air Force, but other Boeing customers throughout the globe.
Scott C. Strode, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s aircraft modernization and sustainment arm, is proud of progress the firm has made to build its new home here.
Strode said Boeing believes Oklahoma is a great place to do business. It also made sense, he said, because it helps the company better manage numerous programs to support and improve thousands of Boeing aircraft that have decades-long careers of flying.
Those programs can be difficult to manage as priorities change when they aren’t in a central location, he explained.
“We started a journey of significant growth as a part of that,” Strode said.
Of course, an obvious reason to locate Boeing’s engineering capability center in Oklahoma City next to Tinker Air Force Base is the work Boeing does with the Air Force to keep its E-3 AWACS fleet in tiptop shape.