Company leaders from diverse industries testify to the state’s pro-business climate.
When Boeing moved more than 600 jobs to Oklahoma from Long Beach, Calif., only 20 percent of employees were expected to choose to relocate. However, after a series of presentations on what the state has to offer, Boeing experienced an 80-percent acceptance rate to move.
In July 2015, Boeing broke ground on a new $80-million, 290,000-sq.-ft. facility on its Oklahoma City campus.
“Expanding our presence and bringing AM&S [Aircraft Modernization and Sustainment] headquarters here continues a trend of combining Oklahoma’s homegrown talent with the best of the enterprise to support some of our customers’ most critical missions,” said Leanne Caret, president of Global Services and Support at Boeing. The company also announced plans to move the headquarters for the Global Services & Support AM&S division to Oklahoma City in the months ahead.
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) provides one-stop, professional assistance to site selectors and company representatives.
“We walk them through the entire process, from selecting the best site and providing workforce analysis to introducing them to potential local and state partners,” says Charles Kimbrough, director, business development, ODOC. “Our team also helps them through the process of obtaining the necessary permits and getting them connected to available financial resources.”
ODOC’s partnership with Oklahoma’s CareerTech and higher education systems allows them to work with each company individually to provide workforce recruitment assistance and customized workforce training, says Kimbrough. “Our Training for Industry Program provides companies with the opportunity to develop a workforce training program that meets their exact specifications, all at little or no cost to them.”
Oklahoma is ideally positioned for major distribution centers. This summer, Macy’s opened its 2-million-sq.-ft. distribution center in Owasso.
The center is a huge win for the state, and will provide more than 1,500 full-time and holiday jobs. It’s also the largest facility of its kind in the world for Macy’s. “We had lots of choices,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman and CEO, Macy’s Inc. “But it really comes down to “What’s the right choice? What’s the right atmosphere? Who is pro-business, and where can we hire the best people?’”
Commercial Metals Company (CMC) recently announced the construction of a new micro mill in Durant, the second micro mill in CMC’s portfolio of highly efficient steel production. This $250-million facility will employ 300 people and is expected to be commissioned in 2017.
The company chose Oklahoma based on its proximity to customers and business policies.
Bfac.com recently expanded its operations to the University Research Campus in Norman. The new location will house the company’s new Mobile App Development and Operations Center, and will add 100 new jobs in its first year in Oklahoma.
“Oklahoma is a very special place with a proven record of success for growing businesses around the globe,” says Brad McMullan, president and CEO of bfac.com. “We hope bfac.com grows the state’s economy with mobile apps the way oil and gas companies have grown the state with energy.”
The Importance of a Leader
Much of the state’s recent success has a lot to do with the leadership of the governor. “Governor Mary Fallin’s sound economic business policies, balanced budget and incremental growth have made Oklahoma more business friendly,” says Kimbrough. “She has signed bills to modernize and streamline government operations and responsibly cut the state’s income tax, and has addressed the state’s fiscally unstable pension system.”
The governor has also signed into law historic lawsuit reform and a complete overhaul of the state’s workers’ compensation system. At the governor’s direction, the state has increased funding for K-12 education by over $154 million, putting more money into the classroom and helping to boost student performance, better preparing Oklahoma’s future workforce.
Oklahoma is business-friendly and is constantly finding new ways to attract and accommodate businesses. With numerous incentives including a lower cost of doing business and lower taxes, the case for Oklahoma is simple.