Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
Noting low costs of living and good jobs, Forbes named Oklahoma City America's Most Affordable City.
At the height of the Great Recession, Forbes.com said Oklahoma City was the most recession-proof city in the country. Two and a half years later, the magazine has given the city another top ranking.
Noting low costs of living and good jobs, Forbes named Oklahoma City as America's Most Affordable City.
The magazine also noted Oklahoma City's friendly residents and an unemployment rate well below the national average, 6.3 percent compared to 9.5 percent.
"We searched for cities that had a balance of cheap living and economic prosperity - places with solid job markets, but where costs aren't prohibitive," magazine editors said. "In these cities, costs have stayed down, but residents have held onto steady incomes and decent jobs, making them a true bargain."
Forbes looked at all metropolitan statistical areas with populations of at least 100,000. They were ranked on the cost of a basket of goods and services, including groceries, health care and transportation, as of the second quarter of 2010.
The magazine also measured the monthly cost of housing as a percentage of household income.
The average sale price of an Oklahoma City-area home in September was $158,755, up 6.7 percent from September 2009, and the median price was $135,000, up 4.8 percent, according to the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.
The next four spots on the Forbes list went to Pittsburgh; Buffalo, N.Y.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Nashville, Tenn. The top 10 also includes three Texas cities: San Antonio, Houston and Austin, along with Louisville, Ky., and Birmingham, Ala.
"State capitals and university towns have vibrancy because of their job base, the stability of jobs and cultural diversification," said James Gaines, a research economist at the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
The ranking was the latest in a string of kudos for Oklahoma City. In October, Oklahoma City was named a Top 25 Performing City by the Milken Institute, No. 7 Best City for Income Growth by Portfolio.com, a Top 5 Fastest Growing City by Forbes and a Top 10 State for Doing Business by Area Development Magazine.
"In times like these, value is key to everything we do as a chamber," said Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. "From attracting new business, retaining and fostering growth with our current companies to attracting conventions and visitors, the number one factor on everyone's mind is value. Affordability isn't always about being the cheapest, it is also about the quality you get for your dollar."
The Boeing Co. recently announced plans to move 550 high-paying engineering jobs here. The company cited low costs of living and doing business and economic development incentives in the decision to move the jobs from Long Beach, Calif.
WASHINGTON -- Tinker Air Force Base will get more than $44 million in federal stimulus funds to make a variety of repairs and improvements.
Tinker led all of the state's military installations in projects approved by the Department of Defense, which got $7.4 billion to spend in the $780 billion stimulus package.
In all, the department plans to spend nearly $74 million in Oklahoma, according to a list of projects released by the Pentagon.
Of the 67 projects, 42 are at Tinker.
They range from roof repairs to anti-terrorism protection upgrades for buildings and at base gates. Ron Mullan, a Tinker spokesman, said the projects selected by the Defense Department came from a list of 71 submitted by base officials.
A major emphasis of the stimulus package was on projects that can be started quickly to create or save jobs, and Mullan said Tinker's projects are "ready to execute."
Only one member of the Oklahoma congressional delegation, Rep. Dan Boren, voted for the stimulus bill. The Army ammunition plant in his district got the second-largest allotment from the Defense Department -- $14.5 million for family housing, utility repairs, rail line work and road repaving.
"I am very pleased this stimulus funding is coming to Oklahoma's military installations and especially to the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant," Boren, D-Muskogee, said. "These projects will improve our state's military bases so they remain an integral part of our nation's military service and thereby keep thousands of jobs in Oklahoma.
"The projects will also provide jobs in the McAlester area from the contracts that are used to complete the work. Job creation and infrastructure projects are two of the chief reasons I supported the stimulus."
Fort Sill -- already in the midst of a construction boom to accommodate the Air Defense Artillery School moving from Texas -- will get more than $9 million, with the largest projects aimed at modernizing health care facilities and medical records on the post, which is adjacent to Lawton.
Vance Air Force Base in Enid got one project, for $3 million, to repair a taxiway. Altus Air Force Base got three projects worth about $1.8 million, including nearly $800,000 for sewer repair.
The Oklahoma Military Department and a few National Guard and Reserve sites also got money for energy system updates.