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.
MIDWEST CITY -- Midwest City-based aerospace investment company Acorn Growth Cos. has purchased a West Coast company that makes composite aircraft components and structures.
Acorn Growth acquired Marina, Calif.-based Integrated Composites Inc., which designs, develops and manufactures components for several industries, including parts for helicopters and windshield edge frames for more than 40 different fixed and rotary-winged aircraft. It is the fourth acquisition for Acorn in the past 15 months, Acorn Growth partner Jeff Davis said.
Integrated was founded in 1992 and operates out of a 40,000-square-foot facility in the Monterrey Bay area of California. The company provides products and services to customers including the U.S. Navy, Army and Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and C and D Aerospace.
"Integrated Composites is an industry leader in its niche and has developed an outstanding reputation for engineering excellence, quality and on-time delivery," said Rick Nagel, another Acorn partner. "We're excited about Integrated Composite's future and look forward to strengthening its position as a value-added aerospace engineering, design and component manufacturer."
No changes seen Joe Johnson, an Integrated founder, will remain as president, and the company's 20 employees will remain in Marina, Davis said.
When companies are acquired, "it's important not to be disruptive," he said. "For the most part, they are strong, stand-alone companies."
However, "when it makes good sense we'll establish an Oklahoma presence," he said.
Integrated will become an operating company of AGC Aerospace & Defense, an operating group of Acorn Growth.
AGC Aerospace & Defense is organized into four operating groups of AGC Composites, AGC Integrated Defense, AGC Services and AGC Finance, which includes companies that engage in manufacturing, aircraft modification and upgrades, engineering services, logistics, procurement and maintenance, repair and overhaul.
Michigan-based Peninsula Capital Partners provided financing for the acquisition.