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.
Move over Dallas and Seattle. According to a new Portfolio.com / Bizjournals study, OKC ranks in the top 10 "Best Places for Young Adults" due to strong growth rates, low cost of living and high numbers of employed, college-educated under-34s. (We think Bricktown, Downtown, the Thunder, Western Avenue, the Plaza District, Midtown, Paseo and so forth don't hurt either . . . But that's just our opinion.)
(March 15, 2010)
With more than 300 public- and private-sector aviation and aerospace firms, Oklahoma is now one of the top 10 states in traditional aerospace occupation employment. Around 38,000 workers make up our industry, generating an estimated $4.3 billion in goods and services and $2.36 billion in income. Our state ranks 12th nationally in the number of aerospace engineers, fifth in aircraft mechanics and service technicians, and eighth in avionic technicians.
Recently, Boeing announced the relocation of more than 550 engineering positions at its B-1 and C-130 units from California to Oklahoma City due to increased efficiencies, lower costs and more room to grow at its facility in OKC. A more cost-effective, synergistic environment is nothing new for OKC aero firms. Leading the way in terms of facilities and jobs is Tinker Air Force Base - the largest group of civilian Air Force personnel in the U.S., and Oklahoma's largest single-site employer, with an annual statewide economic impact of close to $4 billion. In 2008, Tinker announced the opening of Tinker Aerospace Complex (TAC) - a 430-acre facility that houses some of the 76th Maintenance Wing operations and other Department of Defense (DOD) workloads. The complex, considered the most advanced aviation and aerospace manufacturing production facility in the world, is the result of a $54 million bond issue passed by voters, and more than $50 million in renovations by the Air Force. Best of all, space in the Tinker Aerospace Complex is available to private companies working on DOD projects, improving efficiency and creating synergy with their public partners.
This booming growth is not just a trend - the foundations are in place to keep the momentum going well into the future. Educational institutions in Oklahoma have access to close and frequent interaction with industry professionals such as Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration Mike Moroney Aeronautical Center and Tinker Air Force Base.
At the hub of Greater Oklahoma City's aviation industry is Will Rogers World Airport - with approximately 10,000 employees and 67 tenants. A recent $10 million renovation nearly doubled the size of the terminal, as well as expanded and updated amenities to make traveling more enjoyable for the 3.7 million passengers it serves every year. In addition, the airport has just announced an incredible 1,000 acres of available, developable land for all types of projects, including direct and indirect aviation industry needs that require taxiway access.
Another significant new development - the Oklahoma Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Technology Center (MROTC) - facilitates private contract modifications on Air Force E-3 AWACS aircraft and, when complete, the $500 million facility will include 17 hangars on more than 1.6 million square feet of space.
The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber recently commissioned a study on the breadth and impact of Aerospace on the Greater Oklahoma city region. This study was conducted by economists Mouhcine Guettabi and Dan S. Rickman with the Center for Applied Economic Research at Oklahoma State University, and was completed in two phases. Phase I focuses on identifying the economic impact of the government entities and private firms in the industry, while Phase II assesses the size and composition of the industry in the Greater Oklahoma City region. To learn more about this study, contact:
NEW DOWNLOAD: Greater Oklahoma City Aerospace Industry News - Aerospace continues to power OKC's economic climb