The ins and outs of regional economic development with Richard Clements

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2020 By: Marcus Elwell Source: VeloCity

Richard Clements has spent more than 35 years of his life dedicated to helping bring jobs to his home state of Oklahoma. Clements has held economic development positions with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma Department of Commerce and OG&E. He currently serves as the Manager of the Greater Oklahoma City Regional Partnership.

Greater Oklahoma City is a 10-county region that stretches from Stillwater in the north to Lexington in the south and El Reno in the west and Prague in the east. It represents about 1.5 million people.

The Regional Partnership is an organization of economic development organizations, city leaders, tribal governments and utilities in those 10-counties who work together to promote the region and work economic development projects.

We recently sat down with Clements to discuss the Partnership, the advantages of regional economic development and more.

VeloCityOKC: Why is a regional approach to economic development the right approach for Greater Oklahoma City?

Clements: The biggest reason is because when site location consultants and company real estate professionals are trying to decide where to make job creating investment, they want to work with an entity that covers a broader area than just the city limits of some location. City limits don’t matter as much to a company looking at a market. Oklahoma City has a national brand because it's a larger city so most of the time companies want to be in our metro but they don’t actually care if it is in our exact city limits. Oklahoma City and the surrounding communities are all one economy.

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