With the start of 2020, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce is reflecting on 2019 and the work done to create an environment in the state where economic growth will occur.
“I am proud of the Commerce team and the progress we made during 2019,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director of Commerce. “We recorded some impressive business recruitment wins, helped Oklahoma companies expand their operations, focused on supporting communities and more. I am certain the team will continue to grow Oklahoma in 2020 and know we will have much more to celebrate in the months to come.”
“The business announcements made during 2019 represent the type of economic diversity we’re focusing on to continue to strengthen our economy,” said Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development. “As we move forward in 2020, we will continue to focus on this, in addition to helping Oklahoma companies grow, increasing the number of entrepreneurs in our state, creating more partnerships between industry and education and fill workforce gaps. We have strong momentum and I anticipate 2020 will be even more successful than the last.”
Major accomplishments during 2019 include:
- Amazon’s New Oklahoma City and Tulsa Locations: In addition to the two new locations, Oklahoma answered the call when Amazon needed thousands of skilled labor to fill its OKC facility. Commerce’s partners at OSU-OKC processed applications and resumes for more than 14,000 workers looking for opportunities at the Oklahoma City location.
- Google: Google announced a $600 million expansion of its data center at the MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor. The project is expected to increase staff at the facility to more than 500 and is part of Google’s $14 billion investment in U.S. data centers. Google’s Pryor data center is the company’s second largest in the world, trailing behind only the data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
- KC-46 Pegasus: The first KC-46A Pegasus arrived at Altus Air Force Base in February, launching a new phase in the 97th Air Mobility Wing’s journey to become the Air Force’s formal training unit for its newest tanker. In October, Tinker completed the first hangar on its 158-acre campus which will house the maintenance hub for the KC-46A Pegasus. Construction of the campus is expected to continue through 2029, with the first of the new tankers expected to arrive for maintenance in June 2020.
- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions: Kratos unveiled the first MQM-178 Firejet target drone aircraft produced at the company’s 100,000-square-foot unmanned aircraft production facility in Oklahoma City and announced that the facility will also be the future home of the XQ-58A Valkyrie. Later in the year, Kratos announced that all of the company’s tactical drones will be manufactured in Oklahoma City.
- Milo’s Tea Company: Milo’s Tea Company broke ground on a new production and distribution center at the Cherokee Extension Industrial Park in Tulsa County. Based in Birmingham, Ala., Milo’s is investing $60 million in the construction of a 108,000-square-foot facility and in the installation of advanced manufacturing equipment. The company expects to create 110 new jobs when construction is complete in September 2020.
- Muncie Power Products: Muncie Power Products Inc., a manufacturer of power take-offs and fluid power components, announced plans to build a new $50 million facility in Tulsa. The project will be a cornerstone of the 120-acre Peoria-Mohawk Business Park. The new facility will be a relocation of existing Tulsa operations.
- Oklahoma Main Street Program: Three Oklahoma Main Street communities were recognized nationally during 2019. Kendall Whittier was named “The One to Watch” at the 2019 Main Street Conference. Durant Main Street was a finalist in the nationwide Small Business Revolution. Ardmore was named the best Main Street to Shop at for Small Business Saturday by “The Today Show.”
- Refresco US: Refresco, the third largest manufacturer in Muskogee County, announced plans to add 75 new jobs and invest nearly $12 million at its operation in Fort Gibson at the Port of Muskogee. The investments will be used for facility and equipment upgrades to increase production capacity, modernize operations and increase efficiency.
- Rural Sourcing, Inc.: Rural Sourcing (RSI), the leading provider of US-based IT outsourcing services, is bringing 150 high-paying technology jobs to Oklahoma City. The company includes teams of software engineers who will bring world-class IT development and support to Fortune 1000 companies across the U.S. Oklahoma City was chosen over nearly 50 other cities.
- Salem Tube: Salem Tube, a Tubacex Group company, selected Durant for the site of its North American headquarters and advanced manufacturing facility. The plant will contain approximately 150,000 square feet of high-tech, precision manufacturing space with corporate headquarters office space. Salem Tube is a global manufacturer of high precision stainless steel tubing and nickel alloy tubes. Tubacex is headquartered in Llodio, Spain, and has industrial facilities and a broad network of sales offices spread around the world.
- TTEC Holdings, Inc.: TTEC Holdings, Inc. opened its latest Humanify™ Customer Engagement Center in Oklahoma City. The business attraction was a result of a collaborative effort by the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Oklahoma Works. The center opening represents up to 350 new jobs in the Greater Oklahoma City area. TTEC chose the Oklahoma City market due to its community-wide focus on education with a wealth of community colleges and technical schools such as Francis Tuttle, in addition to its significant military and veteran population.