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Oklahoma Celebrates Manufacturing Month: An Overview of the Manufacturing Industry in Oklahoma

October is Manufacturing Month across Oklahoma and the U.S. With more than 4,200 manufacturing firms operating in Oklahoma, employing more than 138,000 Oklahomans, it’s easy to see why this is an important industry for the entire state.  

In September, Site Selection Group, a full-service location advisory, economic incentives and real estate services firm, released its data evaluating locations for manufacturing investment. The findings put Oklahoma in the top 10 most competitive states in 2020 for manufacturing.

Oklahoma’s incentive programs, low taxes and utility rates and cost of doing make Oklahoma an appealing state for manufacturers.

“Oklahoma’s central location and multi-modal transportation system ensure supplies get in and products reach customers, all at lower cost,” said Brent Kisling, Executive Director, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “Our incentive programs, low taxes and utility rates and cost of doing business mean manufacturers can improve their bottom line by operating in Oklahoma.”

The state’s central location and vast logistics and transportation network, including the intersection of I-35, I-40, and I-44, put Oklahoma at the crossroads of North America. And with four inland waterway ports, three Class-I rail lines, 135 public airports and two international airports, Oklahoma’s transportation system ensures delivery to and from locations around the globe for manufacturing companies.

Oklahoma Manufacturing at a Glance:

  • 10% of Oklahoma’s total private employment is made up of manufacturing jobs
  • $19.13 billion in total annual output from manufacturing in Oklahoma last year
  • 46% increase in manufacturing exports from Oklahoma since 2000

Oklahoma has a robust talent pool for the manufacturing industry and takes a proactive approach to ensuring that companies have access to the skilled labor they need. The state’s extensive education system, Commerce’s business and workforce development teams and various community partners work together to ensure manufacturers have a pipeline of talent to get started and keep going.

A key, and standout, element of Oklahoma’s workforce efforts includes the state’s CareerTech system, which awards thousands of manufacturing-related certifications to train the next generation of manufacturing employees. The system, with 59 campuses statewide, also works hand-in-hand with Oklahoma companies to develop customized programs to train current and future workers.

With manufacturers spread across every region of the state, creating job opportunities for Oklahomans and supplying the state’s other key industries, it is important that this industry continue to grow and thrive in the state.


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