Trafera is a Minnesota based company that provides technology hardware and digital lesson plans to school districts across the nation. In October of 2021, Trafera announced an expansion to Muskogee with the establishment of a regional repair and distribution center at the former National Guard Armory building located at the Muskogee-Davis Regional Airport. Since that time, they have added 36 tech jobs to the Muskogee community and brought renewed life to the National Guard Armory building. They aren’t stopping there…Trafera is headed towards 111+ tech jobs in Muskogee, USA over the next three years.
Mayor Marlon Coleman said, “Trafera is one of the largest distributors of technology to K-12 schools. We are thrilled they are bringing 75 new technology jobs to the Muskogee market. These jobs help us in our effort to define Muskogee as a hub for emerging tech, living wage jobs.”
“Muskogee is hungry for tech jobs…while many industries and companies across the country are struggling to find employees…Trafera is finding the right talent when they need it in Muskogee” said Darla Heller, Port Muskogee Workforce Development.
Originally, Trafera planned to scale to 80 employees with an average annual wage of $40,000 plus benefits in Muskogee. Port staff, through partnership meetings with Trafera, identified a Strategic Investment Program opportunity. The SIP program is a performance-based incentive funded by the city of Muskogee Foundation for the purpose of economic development. To qualify for the incentive, a company must pay employees an annual wage at or above 110% of the average Muskogee County annual wage ($49,855) and add 15+ new jobs. Trafera increased their scope for Muskogee and intends to create 75 new jobs above 110% of the average Muskogee County annual wage plus benefits. This equates to 111 tech jobs with the potential to grow in the future. The value of the SIP is $225,000 over 36 months and requires supporting documentation from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) verifying the number of jobs & average salary before reimbursement.
“The SIP is an incredible tool for economic growth in Muskogee. It has demonstrated to Trafera that our community values partnership, giving them confidence to create 31 additional jobs at a higher annual wage than intended. This helps families…this helps Muskogee.” said Jeff Underwood, Port Muskogee Industrial Development.
Trafera has 450 employees spread across three locations and hopes to increase this number to 1500 within the next ten years. Eric Wells, Director of Southwest Region Services for Trafera, is a native of Muskogee and tasked with leading the local operation. He is dedicated to growing Trafera’s footprint in Muskogee and has done a tremendous job thus far, exceeding company performance expectations out of the regional repair center leaving their leadership asking, “how is Muskogee doing it”. Year-to-date, the facility has repaired over 45,000 Chromebooks…striving for 400 repairs per day.
Eric Wells, Trafera said, “we are ecstatic that Trafera chose Muskogee as the first expansion out of the Twin Cities. I am honored to be tasked with leading this venture; but I would be amiss to not talk about the amazing local support mechanisms along the way.”
He continued that “The Muskogee City Council, especially Dr. Tracy Hoos and Mayor Coleman, Muskogee City Management staff, Public Works, you name it from the City of Muskogee, all have been more than willing to ensure our success. The Muskogee City-County Port Authority has been phenomenal to work with from helping with incentives for growth, to helping us with talent recruitment. The staff at The City and Port are top notch, and we see this as the beginning of a technology driven era for Muskogee.”
“When Muskogee partners for success, we all are the beneficiaries. I am grateful for our economic development partners who helped bring Trafera to Muskogee and support their continued growth” said Port Director Kimbra Scott.
The Muskogee City-County Port Authority works in partnership with the City of Muskogee to implement an economic development program designed to increase business investment and job opportunities in the Muskogee area. Learn more at www.MuskogeePort.com.