Tulsa’s Future Plan Boosts Regional Economy
By MIKE NEAL
President and CEO, Tulsa Regional Chambe
IMPRESSIVE TOUR: Gov. Mary Fallin, Tulsa Regional Chamber staff and partners in economic development tour Baker Hughes’ Claremore facility following the announcement that nearly $40 million will be invested in a new research and development center at that location.”
The Tulsa region is emerging as a national leader in economic development, with progress catalyzed by a unified approach to creating a better future for all of northeast Oklahoma.
Communities across the region have united in a successful partnership focused on creating jobs and attracting capital investment. In northeast Oklahoma, the Tulsa Regional Chamber-led Tulsa’s Future plan is the blueprint for economic development success.
At the recent annual meeting for Tulsa’s Future investors, Gov. Mary Fallin, Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. and business leaders touted the tremendous progress made during the past year and looked ahead to the challenges and opportunities that face our region.
In 2012, the Tulsa region was recognized by The Brookings Institution as a top metro economy, globally. In addition, multiple publications named northeast Oklahoma as a leader for job creation and quality of life attributes.
The chamber and partners recently collaborated on a successful trade mission to Europe. The trade mission delegation was made up of 24 government, economic development and business leaders, including Gov. Fallin and Mayor Bartlett. The mission included 18 appointments and networking events that enabled the group to meet with 41 companies, represented by more than 80 officials in six European countries and nine cities.
The chamber is pleased to be able to work for a better employment outlook and a stronger economy.
One of the ways the Tulsa Regional Chamber and its many steadfast partners in economic development collaborate to build a stronger regional economy is through the ongoing public-private Tulsa’s Future economic development plan. The objectives of Tulsa’s Future include a “stretch” goal to create 15,000 primary, high-value jobs with annual salaries greater than $50,000 and to generate capital investment of $1 billion.
For 2012, the Tulsa’s Future program contributed to the announcement of 3,503 new jobs in northeast Oklahoma. More than 2,400 of those jobs were above the initiative’s target annual income of $50,000 or greater. Since 2011, around 13,000 jobs have been announced through the Tulsa’s Future plan. More than 7,300 of the jobs created produced an average salary of at least $50,000.
Through Tulsa’s Future, 2012 saw 36 local business expansions, including the announcement that Lufthansa Technik Component Services, headquartered in Tulsa, is significantly expanding its local operations and workforce. Baker Hughes announced construction of a nearly $40 million research and development facility in Claremore, with plans to increase its local workforce. Clear Edge Filtration Inc., a leading producer of integrated industrial process filtration solutions, announced it is constructing a new global headquarters in Tulsa and is adding employees.
2013 has attracted major job-creation announcements as well, including the news that Verizon selected Tulsa for a financial services hub that will create 500 jobs. In addition, Borets-Weatherford is constructing a 15,000-square-foot research and development lab and plans to add employees in northeast Oklahoma. Heat exchanger manufacturer also announced plans to expand its workforce as it moves into a new North American headquarters in Tulsa.
The Tulsa’s Future initiative focuses on business retention and expansion, business attraction marketing, entrepreneurship and small business development, education and workforce attraction, advocacy and outreach, and community development.
Tulsa’s Future has demonstrated a commitment to bringing together public and private partners with a stake in our region’s economic prosperity, and 140 public and private sector partners support regional economic development efforts through Tulsa’s Future.
The diverse group of Tulsa’s Future investors, including cities, counties, tribes, chambers of commerce and businesses across northeast Oklahoma, greatly enhance our effectiveness in creating economic growth in the Tulsa region. Tulsa’s Future is creating jobs, attracting new business, recruiting a talented workforce, and improving the region’s competitive positioning and economic prosperity.
As Tulsa and its many regional partners look to the road ahead, we see limitless opportunities to build upon our reputation as a national and international leader. Strong partnerships, such as those forged through the Tulsa’s Future plan, will create a stronger economy and a better quality of life throughout all of northeast Oklahoma.