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2016 Issue 10

Develop, Innovate, Prosper

Eagle Suspensions Completes Quality Jobs Program The Oklahoma Department of Commerce and the Durant Industrial Authority are pleased to celebrate Eagle Suspensions’ completion of 10 years in the Quality Jobs Program. Prior to locating in Durant, Eagle Suspensions (formerly known as Dallas Spring) was headquartered in Texas with its sole manufacturing facility in Canada. All manufacturing operations from Canada were moved to Durant and began as Eagle Suspensions, the number of jobs at the facility has averaged 150 employees over the course of the 10 year contract. “Eagle Suspensions is a great success story for the state of Oklahoma,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “These are the type of high-tech manufacturing jobs that state and local officials want to recruit to Oklahoma through the Quality Jobs Program. These jobs provide economic diversification for our state, which is especially important Oklahoma weathers a downturn in the energy field. “Completing 10 years in Quality Jobs is a major accomplishment, and I want to thank Eagle Suspensions and its leadership for their continued investment in Oklahoma.” Eagle Suspensions is a leading supplier of world-class leaf springs to new truck, trailer and suspension system manufacturers. Eagle is the largest producer of leaf springs in the United States. The facility in Durant features state-ofthe-art manufacturing capabilities with a focus that minimizes vehicle weight and enhances driving dynamics. “Eagle Suspensions, now a Dayton Parts company, landed in Durant July 2006,” said Rick Roy, Operations Manager for Eagle Suspensions. “10 years have now passed and although moving an entire manufacturing and distribution company from Canada seemed a formidable task, we

succeeded. The cooperation and efforts of so many people and departments that aided in Eagle coming to Durant has been a blessing. We have been very fortunate to have participated and rewarded with the Quality Jobs program through an entire 10 year period. This program allowed us to become very rooted and established in Durant as a provider of good paying, stable jobs in a growing community.” Durant Industrial Authority Executive Director Tommy Kramer said Eagle Suspensions supports a strong employee base for Durant and the State of Oklahoma. “On behalf of Mayor Stewart Hoffman and Durant Industrial Authority Chairman Greg Massey, we are truly honored to have Eagle Suspensions be a part of our community and are extremely proud that they have completed the ten year Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program.”

MWC Industrial Park Now Site Ready Certified p. 3 Oklahoma’s Aerospace & Defense Industry Gets a Boost p. 4 EDA Supports Oklahoma Energy Industry in Diversification p. 7


Find your next site location at Find Available Buildings & Industrial Sites with a Click. Search properties including office, retail and industrial spaces along with available shovel-ready sites. Filter searches by property type, location and size, as well as view property photos, at


Community Profiles

Businesses by Location

View labor force, demographic, consumer spending and wage data for cities and towns across the state.

Find your supply chain look at lists of companies by location and defined details.

Additional Site Layers Include: • Airports • Ports, Interstates, Rail Service • Incentives Maps • Military Bases

For more information visit: Lesli Crofford Research Analyst 405-815-5120

Midwest City Industrial Park Now Site Ready Certified presented Midwest City Mayor Matt Dukes with the official certificate at a city council meeting.

Soldier Creek Industrial Park completed infrastructure making it the newest “Certified Site” by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC). The industrial park is 3 miles east of Interstate 35 on the south side of NE 23. It was partially funded by a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant in 2012. It has 40 acres and lies in an enterprise zone that is eligible for new market tax credits. Soldier Creek Industrial Park is one of 18 light industrial parks in Oklahoma with the designation, said Robert Coleman, Midwest City director of economic development. Kathy Gain, ODOC’s project manager,

The objective of the Oklahoma Site Ready certification program is to make business relocation, expansion, and development in Oklahoma as inviting as possible. A site’s successful completion of the Site Ready process guarantees a prospective incoming business that the site is ready for construction. The objective of the Oklahoma Site Ready certification program is to make business relocation, expansion, and development in Oklahoma as inviting as possible. A site’s successful completion of the Site Ready process guarantees a prospective incoming business that the site is ready for construction. To become certified as “Site Ready,” site owners and/or community leaders must complete an application identifying key data about the site to aid site selectors in their searches. An objective third party then assists ODOC in evaluating the applications to ensure sites meet program requirements.

Once certified, ODOC offers detailed, site-specific information, including proximity to major transportation routes, area labor force statistics, utilities, cost of living details, and business incentives for site selectors’ considerations. The site is also listed (for no additional charge) on “Speed is of the essence when industrialists look to start operations at a new location,” Coleman said. “Companies want assurance that all infrastructures are in place and there are no bureaucratic barriers inhibiting the site. [Soldier Creek’s] presence on the Site Ready location list is a major step in our recruitment efforts.” ODOC’s Site Ready certification program targets industries such as aerospace, research, industrial and rural business. Visit for more information. To inquire about applying, contact Kathy Gain at 405815-5214 or

OKC Listed Among Top Destination Cities for Millennials Governor Mary Fallin today applauded Oklahoma City for being listed as a top place for millennials to live. According to data collected by, Oklahoma City is the sixthtop destination for millennials. “This is great news for our workforce,” said Fallin. “City leaders across the nation are vying to attract these young adults to boost their local economy.” Studies have shown that millennials, typically defined as between 20 and 35 years old, are generally attracted to cities with good job prospects and low unemployment rates.

Among the top 10 cities found to be attracting millennials, Oklahoma City had the second-lowest unemployment rate at 3.9 percent rate during the study period and the lowest median home price of $219,000, according to, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®. The website said its findings were based on Census Bureau migration data collected from 2009 to 2013 that tracked people’s moves in and out of metropolitan areas, the number of crossmetro moving requests recorded on and a cross-metro search of traffic on

The article states that more and more young, educated people torn between the opportunities and excitement of city life and the affordability and warmth of a small town seem to be finding Oklahoma City to be the perfect compromise.


Oklahoma’s Aerospace & Defense Industry Gets a Boost with a New Both Oklahoma and South Gyeongsang are internationally recognized as hubs for the aerospace industry, and leaders in manufacturing and innovation. This reciprocal agreement is a win-win for both parties and brings with it many potential opportunities for Oklahoma companies to expand sales of products made here to the growing South Korean market. ~ Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge

Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with officials from the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang. The signing took place in Changwon, South Korea with a small delegation, including a representative from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce joining Secretary Benge. The agreement is the result of months of work by both parties and fosters collaboration and trade through the exchange of industry expertise and reciprocal visits by senior officials. Both regions have a large presence in the aerospace sector. Oklahoma is home to the American Airlines facility in Tulsa, the largest commercial aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) depot in the world and the largest U.S. Department of Defense depot at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City. Gyeongsang is the largest province in South Korea for manufacturing and the South Korean economy is the world’s 11th largest. “Both Oklahoma and South Gyeongsang are internationally recognized as hubs for the aerospace industry, and leaders in manufacturing and innovation,” said Benge. “This reciprocal agreement is a win-win for both parties and brings with it many potential opportunities for Oklahoma companies to expand sales of products made here to the growing South Korean market.” The MOU and recent dialog among government leaders

serve as a framework for South Korean companies to invest in Oklahoma and create new jobs in the state. “Oklahoma’s aerospace industry is well established and growing. This MOU not only raises our presence on the global stage, but it also promotes diversification in our economy. Diversity in manufacturing is very important,” said Jennifer Springer, Director of International Trade and Foreign Investment, Oklahoma Department of Commerce. “The vibrancy of the South Korean economy and the speed at which it has changed is amazing to see,” said Benge. “However, the culture is one that emphasizes perseverance and patience which will require our state to approach this relationship through a long term lens.” “This agreement allows us to reach out beyond our borders and gain a competitive advantage over other states,” said Rep. Mark McBride, House District 53. “In today’s economy, you have to be forward thinking. That is exactly what we have done here.” “It is essential that we fight for every opportunity we have to attract more jobs and investment to our state,” said Sen. Ervin Yen, Senate District 40. “While we will not see changes overnight, this partnership paves the way for future opportunities.”

Agreement with South Korea

ODOC International Trade Representative Visit Interested in doing business in Mexico? Schedule an appointment today.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is hosting Mr. Luis Domenech, International Trade Representative from the Oklahoma-Mexico Trade Office, for an official visit in November. The official visit includes two opportunities for exportready companies to meet with Luis for one-on-one consultations. Interested businesses can reserve their consultation by visiting trade/mexico-trade-office/. Companies already exporting to Mexico or considering Mexico as a new market can benefit from the services provided by the Oklahoma-Mexico Trade Office. These services include:

Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with officials from the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang The Oklahoma Department of Commerce expects trade to increase between the two parties due to the MOU and the resulting investment and partnerships. Oklahoma currently enjoys a trade surplus with South Korea with 2015 imports totaling $65 million and exports of more than $79 million. In that same period Aerospace Products & Parts (NAICS 3364) was a fast growing area of trade for both Korea and Oklahoma. Aerospace Products & parts accounted for $4.1 million of Oklahoma’s exports to South Korea, this is a 250% increase from the previous year. Energy, Agriculture and Construction related equipment continue to be top exports from Oklahoma to South Korea.

• International trade counseling/market entry strategy consulting • International regulations/certifications/standards assistance • International agent/distributor/partner searches • Vetted international trade leads & bidding opportunities • International trade show assistance • Comprehensive market research reports • International due diligence requests • Sourcing assistance Oklahoma City meeting opportunities Tuesday, November 15, 2016 Tulsa meeting opportunities Thursday, November 17, 2016 For more information, contact Liz Tran at 405-815-5111 or


Shawnee Consortium Increases Internet Reliability Cost Decreases for Seven Community Service Organizations

For community service organizations in Shawnee, Okla., dependable internet is the backbone of operations, making it a necessary expense. But the recent initiative of a local university has allowed OneNet to provide resources to upgrade networks while generating significant cost savings. In 2012, Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) learned of grant-funded fiber being built through Shawnee. University officials quickly realized connecting directly to fiber would increase bandwidth while decreasing costs, so they contacted OneNet, which manages the fiber.

benefit a direct connection to fiber would bring. With thousands of patient records, seamless connections between St Anthony Shawnee Hospital and its sister hospital in Oklahoma City are vital for patient health and timely service. Chuck Skillings, St Anthony Shawnee Hospital CEO, jumped at the opportunity to increase the hospital’s data safety net. “Our number one priority is data capacity,” Skillings said. “Increased bandwidth expands our capacity and our ability to transmit data back and forth.”

Randy Smith, executive vice president for business and administrative services, at OBU saw the possibilities the increased bandwidth and cost savings could bring to OBU education. Lower administrative budgets would allow expansion in classroom initiatives while maintaining OBU’s commitment to affordable education.

An agreement was reached in 2015, and OneNet began construction. OneNet partnered with Dobson Technologies to bring fiber from the existing route to each location. To ensure reliability, OneNet used Vyve Broadband’s connections for redundant paths. These public-private partnerships increased savings for all consortium members.

“Immediately, we saw the benefit to OBU for additional bandwidth at a lower cost to better meet the needs of students and the university community,” Smith said.

The project was finished in July 2016. By eliminating redundant construction processes and utilizing available telecommunications companies, OneNet was able to provide significant cost savings while maintaining or increasing bandwidth.

Smith saw potential for the Shawnee community as a whole, too. Shawnee is home to numerous institutions with similar missions that benefit from cost savings and increased bandwidth opportunities. OBU representatives contacted leaders at St. Gregory’s University, Gordon Cooper Technology Center, Shawnee Public Schools, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, St Anthony Shawnee Hospital and the City of Shawnee. There was immediate interest from all, so OneNet developed a plan for upgrades. St Anthony Shawnee Hospital officials quickly saw the

“All of us banding together made the process significantly more economical,” Skillings said. “We were able to make infrastructure plans as a group that would have been redundant if we had done it on our own.” While the consortium is a group arrangement, each organization has its own tailored connection to meet individual needs, with an expansion option up to 10Gbps; so as the city grows, the network can, too.

EDA Supports Oklahoma Energy Industry in Diversification $1 million federal grant money awarded to OCAST for new project The EDA grant allows us to support Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas supply chain companies as they work to diversify their products and services to better weather shifting economic conditions and industry downturns.

~ C. Michael Carolina, OCAST executive director

A project developed by the state’s technology-based economic development agency to help Oklahoma’s energy supply-chain businesses weather economic downturns through market diversification has received $1 million in federal grant support. The U.S. Department of Commerce, through its Economic Development Administration (EDA), made the award to the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) in a ceremony held at i2E, Inc. located in the OU University Research Park. EDA awarded the funds to OCAST to support an innovative project that will assist oil and natural gas supply chain companies across the 38 Oklahoma counties most affected by the current downturn in the energy industry. “We identified a compelling need to diversify markets for energy-related businesses in Oklahoma,” said Jorge Ayala, Regional Director of the Austin Region of the EDA. “We are pleased to make this award to OCAST with confidence that the funds will help energy-related businesses grow markets, create jobs and withstand economic downturns like the one the industry is currently experiencing.” The two-year, $1 million grant is the largest federal award made to OCAST in its 30-year history. “This represents a momentous milestone to OCAST because it is a resounding statement of confidence in our Oklahoma Innovation Model,” said C. Michael Carolina, OCAST executive director. “The EDA grant allows us to support Oklahoma’s

oil and natural gas supply chain companies as they work to diversify their products and services to better weather shifting economic conditions and industry downturns.” Nicknamed “Project Diversify Oklahoma,” the OCAST initiative launches October 1 and is designed to help impacted companies expand their markets and generate additional revenue streams. Goals of Project Diversify Oklahoma are: • Help Oklahoma businesses regain jobs lost over the last 12 months • Create more than 300 new higher-wage jobs with an estimated increase in payroll in excess of $17 million • Develop sustainable solutions to assist energy-related businesses in weathering future economic downturns

• Generate collaborations which benefit not only local firms but also the communities in which they operate The Oklahoma Innovation Model is a partnership between the public sector, private industry and research institutions that access additional partner organizations across the state to provide advisory, financial and technical support to technology-based businesses. Partners in the Oklahoma Innovation Model include the private nonprofit Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, the Oklahoma State University New Product Development Center, private nonprofit corporation i2E, Inc., and OCAST.


Upcoming Events MANUFACTURING WEEK AWARDS RECEPTIONS This event celebrates manufacturing in Oklahoma by recognizing companies and individuals exhibiting excellence in the field. Monday, October 3, 2016 - Oklahoma City 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Francis Tuttle Technology Center - Portland Campus Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - Tulsa 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tulsa Technology Center Riverside Campus For more information and registration visit:

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FORUMS Workers’ compensation professionals in Oklahoma will have the opportunity to learn crucial information about the industry at two free events. The events are designed to provide a greater understanding of both national and state workers’ compensation issues. There is no charge to attend but reservations are required. To register, call NCCI’s Customer Service Center at 800-NCCI-123 or Three hours of continuing education credit is available for licensed insurance agents and adjusters. October 25, 2016 - Oklahoma City 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Embassy Suites Oklahoma City Downtown Continental breakfast served at 8:30 a.m. October 26, 2016 - Tulsa 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. OU’s Schusterman Learning Center/Founders Hall Continental breakfast served at 8:30 a.m.

OKLAHOMA WORKS SUMMIT: The purpose of this statewide summit is to provide an update on the progress of Governor Fallin’s Oklahoma Works Initiative, share best practices, promote regional partnerships and build on the momentum developed during the past two years of work. October 6, 2016 - Oklahoma City 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cox Convention Center $30 per person Registration: Karen Cagle, 405-272-4411 GOVERNOR’S STEM SUMMIT: The purpose of this statewide summit is to bring together Oklahoma business leaders, educators and other key stakeholders focused on the critical importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics throughout our state and develop local strategies to enhance STEM education in communities. November 1, 2016 - Oklahoma City 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cox Convention Center For more information, contact: Shauna Peters 405-272-4452 or Lindsey Sparks 405-272-4430 VETERENS DAY Friday, November 11, 2016 State Offices Closed

For more information, contact: Kelly Dexter at 405-522-0683 or

NEW PIONEER, A PRODUCT OF THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE EDITOR IN CHIEF: Kimberly Hickerson CONTRIBUTORS: Stefanie Appleton, Bryan Boone, April Goode PHOTO CREDITS: Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Eagle Suspensions FOR NEW PIONEER SUBMISSIONS AND STORY IDEAS CONTACT: Kimberly Hickerson Editor-in-Chief Oklahoma Department of Commerce 900 N. Stiles Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73104 (405) 815-5240 @OKcommerce

Issue 10 2016  

Eagle Suspensions Completes Quality Jobs Program, MWC Industrial Park Now Site Ready Certified, Oklahoma’s Aerospace & Defense Industry Gets...

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