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2016 Issue 8

Develop, Innovate, Prosper

Boeing Celebrates 100th Anniversary, Opening of New Facility

Coinciding with its 100th anniversary celebration, on July 15 Boeing officially opened its 290,000 square-foot facility that will provide 800 new jobs in Oklahoma. Boeing has had a growing presence in the Oklahoma City area for more than 60 years, and the new Global Services & Support (GS&S) facility is the newest addition. The structure, the third on Boeing’s existing campus, will house employees working in engineering, research and development laboratories, and some support staff.

“Not only will this facility grow Boeing’s presence in the state, it is highly likely that Boeing suppliers will want to move closer to supply this facility,” said Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin. “This means higher sales for local suppliers and other small businesses and high-paying jobs for Oklahomans, as well as attracting talent to the state.” The headquarters for GS&S’ Aircraft and Modernization and Sustainment (AM&S) division is moving to Oklahoma City as well. The move involves transferring 12 senior management positions to the new site, including GS&S President Leanne Caret, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony just last July. “We see a bright horizon for the aircraft sustainment business because of the highly trained and motivated workforce we have in Oklahoma City,” said Caret. “Expanding our presence and bringing AM&S headquarters here continues a trend of combining Oklahoma’s home-grown talent with the best of the enterprise to support some of our customers’ most critical missions.” Boeing has already hired 600 employees in Oklahoma City and will begin moving labs and equipment into the building in the next couple of weeks, according to Michael Emmelhainz, Boeing vice president of Large Aircraft and Engineering Sustainment and the Oklahoma City senior site executive. The new facility will mainly be used to develop ways to prolong the life of existing aircraft, including the B-52. C-17, AWACS and other aircraft. “All the aircraft that we support as they age need to find new capabilities for them - these are the labs that will find those innovative answers,” Emmelhainz said in an interview with KFOR during the grand opening ceremony.

Governor Mary Fallin and Michael Emmelhainz, Boeing vice president at the Grand Opening ceremony.

Oklahoma has a legacy of aerospace innovation and success dating back more than 100 years, with pioneers like Wiley Post, who launched his career of exploring the limits of highaltitude, long-distance flight in our state. Today, more than 500 aerospace companies and organizations operate some of the world’s most successful aerospace companies in Oklahoma, including Boeing, American Airlines, Spirit Aerosystems, NORDAM, and the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. With over 7.4% of Oklahoma’s economy attributed to aerospace and defense, the second largest industry sector for the state has been growing and helping to make up for the slowdown in the energy sector. This new growth can be attributed to Oklahoma’s pro-business atmosphere. Now that the labs in Oklahoma City are open, the role of the state is to help support STEM education (science technology engineering and math) to train and educate Oklahoma’s future engineers. STEM education is already on the rise in Oklahoma and has seen a 28% increase in graduates over the last five years. ”Those skills are necessary for companies like Boeing to succeed and continue to grow,” Fallin said.

New Investment Numbers for Oklahoma Total $694 Million p. 3 High Marks for Early Childhood Education p. 4 OSUIT Receives Grant from Haas Foundation p. 7

THE STATE OF BUSINESS New Businesses Rankings & Press

Oklahoma City recognized as one of only three US cities that have good jobs, affordable housing and a high quality of life. Reported by and researched by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis who compared the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country for quality of life, affordability and economic strength across several metrics using Census data and several other indicators. Only three cities excelled in all these areas Omaha, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa, and Oklahoma City, Okla.

Oklahoma ranked 6th TXlowest state tax burden. Overall tax burden

was calculated by WalletHub using property, individual income, sales and gross receipt taxes as a fraction of personal income.

#9 on Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores co-founder Judy Love, her net worth is listed at $1.9 Billion.

Oklahoma third in the nation in wheat production according to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry report that the five-year average harvest is 96 million bushels.

Paycom was recognized by Achievers as one of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in North America. The company is headquartered Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist, Holly Van Remmen, Ph.D., received the Denham Harman Award. Established in 1978, the prize is a lifetime achievement award that recognizes scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of research in aging. Her work has focused on studying Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Burn Co. Barbecue in Tulsa ranked #17 in Business Insider’s Top Barbecue Restaurants in America List. For more information visit:

New Investment Numbers for Oklahoma Total $694 Million The Oklahoma Department of Commerce reported 36 business expansion announcements totaling $694 million in new investment for the first half of 2016. Three of the largest deals were PayCom’s plan to add 423 employees, Alorica’s expansion with 400 jobs, and Progrexion’s plan to locate in Oklahoma City and hire 500 employees. Included in the announcement, Progrexion is building a new operation in the state. The fast-growing credit repair company noted Oklahoma’s culture and environment, as well as local incentives, in its decision to invest in the state. Companies with existing Oklahoma operations including Xerox, Southwest Airlines, Cytovance Biologics, AT&T, and Spiers New Technologies, also announced adding significant numbers of new jobs or facility investments. You can read the full reports at

New Discover Oklahoma Destination Dining Guide Out Now For 25 years, the state’s official television show, “Discover Oklahoma,” has been transporting viewers to some of the state’s tastiest restaurants, highlighting the colorful characters and delicious dishes that make each one special. From the famed fried chicken at Eischen’s Bar in Okarche to the savory smoked meats at John & Cook’s Real Pit Bar-B-Que in Lawton, Discover Oklahoma features locations with food and ambiance so unique, they’re not just restaurants, they’re dining destinations. Even more culinary journeys await readers within the pages of the new Discover Oklahoma Destination Dining Guide, a free publication produced by the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department. The 80-page guide highlights some of the best-loved “Discover Oklahoma” restaurants, plus many more amazing eateries. There are legendary Oklahoma restaurants like Click’s Steakhouse in Pawnee and Kumback Café in Perry, along with modern standouts like The Mule in Oklahoma City and Lassalle’s New Orleans Deli in Tulsa. With 260

restaurants in nearly 100 cities and towns across the state, readers are sure to find something new to try. The guide also shares the stories behind some of Oklahoma’s culinary traditions, like the Depression-era rise of the onion burger and the 1870s coal boom that would eventually make southeastern Oklahoma a destination for hearty Italian cuisine. The Destination Dining Guide, along with all of the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department’s publications, is available free online at Brochures, by phone at (800) 652-6552, and at Tourism Information Centers throughout the state. The Department’s other publications include the annual Travel Guide, the Oklahoma State Parks & Outdoor Recreation Guide, and special interest guides like the new Rhythm and Routes brochure, which explores Oklahoma’s musical roots and provides itineraries for visiting musical landmarks and hometown attractions for many of the state’s native stars.

“Discover Oklahoma” airs in all Oklahoma television markets, as well as some in Kansas and Texas. Tune in each Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Oklahoma City on KFOR (NBC), in Tulsa on KTUL (ABC) and in Lawton on KSWO (ABC) or watch the show’s YouTube channel at


High Marks for Early Childhood Education

How school districts boost their youngest students’ chances for success Oklahoma is receiving accolades for its successes in what many educators contend is the most important aspect of ensuring educational success — effective and innovative early childhood education.

Glandon says that the hallmark early childhood education program is a collaborative effort with Grace Living Center, a nursing home located next to the Jenks Early Learning Center.

Last November, New America, a non-partisan public policy think-tank, ranked Oklahoma second in the U.S. for implementing a system that ensures students develop strong literacy skills.

Don Greiner, CEO of the Grace Living Center in Jenks, adheres to the Eden Philosophy, which is based on the core belief that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth instead of a period of decline. This approach also incorporates many aspects of life such as children, animals and nature.

The report scored the states on 65 different education policy points including such factors as teacher preparation, student achievement and developmental screening, among others. Only New York ranked higher than Oklahoma. Jeanene Barnett, executive director of curriculum and instruction, Oklahoma State Department of Education, explained how Oklahoma achieved such a high ranking. “The state’s educators started pushing early childhood education back in the early 1990s. One key reason for its success is that it has been around long enough for the legislature to actually see the results. Regarding pre-K curriculum, you have to have patience to ultimately see results,” says Barnett. “Oklahoma leaders were also able to recognize that there were a lot of creative ways for local districts to best serve their pre-K children.” Prepping for the Future One of the first districts in the state to employ such methods was Jenks Public Schools. Shan Glandon, executive director of teaching and learning for Jenks Public Schools, oversees the implementation and development of the district’s programs. “First Steps Academy” is geared for children from six weeks to two years of age and is sponsored by the district’s Community Education office. This provides children an environment to interact with other children and is followed by a program for three-year-olds, which is literature-based with lots of exposure to reading and to picture books.

Greiner approached Jenks schools officials with the idea of a program to include pre-K and kindergarten students. An atrium and two classrooms we’re build in this facility to enable the plan to come to fruition and to provide a center where the senior citizens and children can interact daily. “We do reading buddies every day where the children and residents read together one-on-one,” Glandon explains. Shared Studying Another connection is where residents join in play scenarios. “This can be for residents who may have lost some language or vocabulary due to a stroke or other health challenge,” says Glandon. “Shared study” is another learning connection opportunity where the senior citizens can engage students in various math, science or art experiences and share their perspectives on the various subjects. Ice cream socials sponsored by the nursing home every Wednesday and sing-alongs with the residents provide unique opportunities for the children to interact with the elders. “It’s amazing to see how the children draw out the senior citizens, and vice versa, and share thoughts about the seasons, the weather or such topics as pets,” Glandon says. District officials also constructed several raised gardening beds outside the home that are handicap accessible in which the elders can help the youngsters plant and grow, all the while learning more about nature.

“We have full day pre-kindergarten at each of our school sites,” says Glandon. “This helps build that readiness for school for our children that is so critical to a child’s educational success.”

“These are all ‘win-win’ situations for both residents and the students,” Glandon says.

“There’s a direct correlation between that strong readiness for reading and being on track at the appropriate reading level,” Glandon explains.

Barnett went on to explain that several other districts in the state have also implemented programs that partners seniors with preschool children. At Enid Public Schools, students from Carver Early Childhood Center attend school at The Commons, a local retirement home.

PSO, TU Team Up On Solar The University of Tulsa (TU) will soon be receiving power from solar energy, thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership between the university and Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO). Under the terms of an agreement signed earlier this spring, PSO will own and maintain a 300-kilowatt solar panel array which will be installed on the roof of TU’s Case Tennis Center. The university will lease the panels from PSO and use the electricity they generate to supply power to the Case Center.

Chris Smith, early childhood director at Enid Public Schools, shared her thoughts with the State Department of Education about the mutual benefits of bringing small children and older adults together. “For our children, it teaches empathy, social skills and emotional skills, which are so important for four-year-olds,” says Smith. “It does benefit the residents academically as well because the residents read with them. They work with children who are having difficulty, so they get one-on-one attention they might not get otherwise.” Ft. Gibson has introduced a similar program with a slightly different spin, providing high school students the opportunity to interact with three-year-olds in a classroom/daycare-type setting. Derald Glover, superintendent at Ft. Gibson Public Schools, explains that he got the idea from an educational journal, which he shared with his staff. “The program is actually part of our Family Consumer Science curriculum,” says Glover. “During the full-day session, the children get exposure to a school environment while our high school students understand how to deal with young children and have the opportunity to learn about early childhood education.” Retha Eastwood, who teaches Early Child Care classes, built the model program at Ft. Gibson six years ago and still leads the effort. “We have a full-time adult aide run the lab and then the high school students come in as part of their 70-minute class,” says Eastwood. “Our young children really love being part of the school environment and structure and interacting with the high school students.”

“PSO is proud to work with an innovative and forward thinking partner like The University of Tulsa to bring this new, renewable technology online,” said Stuart Solomon, PSO president and chief operating officer. “Solar power will be an increasingly important part of our energy mix in the future, and this project is an important first step in that transition.” The 936 polycrystalline photovoltaic panels being installed are expected to produce up to 400,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year. It would take 70 typical residential rooftop solar installations to produce that much energy. To maximize energy production throughout the day, approximately half of the panels will be installed facing east and the other half will face west. “The University of Tulsa was recently named the greenest college in the state, and we are eager to take our sustainability efforts to even greater heights. By utilizing solar energy,” said Kevan Buck, TU’s executive vice president and treasurer. “We have begun exploring another way to lessen our campus’ carbon footprint – a move that’s important to our TU family.” Energy technologies and services provider, Power Secure LLC, has been contracted to coordinate engineering, procurement and construction work on the project. Construction of the framework and installation of the panels is expected to begin this summer and be in service and generating electricity for TU by September. PSO, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), is an electric utility company serving more than 544,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. Based in Tulsa, PSO has nearly 3,800 megawatts of generating capacity and is one of the largest distributors of wind energy in the state. For more information about PSO visit



General Information and Assistance:

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce serves as an initial point of contact for aspiring and existing small business owners. Minority entrepreneurs are particularly invited to contact the agency, as well.

• For a new business, what are the steps to register or file a trade name or a formal entity structure?

Referral Sources: After initial contact, the existing or aspiring business owner is often referred to other sources for more, in-depth counseling, training and planning assistance. Key among such sources is the Oklahoma Small Business Development Centers ( and the volunteer chapters of the Service Corps of Retired Executives ( Other sources include the small business counselors and coordinators of the various technology centers across the state as well as special small and minority business programs that exist.

• For my type of business, is there a state regulatory or professional license, permit or other action needed to operate it? • Are there grants to help start or expand my small business versus trying to obtain a loan? • How do I get a small business or SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) loan? Are some of these loans specifically earmarked for minority businesses? • Is it easy to find an investor for a small business idea? • Who can I contact for counseling and assistance regarding developing a written and detailed business plan or loan application? • How does a business become certified as a minority-owned or disadvantaged enterprise to assist its efforts with government or private sector contracting and procurement? For answers to these and other questions visit the Business Services and Start-Up section of our website:

For more, information contact: Ken Talley, MBA Small and Minority Business Coordinator 405-815-5218

OSUIT Receives Grant from Haas Foundation The new grant will provide scholarships for manufacturing students Industry support of students in this career field is essential to the U.S. economy. It helps promote our local manufacturers, which in turn promotes our local economy.

~ Mike Pierce, assistant dean of the School of Engineering Technologies

Dr. Abul Hasan, Dr. Sheryl Hale, Tim Walker, Johnnie Austin and Dr. Scott Newman gather for a check presentation from the Gene Haas Foundation to support scholarships for students enrolled in OSUIT’s Manufacturing Technologies program. In Okmulgee-OSU Institute of Technology was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to provide scholarships to students pursuing a career in the manufacturing industry. Haas Automation, founded in 1983 by Gene Haas, is the leading builder of CNC machine tools in the United States. CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, machines are automation tools used in manufacturing plants. The grant from the Gene Haas Foundation will fund scholarships for students in OSUIT’s Manufacturing Technology program. The grant is awarded to institutions that have an emphasis on “learn by doing” and incorporate machining into coursework. “The Gene Haas Foundation has a very high regard for teachers and believes they are in a prime position to recommend which students are most deserving of scholarships,” said Kathy Looman, Gene Haas Foundation administrator. “We ask that the instructor be a part of the process of selecting the scholarship recipients.”

It takes investment and support from industry partners like Haas Automation to attract potential and marketable students who will then join the workforce. “Our schools desperately need industry to support their programs, inspire their students and provide employment opportunities,” said Looman. Mike Pierce, assistant dean of the School of Engineering Technologies, said being awarded the grant means the industry supports OSUIT’s Manufacturing Technology program and that it is meeting an important industry need in preparing the future workforce. “Industry support of students in this career field is essential to the U.S. economy. It helps promote our local manufacturers, which in turn promotes our local economy,” Pierce said. “It encourages students to gain important industry skills, reach their goals, and move into well-paying jobs.”

Gene Haas Foundation. In addition to the foundation, Gene Haas and his company also support the Haas Technical Education Centers, an organization that provides an array of training, networking and resources for instructors in manufacturing programs. “Technical programs are very expensive to operate and support,” Pierce said. “Without industry partners like Haas we could not operate these types of programs to the level required by industry.” In a recent report from the Manufacturing Institute, it is projected that over the next decade nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be vacant, but due to the nation’s skills gap, only 1.5 million will be filled. OSU Institute of Technology is committed to developing educational resources and outcomes-focused learning environments that will address these workforce issues.

Since 1999, more than 1,500 schools and organizations have received funds totaling more than $34 million from the




The Oklahoma Department of Commerce / Community Development (ODOC/CD) has scheduled a Public Input session and Public Hearing to discuss the upcoming FY 2017 State Consolidated Plan. The State Consolidated Plan formal Public Input Session and Public Hearing are designed to get ideas, comments, suggestions, and feedback from the public regarding the State Consolidated Plan. The State Consolidated Plan is a single, annual document that incorporates the planning and application aspects of the following programs:

Have you or someone you know been keeping Oklahoma beautiful this past year? Don’t be shy about what you, someone else or your favorite organization has done to improve Oklahoma’s aesthetic, environmental or sustainable quality of life. Submit a nomination today for one of Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s Environmental Excellence Awards.

• • • •

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

The Public Input session and Public Hearing are part of the overall State Consolidated Plan citizen participation process which is required annually in order to obtain continued program funding from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).

Input Session: Sept 20, 2016 - Oklahoma City 2 PM, Metro Technology Center (Springlake Campus) 1720 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Business Conference Center (Room J) Public Hearing: Oct 20, 2016 - Oklahoma City 2 PM, Metro Technology Center (Springlake Campus) 1720 Springlake Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Business Conference Center (Room F) Questions can be addressed to Scott Myers (405) 815-5356 or Steven Hoover (405) 815-5268 or

LABOR DAY Monday, September 5, 2016 State Offices Closed

The deadline to nominate is August 8, 2016. Finalists will be honored and winners announced on Thursday, November 17, 2016 during the 26th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards Celebration at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Find out more about the 2016 EEC at: If you have any questions, or need help completing the nomination process, do not hesitate to contact the KOB office at 405.286.9141 or

NEW PIONEER, A PRODUCT OF THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE EDITOR IN CHIEF: Kimberly Hickerson CONTRIBUTORS: Stefanie Appleton, Bryan Boone, Doug Eaton PHOTO CREDITS: Oklahoma Department of Commerce, James Johnson 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 8 2016  

New Investment Numbers for Oklahoma total $694 Million, High Marks for Early Childhood Education, OSUIT Receives Grant from Haas Foundation,...

Issue 8 2016  

New Investment Numbers for Oklahoma total $694 Million, High Marks for Early Childhood Education, OSUIT Receives Grant from Haas Foundation,...