2017 Issue 8
D e ve l o p , I n n ov a t e , P r o s p e r
Developing Oklahomaâ€™s Northeast Region Q&A with Charlotte Howe, Regional Development Specialist for Northeast Okla. p. 3 OKcommerce.gov
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Developing Oklahoma’s Northeast Region Q&A with Charlotte Howe, ODOC Regional Development Specialist I think that communities should know that not only am I there as a representative of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, but also as a connection to a lot of the other partners who make economic development successful in Northeast Oklahoma. I like to remind them that I may not know the answer but likely know the person who does.
Charlotte Howe, ODOC Regional Development Specialist
Charlotte Howe has worked at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) for just over a year, as Oklahoma Northeast Regional Development Specialist. Howe’s region covers 19 counties in Northeast Oklahoma, including Jay, Okla., where she lives and offices. What are your major priorities in Northeast Oklahoma? • To assist existing and new businesses by looking at incentives, both state and local, and resources that the state and local area may have available to them and help them to be even more successful. •
To create primary jobs with a living wage for the people of Northeast Oklahoma.
To work with the regional groups such as Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance, and the Tulsa Regional Chamber. I think it is important for Northeast Oklahoma to understand how regionalism will help us grow.
To let my communities, particularly our rural cities and towns, know that there are resources out there to help them establish an economic development effort.
What are some of the biggest assets to your area? I think our biggest asset in Northeast Oklahoma is the people. I have heard more than one new business say they have made their decision based on the work ethic they observed. Cherokee Nation and the other Native American tribes have been instrumental in recruitment and also the development of economic development and infrastructure efforts in their
areas. Their cultural contributions also draw thousands to our area of the state. Tulsa, MidAmerica, the Port of Catoosa, and the Port of Muskogee are invaluable tools we can offer businesses looking to locate in northeast Oklahoma. Furthermore, the partnerships with these assets, our local Economic Development Organizations and our regional groups is unique in that everyone is willing to work together to provide companies with as many resources as possible. Our natural resources, such as our lakes, trails and scenic bypasses, are a great asset for the northeast region of the state. What are the main industries in your area? The aerospace industry has been growing rapidly in northeast Oklahoma and we hope to continue to see those great jobs added to our area. Also, related oil and gas support industries are prevalent throughout our area. One of our biggest industries is tourism, with Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees and Cherokee Nation, tourism jobs have added a boost to Northeast Oklahoma. What are some of the largest companies in your area? • NORDAM • Cherokee Nation • AEP PSO • Baker Hughes • Google • Dal Tile • Spirit Aerospace
What are some of the newest companies in your area? • AST Storage • AgoNow • Orizon • Probo Medical What businesses would be a good fit the region and how does ODOC work to attract those types of businesses? Aerospace industry would be a great fit for our region. ODOC works hard to attract this industry with good incentives and by providing demographics on our workforce. Manufacturers will find great benefits by locating in the MidAmerica Industrial Park, the third largest rural industrial park in the nation. Full infrastructure, local incentives, and state incentives make this park a great fit for manufacturers. Also, I think tourism oriented businesses would find the natural resources, location to airports and highways, and workforce a great benefit to locating in Northeast Oklahoma How does the Northeastern area work to provide workforce solutions for companies? By educating the area on regionalism, the economic development agencies in Northeast Oklahoma area are helping all partners in Northeast Oklahoma gather their workforce demographics. In fact, Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance, and Tulsa Regional Chamber have both completed workforce studies in the last year to show metrics to companies interested in our region. Also, all of the local Economic Development Organizations have great relationships with the tribal career services and Workforce Oklahoma to provide individual attention to companies looking to locate or expand in Northeast Oklahoma. What partnerships are vital to the area? The Tulsa Regional Chamber, NORA, Cherokee Nation, Creek Nation, The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, CareerTech, and many others all work hand in hand with communities’ economic development representatives to provide comprehensive services to our businesses and recruitment efforts. The partnership between these organizations is one of the region’s biggest strengths.
Universities, parks, playgrounds, museums and heritage centers are just a few examples of what make Northeast Okla. a great place to grow your business How have community and development grants helped the region? Community development grants are vital to the communities in Northeast Oklahoma. Often times, these are the only option for expanding or completing infrastructure needs for new and expanding businesses. Often communities are able to use the grants as leverage for their recruitment efforts. What services do you provide that communities should be more aware of? I think that communities should know that not only am I there as a representative of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, but I also as a connection to a lot of the other partners who make economic development successful in Northeast Oklahoma. I like to remind them that I may not know the answer but likely know the person who does. Any information or insights that you would like to include. The people, natural resources, and partnerships in Northeast Oklahoma are unique and appealing and I would encourage you to come see for yourself how special our region is for the business community.
$1.3B Wind Energy Investment Announced by PSO The new investment is expected to provide dramatic savings for customers. Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) announced an unprecedented project that will provide significant cost savings to customers and further diversify the company’s energy supply. The Wind Catcher Energy Connection (Wind Catcher) project includes the nation’s largest wind energy facility and a dedicated generation tie-line to efficiently deliver the wind energy to PSO’s customers. PSO and its sister company, Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), will partner on the $4.5 billion project with PSO’s share of the investment totaling $1.3 billion. Under the proposal, PSO will own 600 megawatts (MW) of a 2,000 MW wind farm currently under construction by Invenergy in the Oklahoma panhandle near Guymon. PSO will also own part of an approximately 350-mile dedicated generation tie-line, stretching from the panhandle to the Tulsa area. The tieline will allow PSO and SWEPCO to efficiently deliver the low-cost wind energy to their customers. The project is expected to provide net savings to PSO customers of more than $2 billion over the life of the project. These customer savings, which begin in the first year of operation, are over and above the costs of the Wind Catcher project. The projected net savings for PSO’s customers primarily result from reduced energy costs resulting from the low cost of wind energy from the project, along with associated tax benefits that PSO will pass along to its customers. There are no fuel costs associated with wind energy and the dedicated tie line ensures delivery of the energy without
incurring congestion costs associated with existing power lines in the region. With the addition of Wind Catcher energy, PSO customers will receive nearly 40% of their energy from wind. “PSO is very excited about this extraordinary opportunity to reduce costs for our customers by delivering to them high quality, very low-priced Oklahoma wind energy,” said Stuart Solomon, PSO president and chief operating officer. “At the same time, the Wind Catcher project will boost the Oklahoma economy, create thousands of new jobs, and provide tax revenues for local governments. There’s never been a project like Wind Catcher, and we’re pleased to bring it forward for the benefit of our customers and the state.”
of wind energy expected to begin at that time. PSO, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), is an electric utility company serving more than 545,000 customers in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma. Based in Tulsa, PSO has approximately 3,800 megawatts of generating capacity, and is a significant provider of wind energy in the state. News releases and other information about PSO can be found at PSOklahoma.com.
PSO will make a filing at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission seeking Commission approval to move forward with the project. If all regulatory approvals are received, the project will be completed in late 2020, with delivery
New Investment Opportunities Discussed in Muskogee Greater Muskogee Manufacturers Alliance Meeting with Commerce
Industrial Development Director Marie Synar and Commerce and Tourism Secretary Deby Snodgrass Commerce and Tourism Secretary Deby Snodgrass spoke with Muskogee area manufacturers and economic development experts at the Greater Muskogee Manufacturers Alliance Meeting about the state’s budget shortfall. She explained that despite some concerns, with economic development new investment during the past fiscal year (that ended June 30, 2017) surpassed the state’s $1.2 billion annual goal by more than $7.25 million. During fiscal year 2017, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce helped produce 47 wins (three more than FY 16), with more than 20 percent of those wins resulting from foreign direct investment into the State of Oklahoma. She offered a number of specific recommendations for Greater Muskogee economic development including: •
Continue efforts for workforce education and training.
Procure more land for development at the Port of Muskogee, and improve rail access at the port.
Increase marketing of the port to bulk shippers, logistical firms and heavy industry.
Target suppliers and consumers of products generated at the Daltile, Georgia Pacific, Advantage Controls,
Global Machine, Love Bottling, Metals USA, O-I, Graham Packaging, Custom Seating, American Foundry, Vallourec Star, Owens Illinois, Acme Engineering and other manufacturers in Muskogee County •
Expand transload (shorthaul-truck to rail or vice versa) Port of Muskogee,
Industrial Development Director Marie Synar’s office was instrumental in creating one of their local workforce programs known as Muskogee Dream It. Do It. Initiated in 2015, it is designed to inspire youth to pursue manufacturing careers. In general Sec. Snodgrass considered some of the items that helped achieve this level of new investment including, the state’s right-to-work laws, low costs of doing business, and extremely low tax rates. She also cited items that would help improve investment in the state such as slightly raising taxes. “I have not had one single company say the taxes are too high,” Snodgrass said. “Their No. 1 worry is our taxes are so low that we can’t pay our teachers, we can’t support our schools, we can’t support our infrastructure.”
Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Tishomingo Set to Open Ryman Hospitality Properties to hire 50 for new location
Ryman Hospitality Properties, parent company of Opry Entertainment, is itchin’ to fill more than 50 positions for its firstever Ole Red location opening early fall
Applications will be screened from the company’s headquarters in Nashville beginning immediately.
Nashville and Tishomingo are both places that are important to me, and it’s great that each location is going to have its own personality inspired by one of my favorite songs. It’s always been a dream of mine to create something like this where people know they’re going to have a good time as soon as they walk in the door, and I couldn’t be more excited that my friends at the Opry and Ryman Hospitality Properties are making it happen.
~ Blake Shelton Singer-Songwriter and Oklahoma Native in downtown Tishomingo, Okla. Inspired by Opry member and Oklahoma native Blake Shelton’s clever, irreverent third chart hit, Ole Red Tishomingo will feature a bar, restaurant and retail space in the heart of Shelton’s hometown. The company is seeking full-time and part-time help for retail, restaurant and kitchen areas in advance of the opening, anticipated in September 2017. Interested candidates should visit olered.com/jobs to apply for open positions.
Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties Chairman and CEO, said, “The Grand Ole Opry is known for connecting fans to the artists and the music they love and that is what the Ole Red brand is all about. Not only is Blake Shelton one of the most popular entertainers of his generation, his performance style and passion for authentic country music have also made him a fixture on the Grand Ole Opry stage since the early days of his career. Ole Red will immerse fans in all the elements of a great country song—
with some unexpected twists from Blake along the way.” “It’s amazing to me to see a song that’s been such a big part of my career come to life in the plans for Ole Red,” said Blake Shelton. “Nashville and Tishomingo are both places that are important to me, and it’s great that each location is going to have its own personality inspired by one of my favorite songs. It’s always been a dream of mine to create something like this where people know they’re going to have a good time as soon as they walk in the door, and I couldn’t be more excited that my friends at the Opry and Ryman Hospitality Properties are making it happen.” Selected candidates will begin training in late August. Ole Red employees will enjoy a wide array of perks and benefits in addition to competitive pay and flexible work schedules. Applicants should note that these positions will require night and weekend availability. Ryman Hospitality Properties is an equal opportunity employer.
Upcoming Events and Important Dates UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS BUSINESS & CONTRACTING SYMPOSIUM August 8, 2017 2:00 PM â€“ 6:30 PM, Tuesday Metro Tech Economic Development Center Business Conference Center 1900 Springlake Drive, OKC Costs: $75 per person
Governments and private industries are turning to drones! Drones are increasingly used in everything! UAS Business & Contracting Symposium is a convergence of government and private industry stakeholders who recognize the potential of the UAS industry and are interested in UAS considerations, challenges and answers.
NEW PIONEER A PRODUCT OF THE OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Kimberly Hickerson CONTRIBUTORS: Stefanie Appleton, Bryan Boone PHOTO CREDITS: Oklahoma Dept. of Commerce
Keynote Speakers | Panel Discussions | Valuable Networking Opportunities Register at http://www.metrotech.edu/uassymposium.
FOR NEW PIONEER SUBMISSIONS AND STORY IDEAS CONTACT:
Government officials using Purchase Orders call 405-595-4678 to register and provide enrollment with the appropriate billing information.
Kimberly Hickerson Editor-in-Chief New Pioneer (405) 815-5240 email@example.com
COMPLETING RFPS WITH CENSUS AND OTHER DATABASES Thursday, August 17, 2017, 10:00 AM - Noon Kiamichi Technology Center - Idabel Campus Idabel, OK Costs: Free to attend, registration required
Filling out Requests for Proposal (RFPs) can be a daunting task, but it is critical in attracting businesses to your location. Learn how to find the data you need with a free two-hour interactive workshop with direct application for business recruitment and economic development in your community. The workshop will include an overview of major data sources such as Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, followed by a hands-on session working with ODOC researchers to find the information that companies request about your own town, city, or county. Registration and additional details at: okcommerce.gov/data/workshops For questions, contact Jon Chiappe, Director, Research & Economic Analysis Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-815-5210. LABOR DAY Monday, Sept. 4, 2017 State Offices Closed
Oklahoma Department of Commerce 900 N. Stiles Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73104
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