Page 1

2017 Issue 10

D e ve l o p , I n n ov a t e , P r o s p e r

Developing Oklahoma’s Western Region Q&A with Brandy McIntyre, Regional Development Specialist for Western Okla. p. 3

THE STATE OF MANUFACTURING Oklahoma Manufacturing Month

Oklahoma Manufacturing Month is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Statewide events will take place

throughout the month of October. Oklahoma’s strong economy, pro-business environment and skilled workforce give manufacturers the tools they need to succeed. Manufacturing makes a significant impact on Oklahoma’s economy and quality of life.

$17.66 BILLION OF OKLAHOMA’S GDP came from manufacturing TX industry in 2016

7.4% INCREASE IN MANUFACTURED GOODS EXPORTS So far this year, Oklahoma’s largest manufacturing exports are up 7.4% compared with the same period last year.

4,263+ MANUFACTURING ESTABLISHMENTS Oklahoma statewide total in 2016

4.2% INCREASE IN MANUFACTURING EXPORTS IN 2016, $4.01 billion vs $3.84 billion; according to BEA

10% OF TOTAL OKLAHOMA PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT is made up of Oklahoma Manufacturing jobs *Sources the Bureau of Labor Statistic Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce Office o

129,000 manufacturing jobs in Oklahoma private sector as of 2016 with an average pay of $64,860.

To learn more about Manufacturing Month and find local events, visit: or

Developing Oklahoma’s Western Region Q&A with Brandy McIntyre, Commerce’s Regional Development Specialist One of the main priorities for our region is to increase quality job opportunities by working with businesses and communities to be appealing and encourage business expansion and attraction.

Brandy McIntyre, Commerce Regional Development Specialist

Brandy McIntyre has worked at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (Commerce) for just over a year, as Western Oklahoma’s Regional Development Specialist. McIntyre’s region covers 12 counties, including the towns of Frederick, where she lives, and Altus, where she offices at Southwest Technology Center. What are your major priorities in Western Oklahoma? One of the main priorities for our region is to increase quality job opportunities by working with businesses and communities to be appealing and encourage business expansion and attraction. Another focus is workforce development and training programs, as well as Career Pathways programs for high school students. Assisting smaller communities in becoming more amenable to businesses and providing economic development training is also essential. What are some of the biggest assets to your area? The Western region’s assets include an abundance of natural resources including oil, gas, wind and solar opportunities, as well as gypsum, copper, and many others. Other major assets are our agricultural products such as cotton, wheat, soybean, cattle and dairy. In addition, the Interstate 40 corridor provides a direct path through the state and runs directly across the Western region. Western Okla., is also home to the Oklahoma Spaceport (OSIDA), Altus AFB, Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a wealth of history, beautiful landscapes, and tourism destinations. What are the main industries in your area? Our main industries include agricultural products and

equipment, automotive parts, oil, gas, wind and solar products and services, aerospace services, healthcare services, and food products. What are some of the largest companies in your area? • Superior Fabrication • Western Equipment • American Gypsum Company • Altus Air Force Base • Bar-S Foods • Eastman Kodak Company • Henniges Automotive What are some of the newest companies or business expansions in your area? In Weatherford, Okla., the Eastman Kodak Company is expanding their facility with a $15 million dollar investment guaranteeing new jobs to the area. In addition, with the arrival of the KC-46 airplane to Altus AFB, there is significant expansion happening with an additional 300-600 new jobs expected. What businesses would be a good fit for the region and how does Commerce work to attract those types of businesses? Any business related to our existing industries would be a great fit for the Western region allowing us to capitalize on existing natural resources, agricultural products, and aerospace services. I consider the Western region a somewhat untapped market with a multitude of opportunities for ideas to create clusters of companies around already existing industries. Our team of business development specialists at Commerce is constantly searching throughout


the world for opportunities that would fit the needs of the Western region. Our team constantly markets all of Oklahoma’s assets and industries at events and industry shows. Locally, I encourage and try to foster great ideas and start-up businesses by connecting them to existing programs. How does the Western area work to provide workforce solutions for companies? As a state agency, we work closely with area technology centers, universities, colleges and local school districts to provide the necessary training needed for each industry’s needs. Because our area is not as large in population as other areas, we are better able to cater to specific needs in each industry such as the aerospace training programs. The program at Southwest Technology Center in Altus is specifically designed to assist the needs of Altus Air Force Base. What partnerships are vital to the area? Partnerships with area economic development groups and individual cities and counties are essential. These local groups are the driving force behind much of the development in Western Oklahoma. We also work closely with the local councils of government to provide assistance and services where needed. How have community and development grants helped the region? These grants have provided vital infrastructure updates and additions to communities. Many of the Western region communities have a population of less than 5,000 residents, so without these grants there would be little infrastructure development or updates. What services do you provide that communities should be more aware of? The main services I provide are assistance, information, and connections to opportunities that are available through the various programs of Commerce and other organizations. There are so many opportunities for growth and development and my job is to connect people with the resources to make their communities’ needs and wants a reality. Any information or insights that you would like to include? There is a real need within our state to focus on our smaller

On the Cover: Blue Canyon Wind Farm consists located on the Slick Hills terrain of southwestern Oklahoma near the city of Apache in Caddo, Comanche, and Kiowa Counties all located in Oklahoma’s Western Region.

communities. We have had wonderful success in attracting business to Oklahoma and helping many companies open and expand. However, now is the time to step back and see what programs we might be able to provide to help with population decline in some of our smaller communities. There are wonderful smaller cities all over Oklahoma that provide a great environment for families and businesses, but their populations are declining rapidly due to lack of viable jobs. Some creative ideas to increase population and allow people to move back to the smaller communities would go a long way in improving their economic outcomes.

Weatherization Assistance Program Celebrates 41 Years of Serving Low-Income Families Nationwide

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) helps lowerincome households lower their utility bills and increase energy efficiency. For qualifying recipients, the program pays for an energy audit and weatherization solutions like caulking, weather-stripping, and wall and attic insulation. This program is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy.

By decreasing the amount of income spent on home energy, weatherization stimulates economic growth, by providing increased spending power for families. The average savings per family from the program is $283 per year. The savings to investment ratio for WAP is 1.4, meaning that every dollar invested results in $1.40 savings for families.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce administers the WAP in the state. Using funding from the Department of Energy, the program focuses on improving the energy efficiency of lower-income households with priority given to the elderly, disabled, and families with children. Through the Oklahoma Community Action Agencies, Oklahoma weatherizes approximately 200 homes per year.

In addition to helping lower-income households, the benefits of weatherization help society. When factoring in health and safety benefits, every dollar invested in weatherization returns $4.10 to society. Within Oklahoma, the energy savings are approximately 6,000 MBTUs (unit of measurement for heat energy) each year each year from the program. WAP has had a successful 41-year history and it looks forward to continually serving a critical population and achieving the goals set out at its inception.

This year, WAP marks 41 years of serving low-income families nationwide. President Gerald Ford signed H.R. 12169, also known as the Energy Conservation and Production Act, on August 14th, 1976. This Act gave the Federal Energy Administration (now the Department of Energy) the right to establish a weatherization program to “increase the energy efficiency of dwellings owned or occupied by low-income persons, reduce their total residential energy expenditures, and improve their health and safety, especially low-income persons who are particularly vulnerable such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, families with children, high residential energy users, and households with high energy burden� (10 CFR 440.1). Today, the program has served over seven million families in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and three Native American tribes.

Eligibility Eligible applicants are low-income (at or below 200% of the federal poverty level) individuals and priority is given to the elderly, handicapped and families with children. Application Process Contact your local Community Action Agency to apply. To find your local agency, visit the Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies at or call 405-9491495. For questions about the program, contact Amanda MarcottThottunkal at 405-815-5374 or

5 5

Inventor Benefits From New Co-Working Space Northeast Tech and Miami Chamber join forces to provide new services I believe that small towns and rural communities can think big and be very competitive in economic development. One of the reasons we combined our chamber and economic development initiatives was to really send a message about our community that we are ready to grow, help entrepreneurs and help existing industry. This facility can help us do that.

~ Steve Gilbert Miami Regional Chamber Director

Northeast Tech recently celebrated with the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce on the grand opening of its new Miami Main. The facility, located at 11 S. Main in downtown Miami, is home to the chamber offices, as well as co-working and community space. According to Steve Gilbert, Chamber Director, the goal of Miami Main is four-fold. The first purpose is to serve as the headquarters of the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce. The second is to create a co-working space. Chamber and economic development leaders visited 36 Degrees North in Tulsa and the North Block Common in Claremore for design ideas. “I believe that small towns and rural communities can think big and be very competitive in economic development,” said Gilbert. “One of the reasons we combined our chamber and economic development initiatives was to really send a message about our community that we are ready to grow, help entrepreneurs and help existing industry. This facility can help us do that.” The third purpose of Miami Main is to serve as a business incubator. Inventor Tom Yoakum is a great example. Yoakum started a company called ISEEYOU360 to market his invention of a head-mount, rear-view display system. As society has more and more began accepting the use of wearable technology, Yoakum felt the timing for his invention was right. “This basically gives you eyes in the back of your head,” said

Yoakum. “Imagine a police officer writing a speeding ticket being able to look up in his peripheral to see what’s going on behind him.” The device is fully recordable, integrated with infrared and hardline, will have OnStar-like capabilities and automatically upload a video feed to cloud. It will increase the user’s line of sight to create full-time, situational awareness. Primarily intended for military, border patrol and police use, the camera system could also have some civilian applications. After two years the project is nearing completion of its second version prototype. If the prototype passes all of the tests, it could be ready for production close to the end of the year. But as far as he’s made it in the recent months, it all started with just one initial contact - Barbara Bonner at the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OKSBDC). She then connected Yoakum with Northeast Tech’s Manufacturing Extension Agent Mike Mitchell. Mitchell set up meetings for Yoakum with Northeast Tech Business & Industry Services Director Liberty Shere who assisted with market research and writing his business plan, Gilbert from the Chamber who helped turn that business plan into a working executive summary, Ferra Aerospace in Grove who offered advice on intellectual property, Tactical Electronics in Broken Arrow who will manufacture and mass produce the system, and Dr. Robert Taylor at OSU who is in the process of developing mounting brackets. “Steve and the Chamber have helped by providing office space and refining my executive summary,” said Yoakum. “But

Oklahoma Kicks Off 2020 Census Plans With federal dollars at stake, tribal & local government participation critical to complete count The Oklahoma Department of Commerce and U.S. Census Bureau are preparing for the 2020 decennial Census. The help of Oklahoma’s tribes, counties, cities and towns is essential for a complete count and the first critical deadline is fast approaching. Front row from left: Trishia Masterson Pre-Engineering Instructor Northeast Tech Afton Campus, Kashen Gibson, Afton High School, Kaden Gibson, Afton High School, Steve Gilbert, Miami Area Economic Development Back row from left: Daniel Goodman, Grove High School, Mike Mitchell Northeast Tech/Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance Manufacturing Extension Agent, Tom Yoakum ISEEYOU360.

maybe more importantly, this setup has helped my confidence. As a young entrepreneur, I have run into many stumbling blocks and their support has been very beneficial in navigating through that.” “We are working to meet Tom where he is,” added Gilbert. “With help of Northeast Tech and the Manufacturing Alliance, our network has grown and provided him with a usable work space that is affordable and collaborative. That’s the type of thing we hope to do more and more of now that we have this space downtown.” Yoakum, a Grove resident, is thankful for the network he has built close to home. “With the help of Northeast Tech and the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce, I have been able to utilize a network for everything from business plans and research to manufacturing and production, all within a 50-mile radius,” said Yoakum. “Everything is right in northeast Oklahoma. That was very important to me. I grew up here and this is where I want to make it.” Which leads into the final purpose of Miami Main, which was to create a usable community space to bring people and networks together. “In addition to office space and business incubators, we think this space will probably get rented for events and parties,” said Gilbert. “The Chamber hosts a lot of events and we hope community members will want to use it for everything from events like a 1MillionCups program to yoga classes.”

Local and tribal governments must register by December 15 to participate in the Local Update of Census Addresses program (LUCA). The program is the only opportunity for Oklahoma’s elected officials to review and comment on the U.S. Census Bureau’s residential address list prior to the 2020 Census. LUCA ensures municipalities, counties and tribal nations are able to alert the U.S. Census Bureau to new subdivisions, apartments, and campus housing. If new postal addresses aren’t added, some populations could be undercounted. “Nationwide, almost $600 billion in federal assistance funding is tied to Census Bureau data annually. Oklahoma’s share of that is $6.55 billion each year. An accurate population count is necessary for Oklahoma to receive its full and fair portion of these important funds,” said Jon Chiappe, State Data Center Director. “These dollars are especially critical for small and rural communities across the state.” Programs include Medicaid, SNAP, Medicare Part B, Title 1 grants for education, highway planning and construction, Section 8 Housing, Head Start, and others. A complete count also helps local leaders plan for future needs. The LUCA program is already underway, but there’s still time for elected officials to join. Invitation letters were mailed to elected officials of tribes, counties, cities and townships in July. If officials have not received a letter and registration form, they must get them from U.S. Census Bureau. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has links to these forms and a complete LUCA overview at The deadline to register is December 15, 2017. If a community needs assistance from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, they should contact Jon Chiappe at or 405-815-5210.



Tulsa, October 9th-10th Oklahoma City, October 12th-13th


Commerce’s Trade Director from the Mexico-Oklahoma International Trade office, Mr. Luis Domenech, will come to Oklahoma to meet with exportready Oklahoma-based businesses that are interested in doing business (or who are currently doing business) in Mexico.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Kimberly Hickerson

To schedule an appointment to meet with our Mexico Trade Office Director, Luis Domenech, contact Jesse Garcia at 405-815-5136 or COMPLETING RFPS WITH CENSUS AND OTHER DATABASES

CONTRIBUTORS: Stefanie Appleton, Bryan Boone PHOTO CREDITS: Oklahoma Dept. of Commerce, Northeast Tech and Miami Chamber

Two upcoming workshops:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017, Woodward, OK Thursday, November 2, 2017, Seminole, OK Costs: Free to attend, registration required Filling out Requests for Proposal can be a daunting task, but is critical in attracting businesses to your location. Learn how to find the data you need with a free 2-hour interactive workshop with direct application for business recruitment and development in your community. The workshop will include an overview of the RFP and site selection processes, followed by a hands-on tutorial with Department of Commerce researchers on sources, databases, and strategies to help you fill our RFPs for your own community. Registration and additional details at:

FOR NEW PIONEER SUBMISSIONS AND STORY IDEAS CONTACT: Kimberly Hickerson Editor-in-Chief New Pioneer (405) 815-5240 Oklahoma Department of Commerce 900 N. Stiles Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73104

GOVERNOR’S STEM AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUMMIT November 2, 2017 Cox Convention Center 1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 Costs: Free to attend, registration required

The Governor’s annual STEM and Entrepreneurship Summit is a forum that brings together Oklahoma business leaders, educators and other key stakeholders focused on the critical importance of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and entrepreneurship in our communities. More information and registration can be found at: VETERANS DAY Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 State Offices Closed @OKcommerce

Issue 10 2017  

Developing Oklahoma’s Western Region, Oklahoma Manufacturing Month, Inventor Benefits From New Co-Working Space, Oklahoma Kicks off 2020 Cen...

Issue 10 2017  

Developing Oklahoma’s Western Region, Oklahoma Manufacturing Month, Inventor Benefits From New Co-Working Space, Oklahoma Kicks off 2020 Cen...