Regional initiative brings 907 jobs
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
2/05/13 at 6:48 AM
A program that aims to bring high-paying jobs and capital investment to the region experienced a near-record number of 907 primary jobs being announced in January.
Representatives of the Tulsa's Future program, which is a collaborative effort between the Tulsa Regional Chamber and regional partners, gathered Monday to showcase recent accomplishments of the regional economic development program.
"We absolutely did start off 2013 in a terrific manner. We had 907 jobs announced by companies who are either expanding in this area or who are new to this area," said Stuart Solomon, chair of the Tulsa's Future oversight committee and chief operating officer of AEP-PSO.
Tulsa's Future, now in its second five-year phase, is an initiative aimed at creating 10,000 primary jobs at an annual salary of $50,000 or greater over a period from 2011 to 2015, and at generating a capital investment of $1 billion. Those 10,000 primary jobs, in turn, ultimately would help create 16,000 additional jobs.
Tulsa's Future is made up of 140 public and private partners and includes nearly 30 organizations that represent communities, Solomon said. He noted that the initiative is targeting a number of sectors, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace and aviation, energy, health care, information security, regional headquarters and professional services, and transportation, distribution and logistics.
January's announcement of 907 jobs was surpassed only in January 2012, when Tulsa's Future announced 920 jobs.
Among last month's job announcements were those made by Verizon, which announced 500 jobs for a new financial services hub; SWEP, a heat exchanger manufacturer, that plans to add 75 jobs by 2015; and Borets-Weatherford, an energy-sector manufacturing company that will bring at least 30 employees.
"There really is no way to overstate the importance of our regional partnerships in our economic development, the role that our regional partners play in attracting, retaining and growing business. And investment in northeastern Oklahoma is absolutely vital to our future," said Mike Neal, Tulsa Regional Chamber's president and CEO.
Since 2011, nearly 13,000 jobs and more than $550 million in capital investment have been announced through the Tulsa's Future plan. More than 7,300 of those produced an average salary of at least $50,000, meaning that the Tulsa's Future initiative is more than 70 percent complete.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett noted that Monday's announcement is "living proof" that the region's collaboration and strategy is working.
"We have a wonderful community. We all know that. Now, our progress has been to make certain that everybody else understand this," Bartlett said. "We have so much capability. We have a very prosperous environment for employees and employers to work."
The area's quality of life, geographic location and access to all forms of transportation, workforce training capability and pool of talent is not lost upon those who want to move here, Bartlett noted.
"Of course, quality jobs make our region more attractive, and the momentum we have will only help us bring more jobs and greater economic impact in the future," said County Commission Chairwoman Karen Keith. "Those jobs lift up the economy for everyone in the region; it's not just Tulsa County."
Description: Tulsa's Future is an initiative aimed at creating 10,000 primary jobs at an annual salary of $50,000 or greater over a period from 2011 to 2015, and at generating a capital investment of $1 billion.
Number of jobs announced since 2011: 13,000
Number of jobs announced in January 2013: 907
Laurie Winslow 918-581-8466
Stuart Solomon: "We absolutely did start off 2013 in a terrific manner," says the Tulsa's Future oversight committee chair.