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410 W MAIN ST • ARDMORE, OK 73401 • (580) 223-7765 • Fax: (580) 223-7825

United States Chamber of Commerce Accredited

Selling Oklahoma

06/04/2017

Over the last several weeks staff of the Ardmore Development Authority have had the privilege of traveling the country to promote the state of Oklahoma with other economic development professionals from across our great state. Our first stop was the Industrial Asset Management Council spring meeting in Jacksonville, Florida with industrial real estate professionals from some of the country’s top companies. Next up was Atlanta, Georgia where, myself, and other members of the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team talked to business leaders from various industries about their companies’ future plans and the possibility of expanding or relocating to Oklahoma. Last week I attended the American Wind Energy Association Windpower meeting in Anaheim, California where people from various sectors of the renewable energy sector were present.

Through various conversations something became apparent with many of the people we met and their opinion of Oklahoma- they didn’t have one. No matter the industry, we found that many people knew nothing about our great state outside of Thunder basketball and college football. Unfortunately, those two topics do not generally factor-in to making long-term business decisions. As economic developers, we love to talk about Oklahoma and this allowed us to discuss the many advantages of being in Oklahoma.

The biggest advantage of Oklahoma is one that many residents rarely think about- our geographically central location to the rest of the United States.  Interstates 35 and 40, two of the country’s major transcontinental roadways, intersect in Oklahoma. With half of the U.S.’s 15 fastest growing cities in 2016 located along one of these two interstates, Oklahoma’s location is critical, especially for manufacturing and distribution. For Ardmore specifically, four of these cities are within a four-hour drive.

Another selling point of Oklahoma to business people is our workforce and our nationally recognized Career Tech system. The top concern with every business is whether there are skilled workers available. Career Tech centers across the state, including Ardmore’s Southern Tech, regularly partner with industry to create specialized training at little to no cost to the individual company. 

For companies looking at relocation cost of living is a major factor in the decision-making process, especially if relocation packages are being offered to existing employees. The latest national cost of living data was released this past week and showed that Oklahoma is one of the least expensive states in which to live. As a feather in our own cap, Ardmore is one the least expensive towns in Oklahoma.

In the coming weeks our team will continue to help spread the word on Oklahoma and our own gem of Ardmore. Our next opportunity is at Select USA, a show aimed at bringing international companies to the U.S. The final show of the summer will be the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Oshkosh, Wisconsin where, over seven days, we will have the opportunity to put Oklahoma’s aviation capabilities in front of over 550,000 people from over 80 countries. We are excited about the possibilities that each show and conversation bring not just for Oklahoma, but for Ardmore as well!