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

United States Chamber of Commerce Accredited

Existing Industry Continue To Add Jobs


Much of the emphasis and the headlines in economic development focus on the successful recruitment of new business and industry.  However, the retention and growth of existing business is equally important.  This often-overlooked statistic is reflective of the work that goes on behind the scenes and creates the environment and opportunities for growth and success.

I wanted to share the information on job growth in our area.  Ardmore has long been considered an energy-reliant community. While energy is still at the heart of the economy, diversification and growth has continued throughout all areas of the economy. Utilizing data from surveys comparing employee counts from 2015 through 2018 of the twelve top private sector employers in Ardmore, positive trends were noted.  The overall growth in employees within the twelve companies was 6.5%.  A breakdown by sector indicates growth in the manufacturing area of 6.2% and the distribution industry added 425 full-time positions or 39% growth since 2015.  Ardmore’s prime location on Interstate 35 with proximity to the North Texas market makes it attractive for expansion of distribution and fulfillment activities.  The only sector of the market to see a reduction in the number of employees was in the healthcare arena. 

While focused on the recruitment of new industry, economic development today is equally focused on the retention and growth of our existing industry.  The tight labor market has resulted in adjusting strategies to grow the workforce and support existing businesses by working to ensure a skilled and qualified workforce.  These efforts are necessary for success in the future for both current and potential employers.  We are fortunate to have great partners within industry, Southern Tech and the University Center of Southern Oklahoma, to prepare students to enter the workforce.  The release of the Comprehensive Regional Workforce Analysis in July provides a great blueprint for the ADA in development of programs assisting existing business to grow and prosper.