Located on Interstate 35 midway between the metropolitan areas of Dallas/Fort Worth and Oklahoma City, Ardmore is a prime location for attracting new business and industry. While Ardmore is ideal for economic development, its location is also perfect for travelers and recreation. Nestled in the Arbuckle Mountains, Ardmore is only minutes away from a wide variety of attractions throughout Southern Oklahoma.
'Oklahoma's central location makes it ideal for transportation-sensitive industries. It's a strategy that has begun to work for Ardmore.' - The New York Times
Emphasis on Education
Ardmore’s commitment to education is a key factor in making it an outstanding community. Educational offerings from kindergarten to college allow people of any age to chance to learn and succeed.
The new education initiative Partners in Education (PIE) was introduced to the community during a presentation at Heritage Hall on January 26, 2016. This exciting endeavor involves five local school districts (Ardmore, Plainview, Lone Grove, Springer, and Dickson), as well as Oak Hall Episcopal School, SOTC, the University Center, East Central University, Southeaster University, and Murray State College will provide a collaborative effort.
Education and workforce development are the focal point of many of the chamber activities during 2016. The participation in the planning phase by all areas of the community has exceeded expectations. Our children are the future of our community and it is time for us to invest in their success.
PIE’s goals are:
- Every child is prepared for public/private schools
- Every child supported in and out of school
- Every child succeeds academically
- Every child enrolled in a post-secondary or industry credential program or enters military service
- Every child attains a post-secondary degree, industry credential or military credential
- Every child is equipped to become effective and productive citizens.
It is the goal of PIE to support Ardmore’s students from cradle to career, which in turn will benefit our community and our businesses.
Ardmore boasts many fine schools with sites in each district recognized by the Great Expectations Program as model schools. The Oklahoma Scholars Program is offered at Ardmore High School to recognize students who successfully completed a rigorous curriculum. Recent graduates have outperformed their peers throughout the state and country in college admissions test scores.
Ardmore offers a Regional Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics campus located on the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center’s campus. OSSM offers area high schools students highly advance courses in the fields of science and mathematics. In addition, a Biotechnology pathway allows juniors and seniors in high school with an advanced “hands-on” experience in biotechnology techniques and theories in preparation for continuing education in related fields. The success of these programs is evident in the increasing numbers of students enrolling in these programs. The increase in test scores further underscores these programs’ value.
Southern Oklahoma Technology Center (SOTC) offers courses designed for high school and adult students wanting to achieve career certification or gain technical skills. SOTC offers, in conjunction with the University of Oklahoma, a dental hygienist program in Southern Oklahoma.
The University Center of Southern Oklahoma, located in Ardmore, Oklahoma, delivers degree programs from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, and Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma. The University Center offers undergraduate and graduate courses in a wide-range of areas that enables students to earn an associates, bachelors, or masters degree through one of the three participating institutions.
A new campus is currently under construction and will occupy 80 acres of property adjacent to the Ardmore City Schools property where the main University Center facilities are currently located. This property has been provided through private funding. The first phase of the new campus will include the construction of a 49,000 sq. ft. Health, Science & Math Building at a cost of $17,500,000. This building will include four science laboratories and two nursing skills laboratories in addition to numerous multimedia and interactive television classrooms.
USCO offers both day and night courses that benefit college students and adults seeking to achieve a degree while remaining in Ardmore.
Global Market Place
Ardmore is a progressive community where the rural work ethic combines with a quality of life that provides an excellent environment for economic development and growth. The special working relationship between the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, the Ardmore Development Authority and the Ardmore Tourism Authority allows business and industry to grow and prosper.
Ardmore’s location, low cost of living and business climate provide great opportunities for relocation and expansion of industry. The ADA operates three business and industrial parks with more than 3,000 acres and 3 million square feet of buildings under lease.
Ardmore’s energy sector serves as the historic foundation of our region’s economy, as well as a keystone of commerce today. Major energy employers include Valero refinery, XTO Energy and many independent and family owned businesses. Together, these actors form a comprehensive network of efficient activity in geology, exploration, production and other services in the energy sector.
Ardmore is at the cutting edge of agricultural research, thanks in large part to the presence of The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. As a world renowned research and development organization, its activities range from forage improvement to plant biology and agriculture. The Noble Foundation is also a world leader in the genetic engineering of fungal resistant plants; and receives worldwide agriculture acclaim in plant breeding and demonstration farms.
Aviation and industry add to Ardmore’s economy via the Ardmore Industrial Airpark. Encompassing more than 2,900 acres, the Airpark has parking capacity for 100 commercial-sized aircraft, more than 36,000 square feet of hangar space, and two runways. The Airpark includes two runways of 5,600 and 9,000 linear feet, full instrumentation landing capabilities, and will soon undertake a complete renovation of the FAA staffed control tower. Businesses that make the Airpark their home include: King Aerospace, Lakeland Aviation, Dollar General Distribution Center, East Jordan Ironworks, Carbonyx Inc., Beetle Plastics, and Online Packaging. The Airpark’s terminal also features a world class dining facility and bar in “Jake’s Joint.”
Ardmore is home to the most cost efficient and largest Michelin facility in North America. The Ardmore Plant is the only manufacturing facility in the Michelin North America family that can produce all three brands of tires (Michelin, BF Goodrich and Uniroyal) and ranks as the largest employer in southern Oklahoma.
Regarding manufacturing, 2014 also saw an investment of over $3.6 million for the development of a new facility for IFS Powdercoatings Inc. in Ardmore’s New Horizons Industrial Park in 2014.
Due to Ardmore’s location on Interstate 35 and proximity to a population of 7 million people within 100 miles, distribution plays a key role in the area’s industry. The Ardmore area includes six major distribution operations including: Best Buy Inc, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, DOT Foods, East Jordan, and an expansive Michelin warehouse. In total, local distributors employ over 2,000 employees. This diverse industry base allows individuals to pursue careers within all levels of education and skill requirements.
The ADA and a development partner have developed a state of the art unit rail facility to meet the needs of 21st century logistics and supply chain companies. It is at the beginning phase of marketing and development and can accommodate the longest and heaviest train car loads in use today and for the foreseeable future.
In addition to energy, agriculture, research, aviation, and industry, Ardmore is also the primary center for the retail industry in Southern Oklahoma with sales totaling over $575 million for 2014.
The ADA offers a single point of contact for information, proposals, planning and site assistance. The ADA is in a unique position to negotiate terms for new and expanding industries by operating three industrial parks, single sites, and buildings.