Gov. Mary Fallin brought a pro-business message this week before members of the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce. Her top goal has been to create a business friendly climate for investment in Oklahoma, she said.
One sign that the state is accomplishing that goal is the net gain of 54,500 new jobs since 2011, she said. The state’s unemployment remains one of the lowest in the nation at 5 percent.
Fallin recently attended the world’s largest aerospace industry trade show in Paris. More than 55 Oklahoma companies were represented at the show.
Aerospace in one of the Oklahoma’s leading economic sectors, she said. More than 500 aerospace-related companies are in the state. Defense contracting is important to Oklahoma, she said. Aerospace is also one of the state’s top five economic wealth generators for jobs, Fallin continued.
“It was a great opportunity to top to all the top CEOs and tell them why it’s great to be in Oklahoma,” Fallin said. “And we took over 50 appointments during the two-day show time.”
As a result, Australian-based Ferra Engineering is expanding services into Grove, she said. Sikorsky Global Helicopters announced recently they would be coming to Oklahoma to do maintenance work and training at the Altus Air force Base, Fallin said. Also, Norman-based Design Intelligence Incorporated LLC announced they have developed a new solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle.
An announcement Thursday by AT&T will bring more than 100 high-tech jobs to the state, Fallin said.
“Recently we announced Project Velocity IP,” AT&T representative Jan Moran said. “A plan where the company will invest billions to expand and enhance its wireless and wireline networks.”
Project VIP will expand the AT&T network to cover 300 million people nationwide by the end of 2014, Moran said. These new AT&T jobs will primarily support small and medium business customers as they implement AT&T business solutions and services. Hiring is under way with 25 new project managers already working at the company’s offices on Wireless Way in Oklahoma City.
“AT&T’s decision to bring good-paying, new jobs to Oklahoma is more proof our focus on building a pro-business climate is working,” Fallin said. “We know great companies like AT&T have a variety of options when deciding where to invest and create jobs.”
Creating a highly skilled and educated workforce is critical for job attraction and expansion in Oklahoma, Fallin said.
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