The Edmond Sun

Business

February 27, 2014

Industry giants represented at Oak Tree

EDMOND — Two corporate leaders discussed their company’s respective impact of business expansion on the local economy Thursday at the Edmond Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon.

Michael Ming serves as general manager of General Electric’s new Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center to be constructed in Oklahoma City. He formerly served as Oklahoma’s Secretary of Energy under Gov. Mary Fallin.

Steve Goo is vice president of Aircraft Modernization and Sustainment for Global Services and Support as well as senior site executive of the Boeing Oklahoma City site.

In 1953, Boeing was established in Oklahoma City. The company announced in 2010 its decision to relocate two major programs in Long Beach, Calif. to Oklahoma City, Goo said at Oak Tree Country Club.

Boeing announced in 2012 that it would be its heart of modern aviation in Wichita to a location nearby Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City. With it came 800 jobs, Goo said.  

“That really spurred our growth. Now we’ve grown to about 1,800 people,” Goo said. “And about one-quarter of them chose to make their home in Edmond. We just love it here. The people are so friendly giving us a warm welcome.”

Boeing Oklahoma City houses programs for two divisions under its global services and support business: Maintenance, modifications and upgrades and defense and government services. The site focuses on engineering, contractor logistics services and field support.

The company is growing with exports to 15 other countries. Aerospace is a major economic force in the state of Oklahoma, Goo said. Aerospace generate about 6 percent of the state’s economy, he said. There are 120,000 high-quality aerospace jobs in the state of Oklahoma, Goo added.

“Economists estimate that each of these jobs generates another two or three jobs in the community,” Goo said.

GE announced in April that Oklahoma City would be home to the company’s ninth global research center. GE will break ground in the spring on its $110 million GE Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center that will open in 2015, Ming said. A five-story office building east of downtown Oklahoma City will wrap around the GE laboratory.

Ming and Goo cited the cost of living and doing business as reasons for investing in Oklahoma. The business climate is friendly and their employees enjoy the quality of life.

The state offers an educated workforce in oil and gas and an effective transportation system, Ming said. Boeing was attracted to Oklahoma’s jobs and incentives programs, Goo said.

“Those types of things for company’s such as ours — we looked at all other options and decided what we were going to do,” Ming said. “Those things are considered strongly and in some cases can make the difference between choosing one city or another.”

GE possesses 310,000 employees in 160 countries and produce $150 billion a year in revenue to support eight businesses, Ming said. The oil and gas business is a major emphasis for GE, Ming said.

An enormous emphasis is placed on technology to support business ventures, Ming continued. Oklahoma has produced great energy companies that have revolutionized energy in the world, Ming said.

“It’s really exciting. Our top leadership is thrilled to be here,” Ming said.

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