Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
The deep roots of Oklahoma’s populist history easily can be found in our state’s motto, Labor Conquers All. The role of the laborer was significant at the time of our states’ founding and that role has not diminished since 1907. Today, Oklahoma workers set a standard of productivity that is the envy of the nation.
This Labor Day we celebrate the juncture where laborer and entrepreneur meet. Hard work of every stripe and type can truly conquer all things. But before a laborer can apply his skill and grow in a trade, a job must exist. Real jobs are created by the entrepreneur, one who assumes risk by taking the factors of production of land, labor, capital and technology to produce something that the marketplace wants.
Today, Oklahoma celebrates one of the lowest unemployment rates in our country. As a nation, we enjoy one of the highest standards of living due to our economic success. Just look at our jump in the ranks of most desirable and affordable places to live and work. The nation is taking note of Oklahoma’s successes.
As labor commissioner, I launched a program that recognizes those entrepreneurs who have created economic opportunities for many of their fellow Oklahomans who seek to feed their families and pursue their dreams. As an Oklahoman, I am quite proud of what our sons and daughters have accomplished and I think you will be too. The “Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma” program recognizes those who create real private-sector jobs that produce real wealth.
Oklahoma is a state rich in entrepreneurial successes of all kinds. The discovery of oil and a “strike it rich” reputation brought people from throughout the United States and the world to seek their fortune in Oklahoma including my great-grandfather, who came from the oil fields of Pennsylvania. Those who came to Oklahoma sought out the opportunity to feed their families, improve their condition in life and to succeed in building their own dreams.
We Oklahomans are descendants of Land Run pioneers, oil field wildcatters, sharecroppers and entrepreneurs; hardworking men and women who complement each other’s contributions to create the social and economic fabric of our great state. On this Labor Day, Oklahoma uniquely recognizes the complementary contributions of both laborer and the entrepreneur. Our state motto of Labor Conquers All complements our national motto Out of Many, One. On this Labor Day let us celebrate the belief that Oklahoma’s best days lie ahead with economic freedom and entrepreneurship; it’s a proven path to prosperity.
MARK COSTELLO, R-Edmond, serves as Oklahoma’s commissioner of labor. More information about his office may be found at www.ok.gov/odol/.