The Edmond Sun

Opinion

July 1, 2013

OKLAHOMA NOW: Aerospace industry will continue to lift Oklahoma economy

OKLA. CITY — In Oklahoma, the aerospace industry holds potential for job growth and investment that can lift our state’s economy to even greater heights. Aerospace already is big business in our state and we have a long and rich tradition as a leader in aviation. More than 150,000 jobs are supported by more than 500 aerospace and defense-related companies, and those companies combine to create more than $12 billion in economic activity each year.

To support that growth, we are taking steps to develop a highly skilled, highly educated workforce capable of filling technically challenging jobs. That’s why we’re emphasizing the importance of STEM — that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — at our high schools, colleges and career techs.

We’re also developing unique, one-of-a-kind resources that will make Oklahoma the destination in the United States for one of aerospace’s newest, most promising sectors: unmanned aerial vehicles for use by first responders in the wake of natural disasters.

To ensure we retain the aerospace jobs we already have, and to make sure we attract more, it’s important that Oklahoma has a strong presence at international hubs for business like the recent Paris Air Show, which is the world’s premier aerospace industry event, attracting more than 350,000 visitors and featuring more than 2,200 exhibitors representing 45 countries.

I was proud to lead the Oklahoma delegation to the air show. Our entire state was well represented by companies like NORDAM and Spirit AeroSystems, both based in Tulsa, Enviro Systems Inc. of Seminole, Janeway Machine Inc. of Sapulpa, Choctaw Defense in McAlester, and Vertical Aerospace in Bristow. We also met with major international aerospace companies doing business in Oklahoma like Boeing, GE Aviation, Rolls Royce, Sikorsky and Raytheon.

The air show gave us the chance to showcase Oklahoma’s unique assets to a broad international audience of high-level aerospace executives. Interacting with a global audience is important to the industry’s continued success. In 2012, Oklahoma exports accounted for more than $6.6 billion, with aerospace-related products accounting for the largest segment of the exports. Also in 2012, 13 internationally owned companies announced new and expanding investments in Oklahoma, and they are expected to add more than 1,550 jobs.

This year’s trip to the Paris Air Show already has resulted in the creation of new jobs for Oklahoma. Ferra Engineering, a leading global aerospace supplier based in Australia, announced it was expanding into Grove. That follows on the heels of 2012’s trip to the Farnborough International Air Show, where we announced Belgium-based ASCO was opening a $60 million facility in Stillwater that is expected to create at least 250 jobs. Additionally, Sikorsky Aerospace Services has announced it will open the Sikorsky Training Academy in Altus later this fall.

As you can see, Oklahoma is serious about aerospace. And that seriousness of purpose has translated into success in the industry. Whether it’s military contractors or civilian airlines, traditional aircraft or UAV’s, Oklahoma is a leading destination for aerospace.

GOV. MARY FALLIN may be reached via her website at www.ok.gov/governor/.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

    A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

    April 18, 2014

  • The pessimist’s guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

    This coming Friday, to “celebrate Earth Day,” the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. “Bears” is about grizzly bears.
    The trailer says, “From DisneyNature comes a story that all parents share. About the love, the joy, the struggle and the strength it takes to raise a family.”
    Talk about your misguided “Hollywood values.” I previously have acknowledged a morbid, unreasonable fear of grizzly bears, stemming from a youth misspent reading grisly grizzly-attack articles in Readers Digest. This fear is only morbid and unreasonable because I live about 1,500 miles from the nearest wild grizzly bear. Still. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

    Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency.
    The dispute presents two very serious questions. Was the program consistent with American values and did it produce valuable intelligence? And is effective congressional oversight of secret activities possible in our democracy?

    April 15, 2014

  • Los Angeles Times: Congress extend jobless benefits again

    How’s this for irony: Having allowed federal unemployment benefits to run out in December, some lawmakers are balking at a bill to renew them retroactively because it might be hard to figure out who should receive them. Congress made this task far harder than it should have been, but the technical challenges aren’t insurmountable. Lawmakers should restore the benefits now and leave them in place until the unemployment rate reaches a more reasonable level.

    April 14, 2014

  • Many nations invested in Israel

    Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Yoram Ettinger recently spoke to a gathering at the Chabad Center for Jewish Life and Learning in Oklahoma City. The event began with a presentation by Rabbi Ovadia Goldman, who told the attendee that the  upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover was an occasion for them to embrace the children of God, which is all of humanity.

    April 14, 2014

  • Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

    Last week, the federal government released a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors.
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the government agency that runs Medicare, is posting on its website detailed information about how many visits and procedures individual health professionals billed the program for in 2012, and how much they were paid.
    This new trove of data, which covers 880,000 health professionals, adds to a growing body of information available to patients who don’t want to leave choosing a doctor to chance. But to put that information to good use, consumers need to be aware of what is available, what’s missing and how to interpret it.

    April 14, 2014

  • HEY HINK: Hateful bullies attempt to muffle free speech

    Hopefully we agree it should be a fundamental right to voice criticism of any religion you wish. And you should have the right to sing the praises of any religion you choose. If criticism of religion is unjust, feel free to make your best argument to prove it. If criticism is just, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and embrace it. If songs of praise are merited, feel free to join in. If not, feel free to ignore them. But no American should participate in curbing free speech just because expression of religious views makes someone uncomfortable.

    April 11, 2014

  • Putting Oklahoma parents in charge

    Oklahoma’s public schools serve many children very well. Still, for various reasons, some students’ needs are better met in private schools, in virtual schools or elsewhere. That is why two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to give parents debit cards, literally, to shop for the educational services that work best for their children.

    April 11, 2014

  • Israelis, Palestinians are losing their chance

    Developments in the Middle East suggest that prospects of success for the Israeli-Palestinian talks, to which Secretary of State John Kerry has devoted countless hours and trips, are weakening.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens might trade naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 11, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results