Sixty years ago, Boeing first opened an Oklahoma City office with only 10 employees. Today its numbers exceed 2,100 and the company is expected to add about 800 more when their current moves and expansions are complete. Its growth in Oklahoma City is a textbook example of how many of the projects and programs of the Chamber work in tandem to help companies grow.
Our efforts to grow jobs at Tinker Air Force Base is a fundamental component. When the Air Force stood up its Sustainment Center at the base just three years ago, the proximity to this important customer became extremely valuable to Boeing. Likewise, the acquisition of the BNSF rail yard providing a new home for the maintenance of the KC-46 tanker was another home run.
Lobbying efforts at the state Capitol are another element. Incentives like the Oklahoma Quality Jobs program and the Aerospace Engineer Tax Credit give the company and its employees a necessary boost when making the necessary and sometimes expensive decision to relocate jobs from another location.
Throughout all of these additions and relocations, the Chamber’s economic development staff work hand-in-hand with Boeing where needed to help identify resources and connections they needed. And our marketing and workforce teams work to help them with employee recruitment and orientation to our community.
Continuing to grow and diversify the jobs in our city is vital. Companies like Boeing are a catalyst for additional growth in our market, not to mention the important work they do to help keep our Air Force ready for every challenge. I am proud of the work we are doing to make success stories like this a reality. Know that your membership in this organization and your support for our work enable these results – and that is something we can all celebrate.