Manufacturing has brought Oklahoma tremendous economic growth and stability throughout the years, and I’m proud to celebrate National Manufacturing Week alongside our small businesses, stakeholders, and state manufacturers. It’s an honor to serve a state that continues to push the envelope with cutting-edge innovation, technological development, and sustainable growth.
There’s no question that Oklahoma is open for business. More than 4,200 manufacturers operate in Oklahoma, enjoying “right-to-work” laws with low unemployment insurance taxes. This allows Oklahoma to remain competitive in the labor market while advancing in our economic growth and allowing individual workers to decide for themselves if union membership makes sense for their personal goals. From aerospace and defense to food, foundries, and plastics, Oklahoma has successfully recruited thousands of companies to enjoy Oklahoma’s business-friendly environment while supplying countless high-paying jobs.
Moreover, Oklahoma is ideally located at the crossroads of America, allowing manufacturers to have a favorable, cost-effective, and convenient location between the East and West Coast. Our state is proudly home to four inland waterway ports, three class-I rail lines, 135 public-use airports, and two international airports. We have a constant flow of talented professionals from Oklahoma’s 20 colleges and universities that offer manufacturing technician-related programs and other skills-based trade objectives. Whether students learn via vocational training or higher education, it’s imperative that Oklahoma’s educational programs reflect the needs of our expanding manufacturing industry.
Oklahoma CareerTech’s system is projecting an impressive 10,000 manufacturing-related program completions in the next five years, launching the next generation into the future of Oklahoma manufacturing. Oklahoma is also home to the world’s largest Department of Defense air depot and commercial airline, maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities.
Oklahoma’s growing manufacturing industry accounts for 9.15 percent of the total economic output in our state and employs 7.90 percent of the total workforce. Our total manufacturing output is around $18.59 billion, with 9.15 percent share of total gross product. Furthermore, manufacturers help to drive the Oklahoma economy with $5.71 billion in manufactured goods exports as of 2021. I am also proud to recognize Oklahoma’s cost-effective electricity; industrial electric rates are 20-30 percent lower than all other U.S states.
At the end of the day, it is the hard-working Oklahomans and job creators that make our state’s manufacturing sector so impressive. This National Manufacturing Week, I want to give a massive thank you to everyone who continues to make our manufacturing industry so successful in Oklahoma. Our state would not be able to perform as well as we do without your steadfast commitment, entrepreneurial spirit, and constant innovation to support a stronger Oklahoma.