Monday, October 15, 2012
Oklahoma continues to be a global leader in the aerospace industry. Companies from across the nation and the world are consistently calling Oklahoma home. The factors that draw aerospace companies to Oklahoma are not just our cost of living and business friendly climate, but also the quality reputation our state has in the aerospace industry.
As Vice Chair of the national Aerospace States Association, I have worked to actively engage in promoting our state’s aerospace industry. The ASA exists to support aerospace industry and aviation in America based on the belief that a strong aerospace industry equals a strong economy and a strong America. This month I had the opportunity to serve on a panel at the Aviation and Aerospace Manufacturing Summit in Ft. Worth, along with fellow Lt. Governors, where we discussed states roles in aerospace workforce development, education and enabling business growth. I was able to share the Oklahoma story and show our success and what makes us an aerospace and aviation destination. Oklahoma’s aerospace industry already supports over 1,200 aerospace related companies. The Oklahoma aerospace industrial output exceeds $12.5 billion annually, including exports of $4.4 billion to 170 countries.
One key ingredient in making Oklahoma an aerospace success story is Oklahoma’s CareerTech system. Developing an educated workforce is critical to having an effective and an exceptional workforce. CareerTech provides education and training opportunities beginning in the 5th grade and continuing up through adulthood. With 57 state-of-the-art technology centers across the state, Oklahoma’s acclaimed Training for Industry Program helps aerospace companies by creating a customized workforce that is ready for operations from opening day. With a talented, existing aerospace workforce, the Oklahoma aerospace industry is assured a proficient labor force for years to come.
Specifically, the Metro Technology Centers (MTC) offer 47 courses with emphasis on structural electronics and other aviation disciplines. MTC has a cooperative agreement with Oklahoma City Community College and an education training partnership at Tinker Air Force Base. MTC provides a workforce that is credentialed and work ready with minimal additional training required. Over 90% of MTC students find jobs and go to work in Oklahoma upon completion of their training. Since 2001, the annual combined salary of MTC grads is more than $212 million.
As always, my office is open and ready to assist you in any way we can. I am excited to hear your ideas on how we can increase economic development across the state. Feel free to visit our website at www.ok.gov/ltgovernor, find us on Facebook and Twitter (@LtGovToddLamb) or call our office at 405.521.2161.