Cherokee Nation, Baker Hughes Partnership Aims To Boost Oklahoma Economy

Saturday, June 2nd 2012, 7:06 pm
By: Tess Maune

As the job market continues to fluctuate nationwide, the Cherokee Nation is doing its part to boost the economy in Oklahoma.

Job applicants lined up Saturday at the CNB Distribution Center, inside Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor.

Business at Cherokee Nation Metalworks in Pryor is growing.

"Business is real good right now," general manager Roger Cordray said.

It's so good, the company is looking to hire more than two dozen new employees.

5/30/2012 Related Story: Cherokee Nation and Baker Hughes Team Up For Pryor Job Fair

Cordray says the company is looking for machinists and support personnel who are local to the area.

"I'm looking for some more stable jobs so I can take care of my family," Chouteau resident Ryan Williams said.

Williams is currently going from job to job through a temp agency.

"So getting hired on through here would be a more permanent job," he said."I wouldn't have to wake up worried about waking up the next day, losing my job.

Williams has found that job opportunities in the more rural areas of the state are hard to come by.

"Our position here is to keep people close to home and provide jobs, good paying jobs, for the local economy," Cordray said.

Cherokee Nation Metalworks was initially a manufacturer for the aerospace industry, but it is now working in the energy industry as well, partnering up with oilfield service giant, Baker Hughes.

"The parts we're providing them are very precision-machined parts that go into down-hole completion units," Cordray said.

The partnership is a key step in Cherokee Nation's goal of bringing more job opportunities to Northeastern Oklahoma.

"With the support of [Cherokee Nation] Chief [Bill John] Baker and the councilmen, we have the opportunity to grow this into a very large organization," Cordray said.

The tribe hopes to eventually open small machine shops in the 14 counties of the Cherokee Nation.