Craig Day, News On 6
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -- Governor Fallin took part in a couple of big events in the Tulsa area Tuesday. She celebrated the expansion of one business and promoted the expansion of another.
As crews demolish old buildings nearby, local and state leaders gathered for a groundbreaking to celebrate the expansion of Webco Industries.
"To see Webco invest, along with the city of Sand Springs, to create a partnership, to create more jobs is going to be a big day for the river and certainly for Sand Springs and the Tulsa area," Governor Fallin told an audience.
Webco, which makes carbon steel tubing for use in everything from cars to refineries, is investing $55-million to expand at the Hissom Center site. Hissom once was a facility for the mentally disabled.
"We're cleaning it up and putting it to a productive use. Its been abandoned for 20 years and if we weren't to undertake this expansion, I'm fairly certain it would be another 20 years before something constructive could have been done with it," said Mike Howard of Webco Industries.
The company will build a new 205,000 square foot facility. Around 80 people will be employed to start, and possibly more later.
"At the end of the day, you never really know how large this facility could be. We have plenty of room here to work with for future expansion," Howard said.
After celebrating good news in the manufacturing industry, Governor Fallin later pushed for expansion of the aerospace industry.
At Oklahoma's 10th annual Aerospace Summit, she touted the benefits of the Prime Win program.
"Prime win is a win-win job creator for the state of Oklahoma," Fallin said.
Prime Win provides incentives for federal prime contractors that do business with Oklahoma subcontractors.
Boeing is the first company to take advantage of the program, which offers a 2-percent cash rebate of labor costs for up to ten years.
"I'll tell you what, with the Boeing company, we have found no other state that is as friendly and as competitive as the state of Oklahoma," said Steve Hendrickson of Boeing.
The state says the aerospace/aviation industry makes up 10 percent of Oklahoma's economy with a $5-billion annual payroll.
Meanwhile, the hiring process is already underway for the new Webco site.