Emory Bryan, News On 6
CLAREMORE, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma's economy gets a boost from an oil services company. Baker Hughes announced new jobs coming to Claremore - more than 600 jobs over the next 10 years.
The Tulsa area is the center of the oil pump industry and right now there's a lot of exploration going on - pushing all these companies into expansion mode. Baker Hughes has already hired 91 people - and says it needs 576 more people.
The research and testing at Baker Hughes continues around the clock - but there's not enough time or employees to keep up with the demand.
"In this department we're seven technicians short. We're 1,000 days behind, we've got a 1,000 day backlog," said Dal Kelly, research manager.
That's why the company is expanding the workforce in research and development. The company says it is expanding by 667 people, mainly in Claremore and Broken Arrow.
Most of the new hires will get top tier jobs.
"Highly skilled technicians for manufacturing and R & D. We also need petroleum engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, both undergrad, masters and PhD's," said Luis Moncada, vice president of Baker Hughes.
A gaggle of local and state politicians gathered for the announcement.
"I think this is just a further indication that Oklahoma is growing, that we're emerging from the recession much earlier than other states," said Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce.
Baker Hughes already has 960 employees in Claremore, 260 in Broken Arrow and 125 in Sand Springs.
Each location will expand.
Only a few of the jobs will come to Tulsa - but the Mayor says it helps solidify the region as a critical player in energy.
"The Tulsa region is the manufacturing and education center of the energy industry, in its entirety, we have that capability," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
Company officials say they are confident Oklahoma universities can provide the workforce they need, while they build on the long history of Baker Hughes in Northeast Oklahoma.
Most of new jobs will be in Claremore - where the company has recently built several new testing labs to develop new products.