By Craig Day, The News On 6
MUSKOGEE, OK – More than one hundred new jobs will soon be coming to Muskogee.
A manufacturer plans to set up shop at the Port of Muskogee, generating 175 high paying jobs, with the possibility of more down the road.
Wind and location are the reasons behind the big announcement.
At the Port of Muskogee, a crane unloads ground up granite used to make tile. Scrap metal is going to steel mills and a pile of broken glass will be added to reflective highway paint.
Soon, all these businesses at the Port will have a new neighbor. Port Operations Manager Lewis McLemore couldn't be happier.
"More business you bring in, more taxes that are made and it's just better for the community all around," said Lewis McLemore, Port Operations Manager.
In September, Eagle Claw Fabricators will break ground on a 150,000 square foot facility on the 42 acre field at the port. They'll manufacture wind turbine towers.
"This is just the type of industry that we're looking for," McLemore said.
The $28 million facility will employ 175 people.
"That's phase one," McLemore said. "They have a phase two and a phase three planned. We could be looking at a total of 350 jobs in the city of Muskogee."
The company picked the port because there are existing rail lines, easy highway access and shipping both raw materials and finished product by water will save on transportation costs. Plus the port is a foreign trade zone.
Lewis McLemore, Port Operations Manager: "No tariffs are due on that product until that product leaves the Port of Muskogee."
Craig Day, The News On 6: "And that can save businesses a ton of money."
Lewis McLemore, Port Operations Manager: "That can save businesses a ton of money, yes."
Eagle Claw says the port gives them a competitive advantage over other wind turbine tower manufacturers.
It all adds up to a good fit and a nice boost for the area economy.
"It's a great thing for the city of Muskogee and for Muskogee County," McLemore said.
The facility is expected to be up and running by next spring and at full capacity in late 2011.