New Nordam Contract's Impact On Tulsa

Tuesday, April 21st 2009, 4:38 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley and Scott Thompson, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa-based Nordam hopes a new contract will bring more business to Green Country.

Nordam was awarded a contract to repair parts of a Boeing engine.

So what does this mean to Tulsa?

Company officials say it's definitely good news for Nordam and ultimately for Tulsa. It's also one more piece of evidence about the role the aerospace industry plays in Green Country.

It's always busy inside a Nordam manufacturing building. Now a new contract means more work for the Tulsa-based aerospace company.

Nordam just signed on to inspect and repair machinery for the next generation of Boeing 737's, it's called a thrust reverser.

"This is what slows the airplane down when you land," said Bill Peacher, Nordam CEO.

CEO Bill Peacher says getting the contract wasn't easy. Boeing had certain specifications Nordam had to meet before being considered.

Peacher says most of the initial work will be done at Nordam's plant in Singapore, but adds Tulsa will see its share of the pie as well.

"Over a long period of time it will involve a lot more business for Nordam in Tulsa," said Peacher.

It's been a tough couple of years for Nordam. The company let go of 150 employees in the first two months of the year alone. Last year Nordam reduced its workforce by 20%.

Peacher says the contract won't immediately bring new jobs, but says it's a step in the right direction.

"It will definitely lead to more jobs. There's no question in my mind about that," said Peacher.

Aerospace is an important part of Tulsa's lifeline. The chamber of commerce reports it contributes more than $1 billion to the area's economy and provides more than 23,000 jobs.

Peacher says this good news is the first of what will be more to come.

"This is one of several things that Nordam has to look forward to in its future. I wish I could tell you this is going to have a dramatic impact next month or next quarter, it probably is more long term than that," said Peacher.

The contract calls for Nordam to inspect and repair more than 2,000 aircraft over the next years.