NE Oklahoma labor study shows 'growth' is the key to the future

Thursday, August 22nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

You might have lived in Tulsa all your life. But how well do you know Tulsa? City and business leaders say they now know exactly where Tulsa needs to go in the future, thanks to a new study.

News on Six business reporter Steve Berg says if you hear the word "study", you might think, "it's just another study." But they say this is the most comprehensive study "ever" on the northeast Oklahoma labor market. In spite of the scope, they've come up with a list of very specific strengths and weaknesses for the region.

They say we're better educated than the state and national average. They say our economy is well diversified. And they say we have a good higher-education system. On the negative side, they say we may have trouble keeping the younger crowd when they graduate.

Bill Fredrick with the Wadley-Donovan Group, "The one thing we kept hearing were a need for more clubs and restaurants, downtown you go to any of these communities that have an active downtown, Richmond, Virginia for example just over the years has developed a very active downtown."

One other ironclad conclusion from the study is that Tulsa has to grow. Some may like it the size it is. But they say growth is the only way to attract new business and industry. Ironically, our low-unemployment rate can discourage a large business from relocating here; because they worry they won't find enough people to hire.

In any case, leaders think they have a solid blueprint for our future.