New York Times Article Recognizes Tulsa As A High-Tech Community

Sunday, July 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

People across the country are recognizing Tulsa as a superpower in the tech world.

A recent New York Times headline said, "A Gusher of Technology in Downtown Tulsa."

The nation knew Oklahoma, especially Tulsa was home to big players, during oil's golden age.

"Any time you are based on one industry, there will be booms or busts," says Michael Hightower, Tulsa Chamber of Commerce.

After the bust, business and oil leaders pooled oil company workers who worked with computers or on the technical side, and started a technology boom.

A recent New York Times article called Tulsa a "telecommunications superpower."

It said Tulsa had "elegant close-in urban neighborhoods ideal for skilled professionals and managers. And an attractive civic infrastructure that includes a respectable ballet, an orchestra and art museums that far outpace its larger, cross-state rival, Oklahoma City, and other similarly sized Southwestern cities."

The New York Times article also pointed out that the Tulsa area accounts for up to seventy percent of Oklahoma's high-tech employees and revenues.

"I think it does send a message to companies out there, looking to expand, that we have real strong infrastructure here and we are ready to accommodate," says Hightower.

Williams became big in the oil business in the early 1900's, now Williams Communications is building new offices downtown. Four years ago, they had about 200 employees.

Williams Communications now has 5,000 employees and are expected to have more than ten thousand in five years.

"They did a brilliant thing running fiber optic cable through old pipelines," says Hightower.

As education programs focusing on technology grow in our area, so are smaller businesses.

Pinnacle Business Systems in Tulsa has written software for IBM, and continues to expand.

Former TU football coach, Dave Rader is the director of sales at Pinnacle.

"There is talent in this city and there are people who are in the industry making things happen. And you know what, it's happening right in the heartland, right in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It's just not oil anymore, this is digital revolution and Tulsa is writing part of it," says Rader.

And riding the wave of national recognition.