No stopping a new Port of Catoosa business

Wednesday, October 12th 2005, 11:11 am
By: News On 6

Ohio's loss is Oklahoma's gain. The state scored big when the Cleveland-based Hawk Corporation shut down a plant there and relocated it at the Port of Catoosa.

As News on 6 reporter explains, the company makes clutch, transmission, and "brake" parts, but there's no slowing them down.

It's another feather in the cap for the Port of Catoosa, a "big" feather with 250,000 square feet at the new plant of the Hawk Corporation and its subsidiary, Wellman Products.

Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune: "There's a lot of jobs out here and a lot of job growth out here and we just need to let our own citizenry know how great it is what we have here."

9 out of every ten semi-trucks have Wellman products in them. They also make parts for race cars, airplanes, and farm and construction equipment. Steve Campbell: "We have Caterpillar, John Deere, Harley Davidson as major customers and they're growing very well right now, so it's a very rosy future for us."

Hawk and Wellman employ about 300 people at the Port of Catoosa, but you might have noticed they have some extra space. That means they plan on growing. Ronald Weinberg: "It's world-class, and we plan to keep it that way and build further on what we're doing and we are committed to U.S. manufacturing."

Tulsa and the Port of Catoosa beat out 20 other locations for the $20-million plant. Hawk and Wellman say the state and city were more flexible here than other places in working out incentives. They praised the workforce and work ethic.

The central location didn't hurt. And the Port of Catoosa, of course, was key. Steve Campbell: "Steel is a very expensive thing to ship and we use a lot of steel in this facility. So ultimately we're going to be barging steel up the Mississippi and the Arkansas River here, so that's going to save us a lot in freight, and that's definitely important."

The most important thing they make, as far as Tulsa's concerned, is the investment. With such a nice building, it's logical to think they'll be around a while.