Governor Fallin announced today, from her visit to the Farnborough International Air Show in the United Kingdom, that Stillwater will be the recipient of some new foreign investment.
The Belgian aerospace company ASCO Inc. will open a plant there. The firm designs and builds parts for companies like Airbus and Boeing.
“We think it’s exciting news for Oklahoma,” said Arnella Karges, who serves on the Aerospace Committee for the State Camber of Oklahoma.
“My understanding is that they will mostly try to hire locally,” she said.
The company is expected to hire 250 new employees by 2014, with the intent of adding an additional 350 jobs during the following year.
“These will be high-skilled and high paying jobs,” said Matt Robsion, State Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs. “When Oklahoma made a strategic effort to diversify our economic foundation, high tech is really one of the places that we went, and aerospace specifically.
“This really fits in line with the diversity of Oklahoma’s economy right now,” he said.
Karges says that one effort of the Chamber that’s making Oklahoma a more attractive place for this type of firm to locate is instituting an aerospace engineering tax credit. It’s directed at the companies who hire engineers, as well as the engineers themselves, for help with student loans.
“That’s one thing Oklahoma has done that I think helps attract some of these high paying jobs on the engineering level,” she said.
Robison says also, Oklahoma's central location is attractive for a North American market, since it reduces transportation costs.