Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oklahoma City Ranks No. 6 on List of Job Growth Leaders

Oklahoma City has been ranked No. 6 on the list of Top 10 Job Growth Leaders, for cities with an average employment between 250,000 and 750,000, by Business Facilities magazine. Oklahoma City was placed on the list for having job-creating activities built around sure-growth industries. Other cities in the top 10 include Rochester, NY; Toledo, OH; and Charleston, SC.

“Job growth is one of our top priorities at the Chamber, so this ranking is especially satisfying,” said Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “Our efforts are very intentional, so I’m glad others are taking notice of the work we are doing.”

This ranking comes on the heels of other impressive recognition that Oklahoma City has received this summer.

Oklahoma City has been in the spotlight as a great place for young adults, being named the No. 3 City for Recent Grads (Daily Beast), the No. 20 Fastest Growing Area for 5 – 17-year olds (New Geography) and the No. 7 Best Place for Young Adults to Get Started (Business Journals), all in the month of June.

Oklahoma City’s economy has also been consistently recognized this summer, ranking the 11th Best State for Business (Chief Executive Magazine), No. 6 City with the Strongest Economy (Parenting Magazine), One of the Top 20 Strongest Performing Metro Areas (Brookings Institute), the 2nd Highest GMP growth among 100 Largest Metros (Global Insight's 2011 US Metro Economies Report, 2009 – 2010), and continues to have the No. 1 lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

“Oklahoma City has not received these high rankings by luck,” said Williams. “Many of our leadership in both the public and private sector have worked tirelessly to create such a strong economic environment. We should all be proud of that.”

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sen. Inhofe Looks Toward Oklahomans to Help Protect Servicemen Overseas

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) account for more than 60 percent of coalition casualties in Iraq and Iran. Senator James Inhofe is looking toward Oklahomans to help fight the loss of life IEDs are causing in the war effort. Sen. Inhofe and the Chamber are hosting the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Technology Outreach Conference Tuesday, Aug. 30 at the Skirvin Hotel. Individual tickets are just $20 and include lunch.

“As Oklahomans, we have seen firsthand the devastation and tragedy IEDs cause for our soldiers and their families,” Sen. Inhofe said. “This has been an especially somber month for Oklahomans fighting overseas and it shows the impact of IEDs can be felt far away from the battlefield. Hopefully some ideas generated by Oklahoman ingenuity at this conference can help combat these devices.”

Members from JIEDDO will lead a discussion on the current counter-IED strategy and the need to develop future strategies and technologies to provide future counter-IED solutions. JIEDDO will also be available for one-on-one sessions starting at 3:30 p.m., for those who have an idea, technology or concept that might be of interest to the military.

Faced with the escalating use of IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the office of the Army Chief of Staff established the Army IED Task Force in October 2003. In 2006, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) was officially established with an established mission to attack and defeat the IED threat.

“This is a chance for Oklahoma entrepreneurs or anyone who might have some insight on this issue to get one-on-one face time with military officials to have their ideas heard,” Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President & CEO Roy Williams said. “They are prepared to hand out grants at this conference if they hear ideas they like.”

All local military personnel, scientists, engineers, technicians, companies and academia are invited to take part in this important conference.

For more information on the event call the Chamber at (405) 297-8900 or click on the JIEDDO Technology Conference link. For more information on JIEDDO click here.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oklahoma City Recognized as a Top 10 Place to Live by RelocateAmerica

This week, RelocateAmerica announced its annual “Top 10 Places to Live for 2011” and Oklahoma City made the list at No. 10. This is the second consecutive year Oklahoma City has made the Top 10, making it one of only three cities to repeat.

“We received thousands of submissions and connected with leaders from all of the Top 100 communities that were vying for Top 10 distinction,” said Steve Nickerson, RelocateAmerica president and CEO. “Oklahoma City demonstrated the enthusiasm and attributes that make a community great.”

RelocateAmerica uses a variety of data from the local economy to real estate and recreation to compile their annual ranking. Feedback from local resident also played a key role in the ranking. Citizens were asked to visit RelocateAmerica’s website to tell them why their city was the best place to live in America.

Just in the last month, Oklahoma City has been named a “Top 20 Boom Town in the U.S” by Forbes and “Second Best City to Start a Small Business” by Fiscal Times.

The complete 2011 ‘Top 100 Places to Live’ List along with archives of previous years’ winners can be viewed by visiting You can read a full list of Oklahoma City’s latest accolades at

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oklahoma City Recognized as a Top 100 Place to Live by RelocateAmerica

RelocateAmerica named Oklahoma City one of its “Top 100 Places to Live” in its 14th annual listing of the top communities in America. With help from area residents, it could also receive recognition as a Top 10 overall community.

“We are looking for a strong show of support among local residents, community and business leaders as the Top 10 breakout category winners are now determined through a special nomination process,” Steve Nickerson, President of RelocateAmerica said. “Community pride is a good indicator of great leadership and a mark of what makes it a great place to live, work and play.”

Voting for Overall Top 10 is new for 2011 and is part of a year-long initiative to give local residents and leaders direct input about how their community rates in various quality of life categories. There will be six different breakout categories released throughout the year, including the top areas for education, recreation, and places to retire as well as several others.

Area residents have until July 31 to visit and cast their vote for Oklahoma City. The results will be released on August 2.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Headlines of the Week

Office market thriving in downtown Oklahoma City, observers say

After going through the scare of losing a major corporate anchor like Kerr-McGee Corp., downtown Oklahoma City is set to witness the biggest convergence of energy companies since the oil boom of the early 1980s.

Downtown observers, however, are predicting a different outcome this time around compared to the crash that ensued in 1983, which saw the collapse of hundreds of small petroleum firms and the emptying of one office building after another.

Larry Nichols, executive chairman of Devon Energy Corp., is enjoying witnessing a complete reversal of fortune for downtown now that his company's neighborhood has grown to include SandRidge Energy Inc., which took over the Kerr-McGee campus. They soon will be joined by Continental Resources Inc. and Enogex, an OGE Corp.

Read the full story.

ACM@UCO building purchase could put freeze on openings of new bars and clubs along Bricktown Canal
The University of Central Oklahoma's purchase of a building in Bricktown for the Academy of Contemporary Music will trigger a law that will prohibit the opening of new clubs and bars in the entertainment district.

Up to half of Bricktown could see a freeze on development of any new bars or clubs as the University of Central Oklahoma prepares to complete its purchase of the Oklahoma Hardware Building.

The warehouse along the Bricktown Canal is already home to the Academy of Contemporary Music, but the school becoming a landowner next month unintentionally triggered a law that prohibits issuing licenses to new bars or clubs that derive more than 50 percent of sales from liquor if they are within 300 feet of a church or school.

That law, if enforced, would prohibit the opening of any new bars or clubs on the Bricktown Canal between the Bricktown ballpark and the BNSF Railway viaduct. It also would affect properties between Sheridan and Reno Avenues.

John Maisch, counsel for the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE), said questions also surrounded the ACM@UCO performance lab at 323 E Sheridan Ave. Enforcement around that location as well would extend the prohibition against new bars and clubs throughout most if not all of original Bricktown, which is the state's busiest urban entertainment district.

Read full story.

Mercy Health Center to open school for autistic children in Oklahoma City

Children with autism and patients who need rehabilitation will find help in a new multimillion-dollar Mercy Health Center school and hospital.

The state's first school for autistic children, The Good Shepherd Catholic School at Mercy, initially will provide special services for 20 children when it opens Aug. 22 on the hospital campus.

The number of people with autism is estimated at 1 percent of the population. The numbers have been increasing nationally and statewide, with a state study showing Oklahoma's incidence more than tripled from 2003 to 2007, whether from increased prevalence, improved reporting or diagnoses.

“It's overwhelming, overwhelming,” said Mary Sweet-Darter, the director of the University of Central Oklahoma behavioral and learning clinic.

Read the full story.

Oklahoma City Arena to be renamed Chesapeake Energy Arena
Chesapeake Energy Arena will be the new name of Oklahoma City's downtown arena formerly known as the Ford Center under a new naming rights agreement jointly announced Thursday by the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Chesapeake Energy Arena will be the new name of Oklahoma City's downtown arena formerly known as the Ford Center under a new naming rights agreement jointly announced Thursday by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Under the 12-year naming rights agreement, Chesapeake will pay the Thunder $3 million the first year, with a 3 percent annual escalation clause for each year, thereafter. The agreement includes Chesapeake branding throughout the building including on the basketball court, prominent premium placement on the high-definition scoreboard and new state-of-the-art interior and exterior digital signage.

Most of the signage is expected to be in place by the start of the Thunder's 2011-12 season.

“On behalf of the entire Thunder organization, we are extremely proud to enhance our already strong partnership with Chesapeake Energy,” said Clayton I. Bennett, Thunder chairman. “Besides being a leader in the national and international energy industry, Chesapeake is a dynamic business and community leader in Oklahoma. Together with the Thunder's commitment to the community, it makes the naming rights partnership a natural fit. The Thunder looks forward to many exciting years ahead playing in Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City.”

Read the full story.

Friday, July 15, 2011

National Radio Features Oklahoma City

Yesterday, Michael Cross of KOSU reported on Oklahoma City’s unemployment rate and economy for Marketplace, a national radio program. The story also highlights the construction of the Outlet Shoppes. To listen to the story clink the link below.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

News Bureau Meeting: July 12

Please join us for the second News Bureau Meeting of 2011!

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber has launched a national image campaign aimed at changing misperceptions about Oklahoma City. Come learn about the campaign, how you can get involved, and help us spread the positive messages of our city.

Please join us for networking, drinks and hors d'oeuvres at Matthew Kenney OKC (formerly 105 Degrees) at Classen Curve, followed by a presentation on the new Oklahoma City Image Campaign.

Tuesday, July 12
Matthew Kenney OKC at Classen Curve
5820 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 1
4 – 5:30 p.m.

Built from the ground up with sustainability and the preparation of raw cuisine in mind, Matthew Kenney OKC provides a warm and modern setting in which to savor the unique and innovative menu crafted by renowned Raw Food Chef and author Matthew Kenney.

RSVP to Marcus Elwell at of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
if you plan to attend!