What industries do leaders working with economic development and city growth expect to see grow in the OKC metro in the next five years? Ben Lepak, Daisy Muñoz and Jeff Seymour weigh in.
State Chamber Research Foundation, Executive Director
“Aerospace and all the industries that support aerospace in Oklahoma City — we’re just really well positioned as a city and as a state in that industry. There’s been a very concerted effort by political and business leaders in the state to ensure that there continues to be investment in aerospace. We’ve seen a lot of benefit from that, and we will continue to as we go forward. As the industry moves into drone technology and some of the more cutting-edge aspects of that industry, I think Oklahoma is really well positioned to do well there as well.
Beyond that, more than any one specific industry, Oklahoma City, and the state more broadly, has thrived in creating an overall business environment that is conducive to really all industries. If we have a strong business environment where businesses can operate relatively free from a lot of the cost drivers that you see in other parts of the country, that all of that works to benefit everybody in Oklahoma City, and the state.”
MAPS4 Committee Member
“With MAPS4 focusing on social infrastructure, placing an emphasis on the arts industry allows us to cultivate a city that generates creativity and innovation with the effect of economic development.
Picture a weekend where visitors and residents visit commercial districts like The Plaza, Paseo and Automobile Alley. Each district has a unique identity that encompasses the arts, fosters a sense of community and activates the built environment. Exploring museums, concert venues, murals, theaters and other art-focused businesses that highlight OKC’s talent provides people with a diverse range of experiences. Organizations like Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma Arts Council, and Arts Council OKC promote and support art initiatives through their missions. Still, OKC should grant a higher value to the art industry and the local artists. As OKC grows, art should be viewed as a vehicle for self-expression, workforce development, community building and economic growth.”
Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Economic Development Executive Vice President
“In the next five years, I’m really excited about our aerospace and transportation cluster growing to include more research and development, more manufacturing and more opportunities for new technology to be tested and validated and created here. We’ve just had such a strong aerospace cluster in the region, and it’s always had such strong opportunities around maintenance, repair and overhaul and we’re seeing such opportunities for this rapid technology enhancement around transportation.
I’m also really excited about the investments that are happening in healthcare and in bioscience. We can be a place in the U.S. where we can produce quality and affordable drugs and therapeutics in a way that fulfills the domestic U.S. demand. And we’re seeing these growing cluster opportunities where Oklahoma City can partner with places like Dallas and Boston to really see things start here and also grow here.”