#21 Oklahoma

7.75 out of 10 in Taxation and Regulation

7.25 out of 10 in Workforce Quality

6.88 out of 10 in Living Environment

Right to Work?

A Millennial Mecca

While oil and gas is a critical part of the state’s economy, Oklahoma has also been trying to diversify. Urban revitalizations around the state have been attracting millennials and new sector growth. According to data from Realtor.com, Oklahoma City is the nation’s sixth-top city for millennials. WalletHub also declared it the seventh-best city to start a career, factoring in such things as availability of entry-level jobs, economic mobility and median starting salary.

From the Governor

“Oklahoma offers multiple benefits to businesses looking to relocate and expand, as our state continues to diversify its economy, create new jobs and see growth in customer services and support operations.” —Gov. Mary Fallin

Key Industries

Knowledge-based Services; Manufacturing

Key Companies

Chesapeake Energy
Continental Resources
Sonic Corp.
Southwest Bancorp
General Electric
Hobby Lobby
OGE Energy

Key Contacts

Dept. of Commerce

Deby Snodgrass, Executive Director and Secretary Of Commerce and Tourism

900 N. Stiles Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Key Incentives

Quality Jobs Program: Offers a variety of incentives and cash rebates for companies that meet certain investment, payroll and job creation thresholds.

Investment/New Jobs Tax Credit Package: Offers a tax credit to manufacturers based on an investment in depreciable property or on the addition of full-time employees engaged in manufacturing, processing or aircraft maintenance.

Manufacturing Sales Tax Exemption: Offers a comprehensive sales tax exemption for manufacturers to purchase machinery, equipment, and tangible personal property used in operations.

Ad Valorem Tax Exemption: Allows qualifying manufacturing companies to abate ad valorem taxes for a period of five years.


Oklahoma Department of Commerce: okcommerce.gov

Oklahoma Economic Development Authority: oeda.org

Oklahoma Works: oklahomaworks.gov

Greater Oklahoma City: greateroklahomacity.com

Grow Metro Tulsa: growmetrotulsa.com

Highlighted Program or Initiative

Launch Oklahoma was established in 2016 and aims to have 70% of the state’s population between the ages of 25 and 64 trained beyond high school by 2025. It offers registered apprenticeship programs in 179 different occupations in manufacturing, aerospace and energy.

Big Deals

  • Google announced in September 2016 it will construct another four-story facility in Pryor, bringing its investment in the state to a total of $2 billion by 2018.
  • Preventative care technology company MedXM announced in April 2017 it will expand into Oklahoma City and add another 400 full-time jobs over the course of five years.
  • Southwest Airlines announced in August 2017 it will add 100 new jobs and construct a $30million maintenance facility at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
  • Amazon opened a 300,000-square-foot sorting center in Oklahoma City in October 2017.

Big Companies

Five Fortune 500 companies headquartered in state:
Devon Energy
NGL Energy Partners
Chesapeake Energy

C-Suite Testimonials

“Collaboration is key to leading the unconventional resource revolution. In Governor Fallin and the people of Oklahoma, we’ve found excellent partners.” —Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric

“You all [Oklahomans] work together so incredibly collaboratively. It’s really quite unique. And that doesn’t happen in every state and community. And that’s why we’re here. We had lots of choices. But it really comes down to ‘What’s the right choice? What’s the right atmosphere? Who is pro-business, and where can we hire the best people?’” —Terry Lundgren, Executive Chairman, Macy’s

“You have to have talent. You have to have people who know IT, cooling infrastructure and power infrastructure….The career tech infrastructure in Oklahoma is robust and works well. The state can tune the workforce to the needs of the industry through the framework of its career tech schools.” —Mike Wooten, Operations Manager, Google

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