View Full Version : The future of OKC and Younger workers



RedDirt717
03-16-2010, 12:56 AM
This is what I was talking about a few weeks ago. After moving back to OKC a year ago from Wash. DC (I'm 26). I've noticed an absolute outpouring of young talent in the OKC area from other parts of the country. My roomate just moved here from California, and I have a friend from Vegas (but now in DC) that's wanting to go to law school out here.

The Thunder and Hornets have already paid off in terms of changing the image of OKC. Most common description "Much cooler than I thought it was going to be, I think I want to stay"


NewsOK (http://www.newsok.com/young-professionals-made-welcome/article/3446765?custom_click=lead_story_title)


Chamber executives and young workers aren’t surprised Oklahoma City has been named one of the best places to work for people in their 20s and 30s.

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber the past four years has focused on recruiting, retaining and attracting talented young professionals, said Drew Dugan, vice president of education and work force development.

"I think we’ve probably had a big impact through our Greater Grads program,” he said. Along with job fairs, the chamber every summer matches some 350 students with employers for work internships, which they augment with weekly leadership meetings.

"Participants become more sophisticated in weighing their options,” he said. "They realize Oklahoma City can provide them both a high quality of life, and the opportunity to make a big impact on the community where they work.”

Such was the experience of Greater Grads participant Matt Clark, who works in community relations for Chesapeake Energy.

"It really opened my eyes to the different industries we have, and that there are a lot of ways to be involved in nonprofits at a young age,” Clark, 26, said.

An advertising graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Mary Green, 27, moved back to Oklahoma City last week after working in Denver and then Dallas.

"I can already tell Oklahoma City is growing in a way that will bring young people back,” said Green, who’s looking for a marketing job. "There are more opportunities with bigger companies that are expanding, and more sections of town — like Midtown and the new condos downtown — that cater to the younger generation.”

"And Thunder is huge,” Green said. "I can go to a game or a Red Tie event and know I’m going to see so many people I know.

"Living out of town made me appreciate Oklahoma City so much.” She said she’s already saving $300 a month in rent. "It’s just easy here.”

and



NewsOK (http://newsok.com/oklahoma-attractive-to-young-workers/article/3446764)


For workers ages 18 to 34, Oklahoma City and Tulsa are among the 10 best markets in the country, according to a survey released Monday by Portfolio.com, a national business news site that provides analysis to small- and mid-sized businesses.

Based on 10 factors — including job growth, cost of living and the number of college-educated and employed adults — Oklahoma City ranks No. 6 and Tulsa, No. 8, among 67 metros with populations over 750,000.

The Southwest swept the survey with six of the top 14 places. Austin is No. 1, Houston, No. 5; Dallas-Fort Worth, No. 7; and San Antonio, No. 14. Behind Austin at the top of the list are Washington, D.C., Raleigh and Boston. Detroit sits at the bottom with Cleveland, Dayton, Tampa-St. Petersburg and Riverside-San Bernadino.

"Oklahoma City and Tulsa continue to have unusually good unemployment,” survey demographer G. Scott Thomas said. Based on 2008 data, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, with 5.8 percent and 6.2 percent respective unemployment, have the second and third lowest unemployment rates nationwide, Thomas said. Salt Lake City has the lowest at 4.7 percent, while Atlanta, Richmond and other places in the north and southeast have double-digit unemployment.

Another plus for Oklahoma City is its population base is the ninth youngest, Thomas said. Adults 18 to 34 comprise 24.9 percent of residents metro-wide, including the university towns of Edmond and Norman. Tulsa’s young adult base is 22.6 percent. Comparatively, Austin’s base is 28 percent, while Pittsburgh and Cleveland’s populations are below 20 percent.

From 2004 through 2009, Oklahoma City and Tulsa also saw job growth. Oklahoma City is the 11th best in the country, Thomas said, with an increase of 0.6 percent per year and 17,100 additional jobs overall. Tulsa, he said, had even stronger growth at 1.5 percent per year. Comparatively, Austin’s jobs grew an average of 2.8 percent every year, while most areas had fewer jobs including New Orleans, which lost 3 percent per year, and Detroit, which lost 343,700 jobs in the past five years.

The leading weakness with Oklahoma’s job market is its low concentration of high income among workers 45 and younger, Thomas said. Of household incomes of $100,000 or greater, Oklahoma City has 12.5 percent in that age bracket. Tulsa has 12.6 percent.

The most affluent young Americans live in the San Francisco-Bay area and the Northeast Corridor, where more than one-third of households earn $100,000 or more.

"Oklahoma metros are in the bottom 20, partly as a result of the cost of living,” Thomas said. The median rent for apartments, which generally reflect the lower cost of living, is $520 in Oklahoma City and $508 in Tulsa, he said. "They’re among the five lowest (rent-wise) in the country,” Thomas said. "The only lower are Pittsburgh and Buffalo, with Louisville stuck in between.”

The young adults survey is the latest installment of Portfolio.com’s U.S. Uncovered series — a monthly collection of exclusive, in-depth analyses of U.S. lifestyle trends. The series provides analysis of the American lifestyle and business trends of interest to the $13.7 trillion market of small- and mid-sized businesses, which are expected to spend $1.83 trillion this year, according to data compiled annually by American City Business Journals.

Bunty
03-16-2010, 01:04 AM
Thank God, the 1990s in Oklahoma City are long gone.

HOT ROD
03-16-2010, 01:12 AM
say that again!

OKC is only going to keep getting better. :D

betts
03-16-2010, 01:14 AM
My son has been here this week, and it's the first time in four years that he's done more than fly in for a day or two to spend time with the family. We were having dinner with an old high school friend of his tonight and, spontaneously, my son who spent three of the last 4 years living in Tokyo talked about how impressed he was with Oklahoma City and all the changes that have occurred since he was last here. He even said, "When I finish my MBA, I might even see if Devon is hiring." He went to a Thunder game with me last night, commented that if he lived here he'd have to watch his weight because of all the great restaurants we have, said how impressed he was with how busy Bricktown was this weekend. I never thought I'd hear any of those words out of his mouth, as he's been all over the world, and I figured he'd be living in New York or D.C. when he finally settles down. He still might, but just the fact the he'd even consider living here shows there seems to have been some degree of shift in how this city looks to young people.

BrettL
03-17-2010, 04:03 PM
Not to be a downer, but OKC really needs to invest in other things except oil and gas. If Devon and CHK went under, the city would be screwed.

Good news overall though.

Midtowner
03-17-2010, 04:11 PM
It's not what OKC invests in, it's what sorts of businesses have chosen to locate here. Right now, large oil and gas firms enjoy close proximity with other necessary service companies, so the cost of doing business is less.

We're not a manufacturing or non-O&G Mecca because 1) we aren't offering the same incentives as other cities are offering; and 2) our public schools are inferior in many respects and our workforce is generally not as educated as much of the rest of the country.

No amount of legislation improving the 'business climate' is going to have an effect until the above two items can be addressed.

okcpulse
03-17-2010, 05:54 PM
2) our public schools are inferior in many respects and our workforce is generally not as educated as much of the rest of the country.


I will have to disagree with you one this to a degree. Houston ISD is deplorable, as is Aldine-Bender and a few other ISDs. Heck, even Conroe is a joke. Woodlands is a part of Conroe, but has their own attendace ring. Edmond schools are a much better environment, and there standards are stringent. So is Deer Creek.

Midtowner
03-17-2010, 06:22 PM
I will have to disagree with you one this to a degree. Houston ISD is deplorable, as is Aldine-Bender and a few other ISDs. Heck, even Conroe is a joke. Woodlands is a part of Conroe, but has their own attendace ring. Edmond schools are a much better environment, and there standards are stringent. So is Deer Creek.

Just wait til those Tejas schools get their new textbooks.

Jethrol
03-17-2010, 07:43 PM
Thank God, the 1990s in Oklahoma City are long gone.
No kidding.

okcpulse
03-17-2010, 08:48 PM
Not to be a downer, but OKC really needs to invest in other things except oil and gas. If Devon and CHK went under, the city would be screwed.

Good news overall though.

Well, OKC has worked to diversify its local economy. And, OKC has never had to 'invest' in oil and gas. Those industries grew themselves in our city. You guys forget that OKC is also home to American Fidelity, Globe Life Insurance, Sonic, Hobby Lobby, Love's Travel Stores, Integris Health, OG&E and everything for Hertz is here except its corporate HQ which is still in New Jersey. Not to mention the laundry list of biotech companies still growing at OU Medical Center.

It is just that Devon, Chesapeake and Sandridge are kicking ass in our community. OKC is still working to diversify its economy. No one put that effort on pause.

progressiveboy
03-17-2010, 08:48 PM
It's not what OKC invests in, it's what sorts of businesses have chosen to locate here. Right now, large oil and gas firms enjoy close proximity with other necessary service companies, so the cost of doing business is less.

We're not a manufacturing or non-O&G Mecca because 1) we aren't offering the same incentives as other cities are offering; and 2) our public schools are inferior in many respects and our workforce is generally not as educated as much of the rest of the country.

No amount of legislation improving the 'business climate' is going to have an effect until the above two items can be addressed. Well, I have to disagree to a certain point. In Dallas where I currently reside, the public school system is deplorable. Lots of corruption and the high school drop out rate in Dallas is quite high. Statistically, only about 65% of highschoolers finish and the rest are dropouts. As far as an educated workforce Dallas has a better percentage of degreed people than OKC however, you have to look that Dallas is 2 times the size but I think if I remember seeing the statistics Dallas residents that are degreed is about 29% which is not a whole lot better than OKC. I believe what works for Dallas and other cities such as Atlanta (using as an example) are able to recruite HQ's and manufacturing is because the States offer a excellent tax climate and give wonderful incentives to get the companies they attract. Why could this not apply to OKC?

okcpulse
03-17-2010, 11:10 PM
Well, I have to disagree to a certain point. In Dallas where I currently reside, the public school system is deplorable. Lots of corruption and the high school drop out rate in Dallas is quite high. Statistically, only about 65% of highschoolers finish and the rest are dropouts. As far as an educated workforce Dallas has a better percentage of degreed people than OKC however, you have to look that Dallas is 2 times the size but I think if I remember seeing the statistics Dallas residents that are degreed is about 29% which is not a whole lot better than OKC. I believe what works for Dallas and other cities such as Atlanta (using as an example) are able to recruite HQ's and manufacturing is because the States offer a excellent tax climate and give wonderful incentives to get the companies they attract. Why could this not apply to OKC?

Given that OKC's dynamics have changed in the last 5 years, a handsome incentive package combined will begin to prove irresistable to those looking to expand.

Don't forget, United acknowledged OKC offered the best incentives in 1989, but we got a thumbs down because we did not offer the quality of live that we have today. Problem is, not very many companies are looking to expand or relocate to other cities right now. The nation is in 'wait and see' mode.

Larry OKC
03-18-2010, 01:44 AM
Well, I have to disagree to a certain point. In Dallas where I currently reside, the public school system is deplorable. Lots of corruption and the high school drop out rate in Dallas is quite high. Statistically, only about 65% of highschoolers finish and the rest are dropouts. ...

Things aren't much better with OKC schools...our graduation rate just shot up to the 70% mark ("While the Oklahoma City School District didnít make adequate yearly progress last year, its graduation rate jumped to about 70 percent.")...not corruption per se, but a steady stream of changing leadership over the last few years...recent study about the academic progress that was supposed to have been achieved due to MAPS for Kids showed woeful lack of progress (test scores are up but only marginally). There was a MAPS for Kids newsletter touting the increase in test scores and the chart they used as the best one showed that a majority of the kids were still failing the tests! "Students...who live in poverty (qualifying for free or reduced-price meals) increased from 81.9% to 85.5% in the past year ....

metro
03-18-2010, 08:50 AM
Well, I have to disagree to a certain point. In Dallas where I currently reside, the public school system is deplorable. Lots of corruption and the high school drop out rate in Dallas is quite high. Statistically, only about 65% of highschoolers finish and the rest are dropouts. As far as an educated workforce Dallas has a better percentage of degreed people than OKC however, you have to look that Dallas is 2 times the size but I think if I remember seeing the statistics Dallas residents that are degreed is about 29% which is not a whole lot better than OKC. I believe what works for Dallas and other cities such as Atlanta (using as an example) are able to recruite HQ's and manufacturing is because the States offer a excellent tax climate and give wonderful incentives to get the companies they attract. Why could this not apply to OKC?

Kerry made some good points, however you also forget to mention that Texas is the 2nd most populated state in the union (@25million vs. , and has BILLIONS more in tax collection than Oklahoma so we're much more limited on resources. I'd say Oklahoma holds its own and then some when you consider our resources. Sometimes you and Spartan think of sheer numbers, but you have to compare in percentages to give a fair comparison across the board. You also have #4 biggest city in America, Houston, and #6 Dallas, not to mention a few other large metro areas (Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Amarillo, Fort Worth).

For comparison, Oklahoma is the 28th largest in population with 3.6 million people. Houston or DFW alone has nearly twice as much population as the ENTIRE STATE of Oklahoma. Apples and Oranges. As Kerry said, OKC has a quality of life it never had before, couple that with better economic times, MAPS 3, Project 180 and the ability to offer incentives and we'll be some competition for Tier 2 cities soon.