In 2022, Oklahoma saw nearly 80 announcements for new and expanding companies across the state, according to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. And three announcements in November alone bring the state closer to exceeding that number in 2023.
Blue Bell Creameries will add 100,000 square feet to its Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, facility, creating 15 new jobs in the process. The expansion follows Blue Bell’s acceptance of a $2.25 million Business Expansion and Retention Incentive Program award.
“Blue Bell is a key partner in our city’s economic prosperity,” said Jennifer Conway, President and CEO of the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation. “This expansion not only demonstrates the company’s commitment to excellence but also highlights Broken Arrow as a destination for businesses to thrive.”
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Marty Kilgore, Blue Bell Broken Arrow General Manager, said the project will impact the local economy beyond just job creation.
“Everything from the materials being purchased, equipment rentals, fuel suppliers for the heavy equipment, and the hotels and restaurants for all contractors,” Kilgore said. “This project is creating additional business for many in our city. That is a huge win for Broken Arrow and the surrounding communities.”
Canoo Inc., a high-tech mobility company, has delivered the first electric vehicles to Oklahoma that were made in the state, marking the beginning of its “phased-ramp manufacturing” in the Sooner State.
Gov. Kevin Stitt said the state is proud to be part of the “historic moment.”
“This marks Oklahoma’s return to vehicle manufacturing and proves ‘The Sooner State’ is the right place to grow cutting-edge businesses and create new jobs,” Stitt said.
As part of its increased production, Canoo expects to hire more than 1,300 people.
“What is inspiring to me is that it takes just a small group of innovators and hardworking believers who find a way to win,” Tony Aquila, Chairman and CEO of Canoo, said. “I want to thank Governor Stitt and his team for believing in us. We want our vehicles to provide service to Oklahomans who have been our partners on this journey.”
In Ardmore, Oklahoma, Dot Foods plans to invest $13.9 million into its distribution center for a 33,157-square-foot expansion to its frozen warehouse. The expansion will result in 35 new hires over three years, according to the company.
Bill Murphy, President of the Ardmore Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce, said Dot Foods’ investment solidifies Ardmore as a great place to do business.
“Our central location in the state and our commitment to economic development are a winning combination for businesses like Dot,” Murphy said. “They’re a family-owned and operated company that is at the heart of what drives American commerce. Dot’s success means success for our region.”
Chris Landrum, Dot Foods’ Vice President of Warehousing, said the Oklahoma team has been crucial to the company for nearly two decades.
“Adding more frozen capacity to our Ardmore facility is a strategic decision that will help us better support our customers and the growth of our business,” Landrum said.
Construction will begin in February 2024.