Path Home Shows 2014 Show Archive September 2014 Show 1439 Manufacturing Comeback in Oklahoma

Manufacturing Comeback in Oklahoma

Companies that once outsourced are finding that keeping production closer to home improves quality and gets their products to market faster.
Manufacturing Comeback in Oklahoma

Manufacturing Comeback in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance

Manufacturing Day

Oklahoma 2014 Event Schedule

Show Details

Show 1439: Manufacturing Comeback in Oklahoma
Air Date: September 28, 2014



Rob McClendon: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us here on “Horizon.” Well, walk down the aisle of any retail store, and you will be hard-pressed to find a “Made in America” label – and for good reason. America’s manufacturers for the most part produce higher technology products that sell for higher margins. It’s a high-tech industry that has sustained growth for the last three years, and several factors are behind the trend. Both labor and transportation costs are rising in places like China – while here at home, automation and globally competitive wages are making manufacturing a smart career.

Rob: Well, manufacturing is making a comeback in Oklahoma.

Larry Mocha: This last year has been our best year. We just found out we broke through 10 million for the first time in our history.

Rob: Larry Mocha owns Tulsa-based APSCO and says he’s seen his workforce double in the last five years while revenues have tripled.

Mocha: It’s so computerized. Everything is. And it’s process-driven. It’s a new world for manufacturing.

Rob: In fact, the average manufacturing worker today earns a salary that is 43 percent above the state average.

Mocha: Our machinists make more than our salespeople. They’re really well-paid, and they’re very much sought after everywhere, not just in Tulsa, but everywhere.

Rob: Mocha says the overall manufacturing industry is expected to grow by close to 6 percent next year, thanks to a trend called reshoring. Companies that once outsourced are increasingly finding that keeping production closer to home improves quality and reduces lead time in getting products to market.

Mocha: If you, your price is gonna be level or if it’s fixed, the only thing you can do is look at your processes. Look at those costs. What can you do in your processes to take waste out of that, to eliminate waste?

Rob: Improvements that are good for the state’s entire economy, with manufacturing now accounting for 89 percent of Oklahoma exports.

Mocha: Manufacturing is an industry that creates wealth in and of itself. I think for every dollar spent on manufacturing or related industries, another buck and a half is generated as a result. Well, that’s just by manufacturing by itself. When you export, like if we export out of Oklahoma, then what we’re doing, we’re growing the pie. Manufacturers help grow the pie. When you export stuff out of Oklahoma you’re bringing those dollars into Oklahoma, so you’re helping to grow that pie. So most of our stuff is done outside of Oklahoma, all the work’s done here, all the money comes back here, but our products are shipped all over the United States.

Rob: When we return, a look at how domestic energy production is helping fuel American manufacturing.