Energy boom benefits state as local economies diversify
Despite efforts to increase the state's economic diversity, energy continues to lead the state.
The energy boom has benefited all of Oklahoma, said Roy Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber.
“The successful energy companies are very committed to the community,” he said. “They're significant contributors to nonprofits, the arts and to sports and recreational and cultural activities. ... They're huge supporters of our educational institutions because they draw from them for employees.”
State and city leaders worked hard for years to attract and grow companies from outside the energy sector to help protect the economy from another energy bust.
Despite the energy sector's continued dominance on Oklahoma Inc., Williams said the local economies are diverse.
“We have a much more diversified economy today than what we've ever had in our history,” Williams said. “Whether you look at the gross metropolitan product, employment or annual earnings, we now have a very vibrant and diverse economy, including aviation and aerospace, a large bioscience sector and a hospitality industry, which we haven't had before a decade ago.