“The oil industry seemed attractive to us. It is here, it's growing, it's not likely to shrink. We wanted to be in the midstream area.”
Innovation One's efforts also are designed to boost Bullett Energy Services, which the tribe bought in December.
Based in Velma, Bullet has 44 employees and 17 transport trucks to support its saltwater disposal business.
The two companies will focus on the Chickasaw's historical territory in southern Oklahoma, which also is home to the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province.
“Not only is it in the Chickasaw territory, but it's also where a lot of activity is going to take place,” said Joe Evans, CNI's commercial business development officer.
CNI and Innovation One hope to use the expanded Marietta facility to promote what they call “rural sourcing.”
“Instead of having to outsource jobs to India and China, companies can rural-source to Oklahoma and have high-quality people with good training and reasonable rates,” Nimmo said. “Innovation One is a perfect example of what we can do in Oklahoma to support industry here instead of outsourcing to China and shipping things in.”
By keeping manufacturing operations in the oil patch, companies reduce their costs, McCaleb said.
“Transportation costs are a significant part of manufactured steel production,” he said. “We're positioned here in Oklahoma and in the center of the nation.”
Tribal members now represent about 12 percent of Innovation One and Bullet's combined employment. While the tribe hopes to increase that number, Nimmo said the larger goal is to benefit all of Love County and southern Oklahoma.
“If we can create jobs for everyone, all boats will rise together,” he said. “That's what we're experiencing here in Marietta already. We're taking the resources and knowledge we've gained with government contracts throughout the country and are applying them here in Oklahoma to grow those jobs at home.”