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Oklahoma leads in manufacturing growth

Manufacturing is resurging in the Sooner State, accounting for 12 percent of Oklahoma's current economic output, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb says at Malarkey Roofing Products on National Manufacturing Day.
by Richard Mize Modified: October 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm •  Published: October 5, 2013

‘Impediment removal'

Lamb told Fagan the state was dedicated to more “impediment removal, removing artificial barriers to growth, so Malarkey, and other companies like yours, can thrive and prosper (with) organic job growth, so we can keep our next generation here, our kids and grandkids and out families and friends and neighbors who we love and care about, in Oklahoma.”

Other Oklahoma companies also observed National Manufacturing Day, organized by Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International, National Association of Manufacturers, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Manufacturing Institute and other organizations, and at the state level by the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance.

In Edmond, seventh- and eighth-grade students in Cimarron Middle School's Gateway to Technology program toured Pelco Products Inc., which designs and manufactures traffic signal hardware, utility products and decorative outdoor lighting.

Worker training

Oklahoma City's M-D Building Products said it would hold plant tours tied to National Manufacturing Day on Oct. 18 and emphasized the continued need for skilled workers.

“One of the biggest challenges facing manufacturers is the overall public perception that jobs in manufacturing are unavailable or undesirable,” said Loren Plotkin, president and CEO of M-D Building Products, which employs some 500 people locally and 800 nationally. “While we enjoy a fine workforce at our Oklahoma City plant, the future of manufacturing rests with making sure the next generation understands today's manufacturing environment includes highly trained technical employees and good paying opportunities.”

The event Oct. 18 will include tours by CareerTech student and others.

“In Oklahoma, we are fortunate to have a robust CareerTech system to train workers to operate state-of-the-art systems used in today's manufacturing processes,” Plotkin said. “As part of our long term growth strategy to take advantage of increasing demand for our line of commercial and residential building, weatherproofing and decorative products, we launched a program a few years ago to modernize and enhance the manufacturing equipment and systems at our Oklahoma City plant and build a new distribution center. Our investments are further evidence of the resurgence taking place in America's manufacturing sector.”

by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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