Williams partly attributes Oklahoma City’s plethora of awards to a 17-week image advertising campaign the chamber ran this time last year on the West Coast.
But primarily he gives the credit to the city’s Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS).
Last fall, some 140 city and business leaders from Mobile, Ala., visited to learn about Oklahoma City’s reinvention, Williams said.
And similarly sized groups, spurred in part by the city’s accolades, are coming this year from Louisville, Ky.; Jacksonville, Miss.; Waco; Albuquerque; Colorado Springs and Shreveport, La., Williams said.
Robert Dauffenbach, director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the University of Oklahoma, affirms the findings on Oklahoma City’s economic security.
“There’s a high probability of having a job, living a decent level off that job and growth so that we can be confident in the job prospects and life here for our children,” Dauffenbach said.
Compared with other states, Oklahoma — largely thanks to its energy industry — is faring better in job growth, low unemployment and gains in personal income, he said.
Still, Dauffenbach predicts the recession, which started in December 2007, will run through 2014.
“We’re still down 4 percent from our peak economic levels and have a long road back,” he said. “But that’s typical for a financial crisis. It takes a long time to come back.”