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Oklahoma's manufacturing sector sees growth

Oklahoma's strong energy industry is continuing to boost manufacturing, putting the state nearly on par with the rest of the nation, a Federal Reserve economist said Wednesday.
by Brianna Bailey Modified: October 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm •  Published: October 9, 2013
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/articleid/3891821/1/pictures/2235353">Photo - Chad Wilkerson, economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and head of the Oklahoma City Fed branch. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman
Chad Wilkerson, economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and head of the Oklahoma City Fed branch. Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman

“There has been somewhat of a slowdown in growth because of a lack of available workers — it's not all for bad reasons,” he said.

Christine Furstoss, senior executive and technical director for manufacturing and materials technologies for General Electric Co., also spoke at the manufacturing conference on Wednesday.

GE announced in April that it plans to build a $110-million research center in Oklahoma that will focus on researching new ways to improve oil and gas extraction. The center will be one of eight such facilities in the world and will employ up to 125 engineers and scientists. A location for the research center has yet to be announced.

Furstoss said at the conference that the research center could benefit manufacturers in Oklahoma as the company moves away from manufacturing products outside of the United States due to rising labor costs in the developing world.

“The benefits of having manufacturing right there where you are doing your design are huge,” Furstoss said.

by Brianna Bailey
Business Writer
Brianna Bailey has lived in Idaho, Germany and Southern California, but Oklahoma is her adopted home. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has worked at several newspapers in Oklahoma and Southern...
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