Tulsa’s business community is thriving, and though all industries are growing, Tulsa’s Future identified target industries that are highly concentrated with the greatest growth and job creation potential. Each is vital to the region’s economic stability and development to grow.
Once the Oil Capitol of the World, the Tulsa region has long been a leader in the energy industry, and today is home to Fortune 500 energy companies like Williams and ONEOK. Building upon that history, industries such as advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, regional headquarters, and distribution and logistics continue to be cornerstones of northeast Oklahoma’s economy.
Many of the nation’s largest manufacturers have chosen northeast Oklahoma for their growing operations. Sofidel, an Italian manufacturer of tissue paper, invested $360 million in a 1.8-million-square-foot plant in Inola. Whirlpool Corporation continues to expand its presence in the Tulsa region and currently employs more than 2,000 people.
Aerospace and Defense
The Tulsa region also has a rich history of aerospace innovation, and that industry continues to have an economic impact of more than $11 billion. Tulsa is home to American Airlines’ maintenance base—the largest of its kind in the world. Additional aerospace companies such as NORDAM and Spirit AeroSystems are major employers in the aerospace industry.
Logistics and Distribution
Northeast Oklahoma’s central location makes access to most parts of the country cost-effective and timely, which is why major companies locate key distribution centers here. Macy’s Owasso fulfillment center is the largest of its kind in the company’s network. Amazon recently opened a 2.6-million-square-foot fulfillment center in Tulsa that will employ 1,500 people.
Headquarters and Professional Services
Northeast Oklahoma is home to a number of corporate headquarters, including BOK Financial, QuikTrip and CymSTAR, which recently added 100 jobs in Broken Arrow. Numerous accounting, engineering, architecture, insurance and finance companies call the Tulsa region home as well.
With its history of innovation and skilled talent, the Tulsa region is looking toward the industries that will move the region into the next decade. Northeast Oklahoma is poised to be a leader in the automotive technology, advanced aerial mobility, and tech and IT industries.
The Tulsa region's strong roots in the manufacturing and energy sectors, coupled with its history of innovation and “blue collar tech” talent, position it to be a key player in the future growth of the automotive industry. Acknowledging this opportunity and the 9,000± acres of available land, which include mega sites such as the MidAmerica Industrial Park —the fourth largest in the nation of its kind — Tulsa’s Future and its regional partners formed the Northeast Oklahoma Automotive Corridor to drive automotive innovation across the region.
Advanced Aerial Mobility
Building upon the Tulsa region’s deep ties to the aerospace and aviation industries, projected growth in AAM is an opportunity to leverage local talent and be a leader in the advanced mobility space. AAM companies already in our region include TAT Technologies & Limco, Spirit AeroSystems, Omni Air, Flight Safety, L3Harris Technologies and American Airlines. Additionally, a regional coalition was awarded a $38.2 million grant from the EDA to establish the Tulsa Regional Advanced Mobility (TRAM) Corridor, which will cultivate a diverse hub for research, development and production in the advanced mobility industry.
Tech & IT
Dubbed a rising star in tech talent, the Tulsa region continues to build upon its robust tech ecosystem. From Holberton School, a coding school in the heart of downtown Tulsa, to the world-renowned cybersecurity program at the University of Tulsa, the region is continuously growing its tech talent pipeline. Lumen Technologies, Enhatch, Northern Data, and Google—the second largest data center in the world located in the Mid America Industrial Park—are choosing northeast Oklahoma as the place to grow their business. The region’s tech hub has been strategically designed to be inclusive for all, with a collaborative focus on closing the racial wealth gap through an inclusive tech economy.