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Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Developing Oklahoma’s central region – Q&A with James Johnson



James Johnson is the Regional Director for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (Commerce) in Central Oklahoma. Johnson serves a seven-county region in Central Oklahoma and offices at Commerce headquarters. He’s worked for Commerce for 28 years, in that time he has worked as the Minority Business Director and Projects Director. Johnson’s knowledge and expertise help him to guide the Regional Development Team as they assist communities and businesses with their economic development goals.

What are your major priorities in Central Oklahoma?
Making sure that the communities are aware of the resources available to them.

What are some of the biggest assets to your area?
Labor force, world renowned higher education facilities and internationally recognized CareerTech system.

What are the main industries in your area?
Aviation and aerospace, energy, back office, weather and government.

What are some of the largest companies in your area?
Boeing
Chesapeake
Continental Resources
Devon
Hobby Lobby
Paycom

What are some of the newest companies or business expansions in your area?
In October, Amazon opened its first sorting center in the state in Oklahoma City. Mobile Medical Examination Inc. (MedXM) celebrated its grand opening last month as well.

How does the Regional Team work to provide workforce solutions for companies?

We provide information to prospects on the workforce and flexibility of customized training. We work diligently with Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission in searching and sorting for company’s needs as well as organizing or participating in job fairs. Prospective employers are also provided with labor surveys based on their needed occupational codes.

What partnerships are vital to the area?
The Greater Oklahoma City Partnership covers a 10-county region and mostly mirrors Commerce’s Central region. Their ability to leverage the capabilities of the region go a long way in present a robust network of services. Also the linkages to the regulatory bodies present help to promote Oklahoma as a business-friendly state.

What services do you provide that communities should be more aware of?
Distribution of request-for-proposals, information, identification of gap financing for capital projects, enhancement of community profiles.


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