In 2009, Oklahoma published its “Strategic Plan for the Growth of the Oklahoma Aerospace Industry.” This plan provides a road map for Oklahoma to continue to be a world leader in aerospace by focusing on the following emerging areas critical to the industry:
More than 500 aerospace-related companies make their home in Oklahoma. From MRO, sensors, air transportation, to OEMs, nanotech and unmanned aerial technology and testing, Oklahoma is equipped and ready to supply products and services to a growing aerospace industry.
Oklahoma excels at training aviation/aerospace workers and each year is producing growing numbers of qualified recruits. Programs at Oklahoma’s technology centers, colleges, universities, the Mike Monroney FAA Aeronautical Center and private aviation schools offer training, certificates and degrees in all the necessary specialties, including:
Oklahoma’s aerospace industry already employs nearly 150,000 workers, with a payroll of $5 billion. Aerospace industrial output exceeds $12.5 billion annually, including export of $4.4 billion to 170 countries. With a talented, existing aerospace workforce that is growing every day, thanks to Oklahoma’s top-ranked training programs and educational institutions, the aerospace industry is assured a pipeline of proficient labor for years to come.
|Occupation||2011 Jobs||Oklahoma Median Hourly Wages||National Median Hourly Wages|
|Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers||1,100||$25.36||$33.17|
|Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks||3,119||$19.83||$19.75|
|Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks||9,232||$12.41||$13.57|
|Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping||709||$11.18||$13.06|
|First-line Supervisors/Managers of Mechanics, Installers, and Repairers||5,584||$25.39||$27.65|
|Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers||12,930||$15.63||$16.97|
|Power Plant Operators||304||$30.62||$29.00|
Source: EMSI Complete Employment 2011
Some of the United States’ most important and largest aerospace clusters are located in Oklahoma.
The legislation extends tax credits of $5,000 a year for up to five years to engineers who are hired in Oklahoma. The aerospace companies hiring the engineers will receive a tax credit of equal to 10% of the compensation paid to an engineer during the first five years of his or her employment if the engineer graduated from an Oklahoma college. If the engineer graduated from a college outside Oklahoma, the employer will get a tax credit equal to 5% of the compensation paid to the employee during the first five years.
In addition, the law grants Oklahoma aerospace companies a tax credit in the amount of 50% of the tuition reimbursed to a new engineer graduate for the first four years of his or her employment. The tax credit is limited to 50% of the average annual tuition paid by an engineer at a public university in Oklahoma.