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Economic Growth

Seal of Oklahoma

I will grow Oklahoma’s economy.  Investing in our future, our children, our young constituents will enable our economy to flourish.  We must invest now to enable our children to develop into an educated, creative, and skilled 21st Century workforce.  Large business are not relocating in Oklahoma because of our workforce lacks the specific skills they require.  

Businesses have unfilled jobs that need workers with the right skills.  Continuing education and professional development are essential to our economy.  The technologies of the future are guaranteed to be different than those we’re using today.  To avoid scrambling to catch-up, we must be proactive to constantly align the Oklahoma workforce with changing skills and capabilities.

Worker skill sets, capabilities, and competencies are becoming out-of-date faster as technology advances.  A skill’s half-life is shrinking as the pace of technology change increases.  Businesses must develop a culture and infrastructure to facilitate the transition of their employees who must be continuously learning and developing news skills or up-skilling to meet the rate of change. 

Partnerships between local industry, academia, and school districts will ensure the K-12 career pipeline includes opportunities for students to learn about career opportunities in our local economy. 

We must ensure that when our students are ready to establish their own families, their roots are established here in Oklahoma and not transplanted off into another state.  We must leverage local community colleges and technical schools to develop our local workforce, expand skilled trade, and build up apprenticeship opportunities.


Businesses with opportunities outside Oklahoma are recruiting our citizens, and they are leaving.  Leaving forever.  LinkedIn reports that many mid-western cities are experiencing an exodus of talented workers, including Oklahoma City (#6 of the top U.S. cities loosing workers; April 2018 Workforce Report). 

Oklahoma is a great place to raise a family, live, work, and enjoy life, but it’s a struggle for many to survive.  Prosperity Now reports that nearly 29 % of Oklahoma jobs are low wage jobs.  I will support legislation that positively impacts Oklahomans and is supported by House District 47 constituents.


Programs that mentor small business development within HD 47 and the central Oklahoma economic ecosystem are essential.  Small businesses play a critical role in the U.S. economy and in our local community, generating about 50 % of the national gross domestic product (GDP).  Half of all U.S. adults are either self-employed or work for small businesses (typically with fewer than 500 employees).  The majority of U.S. small businesses are very small, most with less than 4 employees.  

These main street businesses play a critical role in our State’s economic growth.  Communities in Oklahoma rely heavily on the products, services, and jobs created by our small businesses.

The needs, challenges, resources of small businesses are significantly different from large businesses.  Great personal financial risk is associated with starting a small business.  Learning how to write a business plan, acquiring investors and financing, negotiating a lease, managing, operating, and financially keeping them afloat are critical to entrepreneurial success.  The Oklahoma Department of Commerce provides core business services, support, and tools, including start-up information and guidance.


Attracting businesses and industry to our region will diversify our economy.  Oklahoma HD 47 is one of the state's fastest growing communities.  Accessibility to I-40, I-35 and I-44, as well as our proximity to Will Rogers World Airport and the State Capitol in Oklahoma City are key to attracting new residents and industry development.  Oklahoma currently has 5 headquartered Fortune 500 companies, but we can attract more to relocate to House District 47.  Although agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, and retail trade serve as a strong foundation, House District 47 economy must diversify and expand into new industry sectors.  

Companies that have previously shifted production "offshore" are now "reshoring" to the U.S. House District 47 is ideal for manufacturing sector expansion, as we're ideally located with direct access to I-40 & I-35 transportation corridors. 

Learn more about our economic challenges:

This Map Shows the U.S. Cities Where Skilled Workers Are Fleeing the Fastest (Time/Money, April, 24, 2018)

Rankings Show Oklahoma a Great Place to Start a Business (July 10, 2018)

2017 Oklahoma Fortune 500 Report Highlights, Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Authorized and Paid for by Elect Sarah Carnes for House 2018
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