American Airlines to add 300 jobs in Tulsa thanks to Commerce Department funding

(Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World Archive)

The Oklahoma Commerce Department recently awarded $22 million to American Airlines in Tulsa where 300 jobs will be added to the major aircraft center.

“We graciously thank Gov. (Kevin) Stitt, Lt. Gov. (Matt) Pinnell and the state of Oklahoma Department of Commerce for recognizing the important work our team does and appreciate their investment in the future of our Tulsa maintenance base,” said Greg Emerson, American Airlines vice president of base maintenance and facilities.”

He said the investment in American’s Tech Ops-Tulsa facility “ensures a bright future for years to come.”

The airline has the biggest aircraft maintenance base in Tulsa and employs nearly 5,200 workers.

“We at the Tulsa Regional Chamber applaud the state’s $22 million award from the state’s Business Expansion Incentive Program to American Airlines and its maintenance base in Tulsa,” said Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal.

“American Airlines has been essential to Tulsa’s economy since the mid-1940s, providing employment to generations of people in this region. This investment, which is earmarked for ongoing improvements and hundreds of additional jobs, again illustrates American Airlines’ long-term commitment to economic development in this city and state.”

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority, announced that American is among five recipients that will receive grant awards for the Business Expansion Incentive Program and P3 Pooled Finance Program.

The Commerce Department said they represent more than $405 million in capital investments to the state and will create 365 jobs and $40 milion in annual playroll.

The Business Expansion Incentive Program assists Oklahoma companies in making major capital investments in depreciable items such as machinery, equipment and buildings, while the P3 program facilitates local infrastructure development where there is also a benefit to for-profit companies.

Other grants were made to the cities of Fredrick and Lawton as well as Oklahoma Custom Coating LLC located in Seminole and Berry Global in McAlester.

The $700,000 to Berry Global will help the company with a nearly $18 million capital investment including a state-of-the-art printing press and the creation of 21 new jobs.

“This investment will further enhance our position as a leading supplier of breathable printed films in North America while allowing us to expand our talented and diverse workforce,” said Robert Weilminster, executive vice president, Global Operations Health Hygiene and Specialties.

A grant of $450,000 went to Oklahoma Custom Coating and will allow the firm to make more than a $5 million capital investment resulting in 36 new jobs.

Lawton and FISTA received a nearly $10 million grant. FISTA is a specialized operation supporting aerospace and defense and STEM education programs.

“The award will enable investment in an administrative space, a state-of-the-art STEM lab for our students, along with an incubator and accelerator to help entrepreneurs grow their innovations into actual business models,” said Krista Ratliff, president and CEO of FISTA. “This is going to allow FISTA and Lawton Fort Sill to lead the nation in innovation.”