OSUIT Awarded Second Phase of DoD Grant to Provide Diversification Services to Aerospace and Defense Contractors in Oklahoma

OSUIT Awarded Second Phase of DoD Grant to Provide Diversification Services to Aerospace and Defense Contractors in Oklahoma

Sara Plummer

The second phase of a Department of Defense grant was recently awarded to OSUIT’s Workforce and Economic Development division to help Oklahoma-based companies with DoD contracts diversify their business to help offset cuts in defense spending and improve sustainability.

The multi-phased grant from the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment was awarded to OSUIT’s Economic Development and Training Center in 2014.

$15 Billion

More than $15 billion in contracts have been awarded in Oklahoma since 2007

$2.7 Billion Payroll

Over 55,000 people work for the Department of Defense, with a total payroll of $2.7 billion.

71% Service Contracts

More than 70% of the DoD contracts are for services, 20% are for supplies and equipment, 8% are construction and 1% research and development


During Phase I, OSUIT collected and analyzed data on Oklahoma-based defense-dependent companies, which resulted in the Oklahoma Defense Contract Spending Impact interactive web portal. The interactive web portal was designed to provide details of the impact of DoD contract spending in Oklahoma as well as allow users to create “what if” scenarios to see how funding cuts would affect not just that contractor, but the entire geographic region.

The web portal was designed to assist the public and the private sector review and analyze contract funding data, said Ken Boykin, DoD program manager at OSUIT.

Phase II will allow the university to partner with solution providers to deliver a variety of business diversification and sustainment services tailored to qualified Oklahoma-based DoD contractors.

Boykin said. “This program is focused on assisting Oklahoma-based DoD contractors to diversify their business portfolio while the company is still healthy.”

OSUIT’s approach to defense diversification is multifaceted by strategically using data to educate businesses, economic developers and other stakeholders so they can plan and implement actionable plans for now and the future, he said. The institution will also continue to leverage and strengthen existing networks to ensure broad support and alignment with other state economic development goals.

Boykin said there are six major military installations in the state and the bulk of contracting is around those six installations. There are also over 1,000 contractors in Oklahoma, over forty percent of which are small to mid-sized businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

According to an economic impact report by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and Oklahoma 21st Century Research Foundation, over 70,000 military personnel and contractors were employed at Oklahoma’s military institutions. These jobs and the operations at the installations supported an additional 64,700 jobs in the state’s economy.

Oklahoma has felt the negative impacts resulting from recent significant cuts to the DoD budget, Boykin said. Oklahoma will continue to be at risk as additional DoD budgetary cuts are anticipated over the next several years.