OKMULGEE, OKLA— The U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment awarded a federal grant of nearly $875,000 to Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in partnership with the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission.
The one-year grant, entitled “Oklahoma and the Department of Defense: Impacts on the State’s Economy and Workforce,” allows for OSUIT’s Economic Development and Training Center to map the supply chain of industries affected by Defense Department spending in Oklahoma with the total project budget of $995,000.
Mike Cooper, chairman of the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission, facilitated OSUIT’s involvement in the project.
“This grant allows us to gather critical information as the state prepares for budgetary and mission changes in the Department of Defense,” Cooper said. “It will look at the industries in Oklahoma that rely, all or in part, on Defense Department spending as part of their business.”
OSUIT will share this information through a publicly accessible, Web-based portal that maps out the impact of sales and employment related to military spending in Oklahoma.
The real-time economic data and forecasting tools can then be used to maximize and align growth strategies for the state’s defense and aerospace supply chain industries.
Sen. Jim Inhofe said this nearly $1 million grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment will help maximize opportunities for OSUIT to study the defense industry’s impact on the private sector and global communities.
“In addition, the award highlights OSUIT’s position as Oklahoma’s only university of applied technology and makes OSUIT an influential stakeholder in the global economic conversation,” Inhofe said. “The work that OSUIT is doing, and will do under this grant, will help make our state’s workforce competitively engaged in the global economy. I congratulate the university on a job well done, and look forward to seeing how OSUIT’s hard work will contribute to our nation.”
Dr. Bill R. Path, president of OSUIT, said that the grant demonstrates the university’s strong ties to the military and its commitment to the armed forces.
“Since its founding, OSUIT has always worked to help meet the need of our country’s infrastructure,” Path said. “This grant underscores the university’s focus on providing workforce and economic development solutions through partnerships with private and military industries.”