Manufacturing is a vital and growing part of the Oklahoma economy. Employing over 140,000 people across the state, manufacturing has grown approximately 10% since 2010. Events of 2020 hit manufacturers across the country especially hard, forcing many to examine supply chains as well as their own capabilities. To aid Oklahoma companies in this endeavor two new state programs are rolling out this month.
Connex Oklahoma is a new online supply chain database tool developed by the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. This free tool was designed to give manufactures nationwide access to information on thousands of Oklahoma manufacturers which will lead to greater supply chain efficiency, new business opportunities and increased regional collaboration.
Basic information on all Oklahoma manufacturers has been preloaded into the database. However, to provide more detailed information and fully utilize the tool, manufacturers can register at www.okalliance.com/connex-oklahoma.
The other new program being launched this month is the Oklahoma Innovation Expansion Program which will make $10 million in funding available to manufacturers across the state. OIEP was developed to help diversify Oklahoma’s economy, lead to new product development, or increase capacity at existing Oklahoma companies by funding capital projects. To qualify for OIEP, new projects must be innovative, shortens or strengthens the supply chain for the product produced, or designed to target new markets for the company. Eligible companies must also have a minimum payroll of $625,000 and a minimum capital investment of $50,000. OIEP awards will max out at $150,000 and must be a net positive benefit for the state.
Participating companies will be required to provide quarterly reports verifying employment levels and expenditures, as well as submit verification of purchase and installation of machinery and equipment.
The application period for OIEP begins Tuesday, April 27 and will close the following Monday, May 3 at 12:00 p.m. A complete list of program rules and eligibility can be found on the Oklahoma Department of Commerce website, okcommerce.gov/OIEP.