Tisrad Research Moves into Economic Development Application

Article excerpt

After nearly three years of research the Oklahoma Trucking Industry Self-funded Research and Development (TISRAD) Committee is moving into real application, specifically economic development, according to one of the group's leaders.

A special users conference is set for early August on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater to show economic development officials and chamber of commerce leaders how to use the accumulated data, said Vince Robison, committee co-chairman.

"We have been working with economic development and chamber people on all levels; now we need to show them how best to utilize all the data we now have," said Robison, who also is president of the Associated Motor Carriers of Oklahoma. "That's why we've established this users conference.

"After developing the data, we need to get input from them on what they really need and how they can best use it. Of course, people in McAlester will have different needs than those in Tulsa and those in Frederick will have different needs than those in Oklahoma City.

"The main point of this is to offer them the data, show them how to utilize it and then get feedback from them on what they really need and how they can best use it."

Although the committee and its Safety, Education and Economic Development (SEED) Foundation has been working for three years to develop a data base to use in luring transportation-sensitive companies to Oklahoma, some of that research already has been put to use, Robison said.

"We are expecting an announcement in the reasonably not-too-distant future of a major transportation corporation relocating here in Oklahoma City," he said.

Data used to establish two computer programs, T-Tracs and T-Sites, also is in use in trying to lure other companies, including United Airlines in its search for a second maintenance center.

Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport is under consideration as a site for that $500 million center, along with about a dozen other sites.

TISRAD data have been made available to Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and economic development officials, Robison said, which pinpoint specifically how much an aviation company can benefit by moving to Oklahoma.

"There is information in our data banks on parts availability and how much exactly a company can save by having a distribution hub in Oklahoma along with one of their operations," he said. "I don't know that this information has been offered to United, but we have developed data for that industry."

The committee also has been asked to research the plastics industry to determine just how new environmental concerns and a push for recycling could impact the state. The study will feature all apects of the industry, centering upon a distribution hub here, Robison said.

But that is just part of the data available.

So far the committee has complete information for industries in 50 standard industry codes as listed by the U.S. Department of Labor in the two computer programs which allows people to use their own computers to determine what benefit they will receive by moving to Oklahoma.

"What this does is allow a person within a company to take our program and enter data on a specific company to see just what kind of an impact a move there will have," Robison said. "That's not somebody from the department of commerce telling them something which they may find hard to believe, it's actual data that they can see for themselves. …