Task forces to implement the goals and strategies of the state's
five-year economic development plan - unveiled officially Monday in
ceremonies at the State Capitol - should be in place in the next
three months, it was reported Monday by Oklahoma Futures.
State officials present for Monday's event, called "Celebrate
Oklahoma's Future," stressed the importance not only of the plan but
of the need for passage of two state questions designed to bring
venture capital to Oklahoma.
Both the plan and the two state questions, which will be on the
ballot in September, culminated from the Oklahoma Economic Recovery
Act of 1987, passed last year by the Oklahoma Legislature.
Work on the plan began last October when 18 task forces made up
of 650 individuals around the state met and developed ideas of how
to improve the state's economy. The task forces to implement the
goals and strategies will be in addition to the 18 task forces which
formed the plan.
"We are the first state to have developed a five-year plan.
There have been other states which have done plans for only one
year," said Don Paulsen, secretary of the Oklahoma Department of
The commerce department was put in charge of developing the plan
from the task force recommendations.
The plan was approved by Oklahoma Futures, a 21-member
public/private board created by the economic recovery act which was
charged with overseeing drafting and implementation of the plan, as
well as overseeing actions of other entities created by the recovery
Implementation of the five-year plan, Paulsen said, is not just
the responsibility of the commerce department. Other state agencies
will be involved as well, such as the Oklahoma Center for the
Advancement of Science and Technology, the State Regents for Higher
Education, as well as private entities and federal entities such as
the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Small
Dan Hogan, who co-chairs Oklahoma Futures with Gov. Henry
Bellmon, said the five-year plan was developed through the
cooperation of the public and private sectors of the state, and that
implementation of the goals also will be conducted in that
"This is an action plan and not another study that will set on
the shelf collecting dust," said Hogan. "We are now in the process
of selecting people to chair the task forces that will make each of
those specific goals happen."
The task forces, he said, should be on line and working within
the next three months.
The commerce department, Paulsen said, already was working to
put in place some of its assigned goals.
"We are already working to increase the per capita income to 90
percent of the national average in the next five years and increase
wage and salary employment by 100,000 as well in that time," said
"We are working to bring those industries like Marquardt and and
the new AT&T operation here who not only employ a lot of people but
pay their employees higher wages."
Marquardt has announced plans to build a $10 million to $12
million assembly plant in Lawton to manufacture a "defense related"