Two Claremore Manufacturers Awarded OIEP Funding
July 5, 2022
Across the United States, there is a significant demand for skilled workforce across all industry sectors. Ensuring our community has the talent, skill set and tools required to fill these positions is crucial to the state's economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
To aid in this effort, Governor Kevin Stitt announced the Oklahoma Innovation Expansion Program (OIEP), launched in 2021, making funding available to qualifying manufacturers across the state. The goal of this program is to support high-impact new capital investment across a broad range of industries to help diversify the state's economy, lead to new product development or increase capacity at Oklahoma's existing companies. In addition to encouraging new investment, these awards support both existing jobs and the creation of new employment opportunities.
Two Claremore companies were selected as grant recipients, Pelco Structural and Blue Arc Metal Specialties. The award of these funds will be used to purchase new machinery and support the addition of new jobs and capital investment in Rogers County.
Pelco Structural will utilize its grant to purchase a pole welding machine. This innovative tool will allow Pelco’s team to increase production on its smaller diameter shafts, allowing for a reduced manufacturing time and ensuring a more uniform final product
“Reduced lead times allow us to seek additional business and to win new contracts,” said Dwight Nadal, Production Manager for Pelco Structural. “Along with our product quality, the delivery is often a differentiator.”
To support its growing business and fill its new facility, Blue Arc Metal Specialties will be purchasing a new CNC laser cutting unit. This machine will give the organization the capabilities to cut stainless steel and aluminum and support the expansion of the defense side of the organization's business.
During the 2022 application period, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce received 163 submissions for project funding. Of those applications, 125 projects received awards ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 with the total awards funding reaching $9.241 million. The funding will facilitate $58.065 million in projects. These companies plan to create 767 jobs with a total payroll of $35.4 million.
“As companies of all industry sectors are altering course in the current environment, and recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, many are expediting and prioritizing how advanced technology and automation may provide solutions,” said Meggie Froman-Knight, CIEDA Executive Director. “Both Pelco and Blue Arc are prime examples of local companies who are implementing innovative solutions to expand their operations. Congratulations to each of these manufacturers on their selection as 2022 OIEP grant recipients!”