Lawton sees increase in economic development

Lawton sees increase in economic development
LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- On Wednesday, the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation held its annual luncheon to discuss the state of the community's economy.
They said our economy is on the rise, however, it came at a cost.

One of the guest speakers Economist Dr. Mark Sneed said Lawton- Fort Sill lost 3500 federal jobs over the past four years, however, that loss is also what led to the city's recovery with jobs from the private sector.

"We've essentially had four consecutive years of moderate growth and we still believe a fifth consecutive year is most likely in 2017,” said Sneed.

Sneed said the non federal jobs in the community have reached nearly 80-percent compared to 60-percent four decades ago.

He said this change is simply a result of the city's growth.

“The non federal side of the economy, the private sector, is adding jobs at a steady pace,” said Sneed. “A moderate pace but adding them at a very steady pace. And it's working to offset the gradual decline on the federal side of the market."

Keynote speaker Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb also spoke at the event on the economy situation from a state level.

He said more diversity is what is needed to continue the economy's growth.

 

“Lawton's done a pretty good job at that,” said Lamb. “Three out of four jobs are now non federal jobs. In Lawton, there's a robust manufacturing presence in Lawton. And Lawton Comanche County is sort of a paradigm of how to put your best foot forward and be very tenacious and aggressive in the area of economic development."

Lamb said it will take a team effort to continue on the right track.

Which is what Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation Executive Vice President Brad Cooksey said the event was all about.

He sends a message to business owners and employees in the area.

"Us here in Southwest Oklahoma care deeply about them and want to see them succeed and grow and we are here to do everything we can to provide them the tools necessary to do that,” said Cooksey.

If you were unable to attend the luncheon you can find information that was presented at the meeting on their website.

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