RFP workshop held by the Department of Commerce worth the drive

This week I attended a workshop at the Kiamichi Technology Center in Atoka to learn about RFPs or Request for Proposals. These are used by site locators or developers when trying to find the perfect location to set up shop, so naturally the Chamber would be interested in learning about the process. Anything that we can do to prepare our community and make it look more attractive to potential investors is worth looking into. Where I may lack in experience, I make up for in my willingness to learn. This workshop provided really great sources of information to discover some of the things that would be needed to fill out an RFP – census data, demographics, workforce information, how to become a certified ‘site’, the availability of buildings and land, current and historical unemployment data, employer locators, – the list goes on. I wanted to share some of that with you because I want our community to work smarter, not harder.

The presentation and what is attractive about our state: RFP
Data Resources: Census, QuickFacts, Community Facts, My Tribal Area, Advanced FactFinder
OESC Oklahoma Employer Locator
LEHD On The Map
Unemployment Information

The things to remember about the process is that most site locators plan ahead, and so the time period between them beginning the search for a community to expand to and then being on site producing or selling something, can be a span of 2-3 years. The goal is to stay on their list of communities the longest – that means being a city/county/region with a great quality of life for residents and workers, being aesthetically appealing, having incentives, being able to run utilities to their property, having available property to begin with, having access to interstates, airports, waterways, etc.

The Chamber is now an active member of Oklahoma Southeast, an organization centered around economic development that gives members the opportunity to directly communicate with developers from a variety of industries. We plan to use these connections to invite more business to our county with our members in mind.

As always, if you have any questions, please give us a call at the office, 580-371-2175.