Businesses leverage public funds to grow and create jobs

Oklahoma Department of Commerce Executive Director Brent Kisling, second from right, listens while touring BC buildings in Oklahoma City with others.
(Courtesy picture)

Companies selected to receive funding from Oklahoma’s Innovation Expansion Program have launched plans to increase production capacity and create jobs, state officials who recently visited companies said.

A beneficiary company, Oklahoma City-based BC Steel Buildings, plans to add 15 jobs and about $600,000 to its payroll. Another, Broken Arrow-based Gavco Plastics, planned to leverage state funding to add enough machinery and workers to increase production and its annual sales by 10%.

The expansion plans outlined by the two companies were among a total of 123 identified earlier this year to merit support from OIPE through the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. BC Steel and Gavco recently hosted tours of business executives and others who were able to learn about the progress made so far.

BC Steel owner, partner and chief financial officer Ron Welch said the company, which received $175,000, would leverage it as part of a plan to invest more than $500,000 in the plant, thus increasing production and capacity, especially in manufacturing.

“Through this program, we are investing in additional equipment and software to implement ERP (enterprise resource planning) allowing us to eliminate manual processes and redundancies in all our production departments and shorten supply chain delays,” Welch said.

Founded in 1972, BC Steel Buildings manufactures pre-engineered metal buildings. Its engineering and design capabilities allow it to meet a wide range of customer needs for structures ranging from sheds to churches.

Gavco Plastics, based in Broken Arrow, is a family-owned plastic injection molding company. It offers customers technical support and personalized product testing. Secondary operations include assembly, packaging and shipping.

Gavco owner and president Randy Gavlik said $110,000 in OIPE funding will support an increase in production capacity and manpower to expand an existing contract.

“Through the program, Gavco Plastics has obtained additional machinery and significantly increased our workforce to meet the needs of our customers,” he said.

Oklahoma Department of Commerce Executive Director Brent Kisling, who participated in the company tours, said OIPE has already supported growth.

“Through funding, businesses diversify their operations and grow, creating more jobs and investment in our state and delivering incredible ROI on the state’s investment,” he said.

OIPE uses funds set aside by the Oklahoma Economic Development Pooled Finance Act. Participating companies provide quarterly reports on spending, employment levels and other progress on the plans. A complete list of OIPE recipients is available on Commerce’s website at www.okcommerce.gov/OIEP.

“It is a privilege to work with many of Oklahoma’s great businesses through OIPE,” said Michael Davis, President and CEO of Oklahoma Financial Authorities. “And even more gratifying to have the opportunity to visit them and see firsthand how they are using the awarded funds to increase capacity, address supply chain bottlenecks, diversify revenue streams and develop their workforce.