The State Chamber of Oklahoma will partner with the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce and the Ardmore Development Authority to host a forum Thursday to discuss the OK2030 Plan.
The event will take place at the Ardmore Convention Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Anyone wanting to know more about the future of business in Oklahoma is welcome to attend.
OK2030 strives to improve the economy, workforce, business climate and overall quality of life in Oklahoma. According to Dr. Jennifer Lepard, executive director of the State Chamber of Oklahoma Research Foundation, the idea of creating a comprehensive plan for Oklahoma’s future first began in late 2016.
“That’s when we, the people who are in business, got together and talked about how we are not doing well as a state,” Lepard said.
To emphasize this point, the organization tracks
Oklahoma’s rankings in four key areas: Business Climate and Competitiveness (17th nationally), Fiscal Stability and Governance (32nd nationally), Workforce Talent and Development (43rd nationally) and Quality of Life (47th nationally).
In order to turn these low rankings around, the State Chamber of Oklahoma performed interviews with business, community and government leaders from across the state to get their suggestions for improvement. They also studied successful policies enacted by other states.
“We’ve worked really hard to create OK2030 and we’ve already seen some really positive results,” Lepard said. “I think it reflects that people are hungry for change.”
Some of the positive results are the 35 bills advanced at the State Capitol related to OK2030 policy recommendations. In fact, some of these policy recommendations will be on the ballot this November. Both State Question 798, providing the joint ticket for governor and lieutenant governor, and Sate Question 800, creating the Oklahoma Vision Fund, were based on recommendations put forward by OK2030.
Dr. Lepard, who will be speaking at Thursday’s forum, will be presenting more information about OK2030 and its achievements. This will also be an opportunity for the citizens of Ardmore to put forward some of their own ideas.
“This is a plan that’s living and breathing,” Lepard said. “We’re always open to freshening it up and getting feedback.”