A leader from the U.S. Commerce Department was in Tulsa to talk about how the city can use millions in federal COVID relief money to become a leader in areas of new types of transportation.
Dennis Alvord is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Development for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He was in town on Thursday to talk about Tulsa being the leader in drone technology and clean energy.
“We are really setting up regions to succeed over long term and a part of what we are doing is to set up best economic practices, so they can see the industries of tomorrow so they can be successful,” Alvord said.
Thursday’s tour of OSU-Tulsa and discussion come after the announcement of $38 million dollars being given to Tulsa, as part of the Build Back Better grant funded by federal COVID relief money.
Alvord said Tulsa was one of 21 cities chosen because of how far we have already come.
“There is a lot of activity underway in Tulsa already so it was an opportunity to leverage the good work already initiated,” Alvord said.
He and city leaders talked about what is needed to make next steps possible.
“The larger metro area is going to be a national leader in the advanced mobility industry,” Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum said. “Everything from eclectic vehicles, to drones, all of the next wave of tech will transform the way people live. This will be the epicenter of that industry and it's incredibly exciting.”
They said the aerospace testing site and new research centers are two of the main projects.
“I’m incredibly excited to see us pivot from the competition phase to implementation phase,” Alvord said. “I am looking forward to coming back and seeing what the impact of that investment will be.”
They said the four projects being paid for by the grant will bring up to 40,000 jobs to Tulsa.