State and local officials joined company executives at a Thursday groundbreaking for truck-part maker Muncie Power Products’ north Tulsa plant.
The 250,000-square foot facility is the first going up on the Peoria-Mohawk Business Park, a Vision sales tax–funded project intended to spur economic opportunity in the community. Muncie is promising to hire new employees from the community and pay a living wage.
City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper said that’s vital to correcting disparities her district and Black Tulsans face.
"More than 35% of north Tulsa’s population lives in poverty, compared with 17% in the rest of the city. Citywide, the Black poverty rate is 34%, while the white poverty rate is 13%. The unemployment rate is 12.2% in north Tulsa and 5.7% in the rest of the city. The unemployment rate for Black Tulsans is over twice the rate of white Tulsans," Hall-Harper said during her remarks at the ceremony.
The first phase of Muncie Power Products' new facility will be complete next spring. Senior Executive Director of Operations Doug Sullivent said the company plans to partner with nearby middle schools, high schools and Tulsa Tech.
"And say, 'Hey, here’s the future careers that you could have. Here’s the skill sets we’re looking for: good math skills, STEM is very important,'" Sullivent said.
Tulsa voters approved $10 million for site work at the business park in the Vision package, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation donated more than 120 acres of land for it.
The foundation is a financial supporter of KWGS.