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The City of Broken Arrow, in partnership with community organizations and educational institutions, is embarking on a new initiative to build what will be known as an Innovation District, a hub of high tech manufacturing businesses and educational facilities and the first of its kind in Oklahoma. It will be a closely knit partnership between business, education and government and will drive our local economy in the coming years by attracting thousands of high paying jobs.
Area educational partners, the Broken Arrow Chamber, the Broken Arrow Economic Development Corporation and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) are working together with the City of Broken Arrow to plan this state-of-the-art campus, which will be located at a yet to be determined location in southeast Broken Arrow.
The City of Broken Arrow is currently finalizing an application to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, for a Technical Assistance Grant. It will help Broken Arrow define a concept plan for the district and determine what infrastructure improvements (i.e. roads, utilities, stormwater, technology infrastructure, etc.) will be required to move the initiative forward. The next step after the technical grant is completed will be an application to EDA for funding assistance to help the City implement the design and concept chosen. Additionally, the BA Economic Development Corporation is currently recruiting high tech manufacturing companies to participate in the Innovation District.
WHO SUPPORTS THE PROJECT
Mayor Craig Thurmond, Broken Arrow Mayor
“This will be the biggest endeavor yet for Broken Arrow, even eclipsing the Bass Pro Shops in terms of economic impact and scope. Not only will this be the first research and development Innovation District in the State of Oklahoma, I’m excited that businesses will get to work directly with students and train them to develop the skills companies need. Businesses will be able to enhance their workforce, and Broken Arrow will retain its young professionals.”
Ted Cundiff, AVB Bank President and CEO
“By tying our education and workforce needs to growing companies that will be located in the same campus, the Innovation District will create the environment to develop a cluster of high tech businesses. The collaboration between the business community and our education system will be cutting edge and will no doubt attract high paying jobs and talent to Broken Arrow.”
Dr. Janet Dunlop, Broken Arrow Public Schools Superintendent
“Broken Arrow Public Schools and our students are so fortunate that we have such a strong alliance with the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Broken Arrow, as this alliance has resulted in significant increases in opportunities for our students. The Innovation District plans mirror an ongoing district-wide plan that creates science, technology, engineering and math curricula, coursework and projects that equip our students to flourish in an economy driven by innovation. We embrace this opportunity to partner with the City and Chamber in creating a seamless pipeline between our schools and high-tech, world class innovative industry.”