A leader from the US Department of Commerce was in Tulsa to talk about how the city could use millions of federal COVID relief funds to become a leader in areas of new types of transportation.
Dennis Alford is the Acting Assistant Secretary of Economic Development at the US Department of Commerce. He was in town Thursday to talk about Tulsa being a leader in drone technology and clean energy.
“We really create areas for long-term success and part of what we do is put in place economic best practices, so they can see the industries of tomorrow so they can be successful,” Alford said.
Thursday’s OSU-Tulsa round-up and discussion follows the announcement of $38 million to Tulsa, as part of a Build Back Better grant funded by federal COVID relief funds.
Alford said Tulsa was one of 21 cities selected because of the distance we’ve already traveled.
“There is a lot of activity going on in Tulsa already, so it was an opportunity to capitalize on the good work that has already started,” Alford said.
He and city leaders talked about what was needed to make the next steps possible.
“The larger metro area will be a national leader in the advanced mobility industry,” said Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum. “Everything from selective vehicles to drones and every next wave of technology is going to change the way people live. This is going to be the center of that industry and it is incredibly exciting.”
They said the space test site and new research centers are major projects.
“I am very excited to see us move from the competition phase to the implementation phase,” Alford said. “I look forward to coming back and seeing the impact of this investment.”
They said the four grant-paid projects will create up to 40,000 jobs for Tulsa.