Stillwater News Press

Local News

July 10, 2012

Officials hope ASCO just the start of regional aerospace growth

STILLWATER, Okla. — State and local officials are hopeful that a recent announcement of a new aerospace manufacturing facility will be the start of high tech growth for Stillwater and the region.

ASCO Industries, a Belgium-based aerospace part manufacturer, announced officially on Monday it would locate a new facility in Stillwater, bringing 500 to 600 new jobs.

“Twelve hundred companies throughout our state are involved in aerospace. Now to add ASCO to the Oklahoma aerospace family is significant. Everyone knows who ASCO is,” said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb. “It’s a Belgian-based company. It could land anywhere. They could be in Europe with the announcement today. They could be in South America for this announcement — Asia for this announcement.

“No, where are they? Stillwater, Okla. They are here for a reason. Aerospace is a burgeoning industry in Oklahoma. ASCO knows that, and that’s why they decided to make this expansion right here in Stillwater.”

When asked in February about what direction the city should take to replace manufacturing jobs that were lost in recent years, Mayor John Bartley said the future of Stillwater’s economy should be in high-tech industries. On Monday, Bartley said this acquisition brings not only high-tech manufacturing but establishes Stillwater as a player in the aerospace field.

“The state has taken a very strong position on aerospace, and I feel that Stillwater — with this addition — we have jumped to the top and we are going to be able to lead the way,” he said.



Bartley pointed to Frontier Electronics, which supplies parts to Boeing, and Oklahoma State University’s unmanned aerial systems program and research as examples of why Stillwater should compete to be a leader in the field that is primed for even further growth.

“It’s not going to shock me at all if we have a growth in the aerospace industry (here), not just two or three companies but more than that in our area,” he said.

Additionally, Bartley said expanding aerospace opportunities in Stillwater gives OSU students something city leaders have been hoping to offer for a while: A reason to stay in town after graduation.

“I’m that great example of graduating from OSU, moving away and coming back, and I want to cut that middle step out,” he said. “If you have those types of jobs — the tech-based and intelligence-based jobs — that’s what college graduates are looking for and need.”

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