State Chamber CEO: Work to make Oklahoma business-friendly must continue

State Chamber CEO: Work to make Oklahoma business-friendly must continue

State Chamber CEO: Work to make Oklahoma business-friendly must continue

Published January 18, 2014 on

Oklahoma is fortunate to be the home of many great businesses, from family run mainstays of their communities to multinational corporations. So it's no surprise that three of those companies — Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and QuikTrip — are getting national attention from Fortune magazine for being among the 100 best companies to work for.

Since this is based on surveys of employees, getting on the list is a sign that a company has enlightened, visionary leadership. Staying on the list, as these companies have done for years, shows that the vision has turned into a culture. In each case, not only the corporations but also their employees are involved in helping their communities through philanthropy and volunteership.For a state the size of Oklahoma to have three companies on the list is quite an accomplishment. It shows that our business climate is strong and that business leaders recognize the role employees play in their success. Oklahoma faces significant competition from other states to lure companies to move their corporate headquarters. It's a testament to Oklahoma's pro-business policymakers that these companies continue to stay and grow here. But we can't take this for granted.

We must always look at how to make Oklahoma a more attractive place to relocate, start and grow a business. We've already seen the state make great strides by reforming the most burdensome workers' compensation system in the country and keeping lawsuit reforms in place. Now we need to build on those successes.

Growing Oklahoma businesses and attracting those from other states requires a talented, educated workforce. Maintaining rigorous education standards to ensure that students graduate ready for college or a career is essential to Oklahoma's economic future.

Oklahoma should take pride in the recognition these companies continue to get. Policymakers are to be commended for their work to make Oklahoma business-friendly, but more needs to be done to make Oklahoma the first choice for every business.

Morgan is president and CEO of the State Chamber of Oklahoma.