The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

April 5, 2013

Norman on GE short list for center

NORMAN, Okla. — A $110 million Global Research Center being built in Oklahoma by General Electric (NYSE: GE) could land in Norman, economic leaders confirmed Thursday.

“There are several locations in the metro that are still in discussion for the facility and that includes Norman as part of the Oklahoma City metro,” said Don Wood, executive director, Norman Economic Development Coalition. “They are very interested in a relationship with the University of Oklahoma, and that has helped support the value of a location in our area. We’ll keep working to provide them information so that they can make their decision.”

GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt and Gov. Mary Fallin announced Wednesday that the new facility dedicated to technological advancements in the oil and gas sector will be built in the Sooner state.

“There are at least two locations they are looking at in Norman,” Wood said. “We’re excited that they’ve chosen Oklahoma because that’s the first step in this process. That means we’re not in competition with other states.”

Wood said GE’s decision of a precise location will be forthcoming in the next few weeks.

“All we know is that GE is looking for a spot in the Oklahoma City metro area and that includes Norman,” Alex Weintz, a spokesman for Fallin’s office said. “Regardless of where the facility ends up, it’s great news for Oklahoma.”

Fallin attended GE’s Executive Summit in Houston last week.

“She’s been very active in reeling this project in,” Weintz said.

The facility will be GE Research’s first sector-specific center and will create 125 engineering jobs.

“That’s great news for central Oklahoma,” Wood said. “The governor has done a fantastic job in securing this project for central Oklahoma, and we’ll hope for the best as far as it goes for Norman. Without her efforts, we may not have had the same outcome.”

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