By Jeanne LeFlore
McAlester was named number six in the United States as a town “where populations are small but opportunities are big,” according to an 24/7 Wall St. analysis.
24/7 Wall St., LLC, is a Delaware corporation set up to run a financial news and opinion operation with content delivered over the Internet, according to 247wallst.com.
According to the analysis, employment has increased significantly in a number of smaller U.S. cities in the last ten years including McAlester.
McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison said the report is an indicator that good things are happening in McAlester.
“With our friendly, down-home people, scenic natural beauty and relaxing pace of life, it's no wonder that more and more folks are saying good-bye to the daily annoyances and irritations of big city living and saying hello to “McAlester, ‘The Great American Experience!,’” he said.
The slogan “McAlester, The Great American Experience” was part of an $18,500 marketing plan contract approved by McAlester City councilors earlier this year.
Meanwhile McAlester was named sixth on the list by Wall St. 24/7 behind number one ranked Ardmoore; second was Williston, N.D.; third Lexington Park, Md; Tahlequah; and Gillette, Wyo.
Following McAlester in seventh place, Carlsbad, N.M.; eighth place was Enid; and ninth was Lebanon, N.H.-Vt.
According to the blog, McAlester was one of nine cities that had robust economies, good job opportunities and an employment rate that is much lower than the national average based on 2010 numbers.
McAlester Chamber of Commerce President Tanaye Harvanek she was excited the McAlester was recognized by 24/Wall St.
“As a hub for Southeastern Oklahoma and a central location in the United States accompanied by a low cost of living for residents, McAlester offers wonderful incentives for both business and travel alike, Harvanek said.
“With pros such as immediate access to rail, Highway 69, air transportation and the Indian Nation Turnpike McAlester is a prime location for manufacturing and transportation business.”
She said that in a nationally down-turned market, McAlester’s steady local economy has afforded an increase in the city’s employment and labor force.
“Our largest employers such as McAlester Army Ammunition Plant and McAlester Regional Health Center continue to experience growth,” Harvanek said.
She said Defense contracting is a staple, but McAlester also boasts strong agribusiness, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, and our newest growth, hospitality.
“Our medical industry continues to grow and along with it the services that are offered. Our housing market has remained very stable and we have witnessed a surge in retail business. I am excited that nationally others are seeing what we have known all along,” Harvanek said.
“McAlester is town of many opportunities.”
Contact Jeanne LeFlore at firstname.lastname@example.org.