State Department of Commerce hires first state automotive director
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has hired its first state automotive director.
He is Jimmy Cagle, who becomes a state staffer after stepping down from a 37-year career with the The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, 12 of which were spent at the company’s Lawton facility.
In his role with the Department of Commerce’s business development team, he will lead the state’s efforts to expand its automotive sector and supply chain.
“… Tens of billions of dollars are being invested into the automotive industry as automakers are investing in electric vehicle manufacturing and making sure that the industry continues to grow in Oklahoma has been one of my top priorities since I took on this role,” Scott Mueller, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development, said in a statement.
“Jimmy is an impressive individual and his extensive experience in Oklahoma’s automotive sector will play an integral role in helping us capitalize on the tremendous potential of this industry to further grow and diversify Oklahoma’s economy.”
In 2020, the Department of Commerce launched the Automotive Accelerator Program to boost industry growth. Since then, the state has seen increased interest from automotive manufacturers and suppliers, including an announcement from electric vehicle maker Canoo, which it said will result in an estimated 2,000 new jobs and more than $1 billion in investment to the state.
Currently, the department is working on 19 economic development projects in the automotive sector.
“The interest we’ve seen from automotive companies and suppliers over the past 18 months is truly incredible,” Jennifer Springer, director of business development for the Department of Commerce, said in a statement.
“Oklahoma’s central location, focus on supply chain growth and low cost of doing business are some of the key selling points as we work to attract additional automotive manufacturers and suppliers to the state.”
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