Our good state has a tendency to be on the lower end of all the good statistics. According to a CNBC poll, we’re #50 in education, #49 in workforce, and #46 in quality of life. Don’t get down on yourselves. Those are just facts and statistics; they stopped meaning anything a while ago. But, while we’re dealing with those pesky numbers, let’s add one more to the list.
“The Sooner State is one of the most affordable states in which to live and work, but the state’s education system needs some attention,” explains CNBC’s data analysists after ranking Oklahoma 43 of 50 for their annual America’s Top States for Business.
The study scores all 50 states on 64 metrics across 10 categories: workforce, economy, infrastructure, cost of doing business, quality of life, education, technology and innovation, business friendliness, access to capital, and cost of living.
While Oklahoma did well in categories like cost of living and cost of doing business, the Sooner State received an ‘F’ rating in workforce and technology and innovation.
I find it insulting that the article wasn’t able to focus on some of our strengths. Believe it or not, we do lead in some of the national rankings. For example, we’re #2 in teen pregnancy and #1 in incarceration across the globe. Take that, USA!
Here’s the response from Dr. Jennifer Lepard, Executive Director of the State Chamber Research Foundation:
“We certainly appreciate the CNBC report and the high marks Oklahoma received on cost of living and cost of doing business. Both are crucial to Oklahoma’s turnaround. We know that Oklahoma struggles in a number of areas. That’s why we have a plan in place to address those challenges with OK2030, the long-term, strategic plan that positions Oklahoma for success. Together with our education initiative Oklahoma Achieves and a strong, statewide coalition of business leaders, job creators, local chambers, economic developers, and visionaries, we are working to advance the future of Oklahoma. We understand that there are a lot of challenges on the road ahead. But we these plans and a reform-minded Governor and Legislature, we are ready to move Oklahoma forward.”
I hope you’re ready to move us forward, because we don’t have a lot of space to go backwards.