Perhaps you’ve seen the news, Elon Musk is unhappy in California and he’s threatened to move. Now it seems that every small town mayor and big time governor across the country smells the blood and is circling the waters. Tesla’s looking for a centralized factory that has reach to the East and the West Coast, and in the mix, amongst others cities, is Tulsa.
As a Tulsa transplant I’m biased of course, as I should be. For selfish reasons I’d love to see Tesla make Tulsa home — and there’s a certain ring to it… Tulsa, Tesla. Is it by accident the city name and the famous company share four out of five letters?
But, outside of my bias, outside of coincidence and for objective reasons, Tulsa is the right place for Tesla — hear me out.
Tulsa has a rich history in innovation and arts, and is still, though founded in 1898, a city on the rise. I moved to Tulsa from Nashville and I see a contrast. Nashville saw businesses move into the area. The city seemed to lose itself in the process. The boom was a bam. Companies moved in, highway commutes increased and things that were once crowded were now, “overcrowded,” and a culture that once embodied the gritty real-ness of Johnny Cash now comes off as fake and contrived.
I see Tulsa differently. The city has a special feel, the people are authentic and opportunity persists. Tulsa has a vibrant and young workforce, good local colleges and universities and a population with an eagerness to do something.
Tulsa is geographically smart. One of Tesla’s goals is to find a centralized city that positions the company in the middle of country. As an internet company with clients across the country we’ve experienced the strategic benefit of being able to visit clients on both coasts — a need in California, I’m there, issues with a customer in Florida, I’m there.
Tulsa is also a port city. The Tulsa port connects to the Mississippi River and is designated a foreign trade zone. Goods and products from Tulsa ship through the port throughout the US and the world. Tulsa’s port is a strategic win for Tesla, both for importing parts and exporting goods.
Tulsa is also geographically smart for another reason: cost of living. Tesla has become acclimated to high taxes and high costs of living. Tulsa is a game changer. Employees can experience a better quality of life in Tulsa.
Another huge benefit Tulsa has to offer is a government culture that works with and not against industry and business. Our current Governor, Kevin Stitt, is extremely pro business and business development. And, as if to point an exclamation mark on the point, our governor tweeted Elon Musk letting him know that Tulsa is “Open For Business.” Our local legislature is even getting in on the fun and is excited about the prospects of Tesla in Tulsa.
I can promise you this, if Tesla decides to move its next factory to Oklahoma, they will not regret it. Tesla will recruit and attract a strong workforce that will benefit from the Tulsa community and culture. I also believe the sales of Tesla will surge in the state of Oklahoma because Okies are extremely loyal and supportive to their own.
The point is: Tulsa is a smart pick for Tesla, period.