February 2015/2014 Annual Report
2014 Annual Report

The 2014 Annual Report has been published and is available here! The City of Ada and the jobs foundation finished 2014 strong, launching the It's Our Future Campaign, breaking ground on the new Airport Terminal, launching 10th Grade Power Lunches as part of the Career Discovery Program, and completing a housing study with RKG Associates. The AJF has been busy setting goals to make 2015 an even better success than 2014, some of which can be found at the end of the report. 

2014 Summary Economic Report
Through 2014, Ada experienced 12 straight months of sales tax growth, collecting over $15 million, a 6% increase over 2013. Ada was the only community among McAlester, Durant, and Ardmore to grow as substantially in sales tax collections.

Meanwhile, unemployment continued to fall, as did workforce across the state over the course of 2014. Unemployment in Ada fell to 3.4%, with less than 700 people actively seeking work. Helping companies achieve their workforce needs will continue to be a priority over the next few years. Nationally and in both rural and urban areas, the focus is shifting toward attracting skilled professionals. A Forbes article by Andrew Levine states the emerging best practices of talent attraction, including "early and active participation of area companies in the design and execution of a talent attraction campaign" and " well organized, visually compelling, informative websites offering links to specific job offerings".

Cost of living continued to fall below national averages, particularly in housing and utilities, two of the largest cost burdens. Overall, Ada came in at nearly 8% less expensive than national averages with housing only 74.5% and utilities only 83.7% of national costs. This is particularly positive for those working and living in the community and companies seeking to lower operating costs. However, the community will be examining housing quality and potential improvements, beginning in 2015. 
Career Discovery Day
The community hosted the 4th annual 8th Grade Career Discovery Day on January 28th. The day featured a session on soft skills, budgeting, and presentations from area professionals. Students had the opportunity to select three professional areas of interest from topics such as healthcare, public safety, engineering, law, architecture, military, manufacturing and others, all represented in the area. 

A special thanks on behalf of the students goes to the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, The City of Ada, school administrators, East Central University, The Chickasaw Nation, AT&T, Senator Susan Paddack, Representative Todd Thomsen, and all the volunteers who made this day successful!
Small Business Guide

Quick Links 
Target Industries
As part of a strategic plan, the AJF with TadZo consulting identified industries most likely to be successful in Ada and has begun targeting those industries for growth. The brochures can be found here, on the AJF website.

 The target industries are:
- Aircraft Maintenance & Parts
- Plastics and Rubber Manf. 
- Metal Building Products
- Water Testing, Drilling, &  Policy 
The Ada Jobs Foundation works with new and existing companies and would be happy to go over potential incentives with interested companies. Our incentives guide is included here. 
Upcoming Events
Chamber Banquet
When: Feb. 12th at 6:30 pm
Where: Chickasaw Business and Conference Center  

Legislative Lunch with Senator Paddack and Representative Thomsen 
When: Feb 20th at 11:30 am
Where: Pontotoc Technology Center 

For more information on these events, please contact Sarah Jane Johnson at SJohnson@adachamber.com

The Ada Jobs Foundation has published an interactive PDF guide to starting a business in the community. The guide includes links to valuable resources throughout
and guides the entrepreneur through major milestones of starting a business, running the business, and evolving the business as it grows. The document can be found on our website and by clicking here.