City and state officials celebrated a major coup Monday as a Belgium aerospace manufacturer officially announced it would bring a facility — as well as 500 to 600 jobs — to Stillwater.
ASCO Industries designs and makes high-strength aircraft components and assemblies for Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer commercial jets. The company is based in Belgium but also has facilities in Germany, Brazil and Canada, and it will open it’s second U.S. facility at the site of the former MerCruiser property on North Perkins Road.
“ASCO makes things, and they make things better than others make things,” said Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb who was at the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce Monday morning for the local announcement. “And they’ll be making those things, those products, those items in Stillwater, America.”
Lamb and Stillwater representatives at the announcement talked not only about what the added jobs will mean to the local economy in the short term but looked forward to what the move could mean for the future of the aerospace industry in both Stillwater and the state.
“Twelve hundred companies throughout our state are involved in aerospace. Now to add ASCO to the Oklahoma aerospace family is significant. Everyone knows who ASCO is,” Lamb said. “It’s a Belgian-based company. It could land anywhere. They could be in Europe with the announcement today. They could be in South America for this announcement — Asia for this announcement.
“No, where are they? Stillwater, Okla. They are here for a reason. Aerospace is a burgeoning industry in Oklahoma. ASCO knows that, and that’s why they decided to make this expansion right here in Stillwater.”
With many manufacturing jobs leaving the state in recent years and what is expected to be a shift to a more information-based economy nationally, the lieutenant governor said it is still paramount to secure manufacturing jobs for the future vitality of Oklahoma’s economy.