Oklahoma is more a producer of raw materials than of manufactured goods. Most crops and refined minerals are shipped to other states to be made into finished products, although manufacturing has grown steadily in importance. Factories in Oklahoma vary in size. Most are small, but some industries, such as aviation, electronics, tire manufacturing, and oil refining, may have 500 or more employees. Manufacturing of some type is found in every county, but only Oklahoma and Tulsa counties rank as nationally important centers. Oklahoma’s leading industries are the production of electronics and electrical equipment, especially apparatus for communications; the manufacture of industrial machinery, such as equipment used in construction or oil extraction, internal combustion engines, and pumps; the fabrication of metal products, including creating parts for the oil industry such as pipes and valves; the production of transportation equipment, especially motor vehicles and automobile parts; food processing; and the manufacture of rubber goods, chiefly tires.
The largest factories in Oklahoma are connected with transportation. A major auto assembly plant is in Oklahoma City. Airplane assembly and repair work are done in plants at Midwest City, Bethany, Tulsa, and Broken Arrow.
Food-processing plants are common throughout the state. Flour mills are located in Blackwell, Shawnee, and Enid. Canneries for packing or freezing strawberries and vegetables are found in Stilwell, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Fort Gibson, and other eastern Oklahoma towns and cities. Creameries, ice cream plants, and bakeries are common in the metropolitan areas. Meatpacking is an important industry in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Ada, Durant, Enid, Clinton, and Lawton. Some small plants manufacture special products, such as peanut butter, potato chips, honey products, coffee, and spices.
Local industries process many products from Oklahoma’s crops. Brushes and brooms are made from broomcorn. Cottonseed-oil mills are located in Altus, Clinton, Chickasha, Anadarko, and other cities in the cotton-growing areas of the state. Feed mills and gristmills process barley, corn, and other grains into feed. Petroleum refining was a major industry of Oklahoma in the 1990s, with operations in Tulsa, Ponca City, Ardmore, and Oklahoma City. Plants in Southard and Duke make wallboard from gypsum, and two large mills near Pryor make the paper for gypsum wallboard.
Glass is manufactured in Edmond, Okmulgee, Henryetta, Tulsa, and Sapulpa. Pottery is made in factories in Noble, Oklahoma City, and Sapulpa. Cement plants are located in Tulsa, Pryor, and Muskogee.
A variety of new industries have come into Oklahoma in recent years. Rubber tires are made at Lawton, Ada, Muskogee, Ardmore, and Oklahoma City. Clothing factories have been established at Coalgate, Seminole, Ada, Checotah, Woodward, Hominy, Pawnee, Ardmore, Miami, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa. Furniture is made in factories in Atoka, Guthrie, and other centers. Valliant, Jenks, Muskogee, and Pryor are sites of paper mills. "Oklahoma" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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