Tulsa, OK: Business Overview

By Anna Beth Blevins on June 27, 2012 at 10:05 pm EST

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo Courtesy of Flickr user Angela K. Severn

While the city was once part of a booming oil industry, today Tulsa’s economic climate has diversified significantly. Aerospace, technology, finance and manufacturing are key players in the city’s economy.


The idea for Route 66 was born in Tulsa in the 1920s, and that ingenuity characterizes Tulsans’ focus on transportation. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is located at the top of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. Port of Catoosa is the most inland river port in the country, but it has access to international waterways. The port connects barge traffic from Tulsa to the Mississippi River, and is used for transportation of goods and products.


The Tulsa International Airport is home to 10 commercial airlines and seven cargo carriers. Three million travelers come through the Tulsa airport every year, but that isn’t the only reason why it’s important to the city. An American Airlines maintenance base is Tulsa’s top employer. American Airlines uses the base as its global maintenance and engineering headquarters, which is the world’s largest maintenance facility.


Several large financial corporations have their headquarters in Tulsa, including BOK Financial Corporation, the city’s largest headquarters. Hearkening back the city’s oil-rich past, many international gas and oil companies also have Tulsa headquarters.

Learn more about Tulsa’s top employers.

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