The Director of the Durant Industrial Authority, Tommy Kramer hosted a special presentation Tuesday night at the Durant Chamber of Commerce about the creation of the Durant Economic Development Authority.
Kramer said the presentation was the “travel” that Team Durant traveled to reach where they are now.
Kramer said he originally began working as an operator at a meat industry plant before stepping into the office of economic development for the city.
He said at that time he began looking at areas around Durant, like Sherman, Denison and McKinney to develop an authority committee. “Their leadership was different and everyone wanted jobs,” said Kramer.
In his presentation, Kramer paid tribute to the local leaders in the Durant community. He said the local leadership is outstanding and that is why Durant has received several state and national honors.
Kramer said Durant ranks the second lowest in unemployment in the eastern part of Oklahoma. He said Team Durant’s main focus was to create jobs and they have created over five-thousand since their start-up. “We made the top ten rural communities in Boomertown USA,” said Kramer.
In Kramer’s presentation he also discussed the development of big corporations in Durant like Sears, Big Lots, Walmart and Cardinal Glass. He said the Cardinal Glass corporate leaders were originally looking at Ardmore or Ada for the facilities home. “That is when the concept of team actually came together,” said Kramer.
He said the corporate leaders were not interested in the first sites that he showed them. After hearing about vacated land on the west part of Durant, Kramer said he showed the leaders and they decided to stay in Durant.
Kramer’s presentation was part of the Centennial Historical Presentation Series hosted by the Durant Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Director Janet Reed said this was a tremendous ride for the city and they do plan to release the Centennial presentations on DVD.