Boomerang Program to bring back Oklahoma workers

Monday, October 20th 2008, 3:59 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- As bad as things are with the national economy, in Oklahoma, state commerce officials said, companies are still hiring. The problem is-- there aren't enough qualified people to fill the positions.

A new program is now aimed at solving that problem. It's called the Boomerang campaign and it's a project of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and, as the name suggests, is attempting to bring people with Oklahoma ties back home.

People like Jen Pfeifer, a Crescent native, who was an international business major at the University of Oklahoma are coming back.

"So, I always kind of had ideas of going overseas," Pfeifer said.

She moved to London, but after several years there, made the decision to return home.

"I wanted a house and a yard and a dog, and all those things that I couldn't have in London," Pfeifer said.

Pfeifer's testimonial is just one of many to be found on the Boomerang Web site.

Commerce Department officials said the testimonials and the magic of social networking sites are helping spread the word that good jobs are available in Oklahoma right now, and, with Boomers beginning to retire, even more in the near future.

"I couldn't say enough how effective that's already been," Sheri Stickley with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce said. "We're talking about the high-wage, high-skilled knowledge-based jobs here that we're looking to fill.

Pfeifer said she's spoken to several of her now-out-of-state college friends about Boomerang, and said some of them -- especially those from Oklahoma -- are interested.

"It comes down to the way you want to live, and a lot of people decide that they want to have the yard and the house, and if they have kids, they want to be able to take them to school every day and be involved in all their activities and not be sitting on the highway for two hours a day, communing to work," Pfeifer said.

The Boomerang campaign is targeting, not just the Gen-X'ers and Millennials, the 25-to-45 crowd, but also Baby Boomers, people looking for a second career or for a good place to retire.

The Commerce Department launched the Boomerang Web site a few weeks ago.