MARCH 28, 2007

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NSU Oklahoma Center for Rural Development launches web site

Community, county and state statistics on topics from workplace employment to available properties are the cornerstones of a new Web site launched by the Oklahoma Center for Rural Development at Northeastern State University.

“Our site provides extensive analysis of the state of Oklahoma on a variety of topics, including community information, health care data, and environmental statistics,” said Ray Murphy, OCRD coordinator. “This resource provides key information to agencies and businesses considering communities for workforces, health care needs and more.”

The site, www.oklahomavirtualcommunity.com, uses geographic information system software to immediately provide reports, charts, graphs and illustrated maps that quickly allow communities, small businesses and international companies the ability to understand the geographic, demographic, economic and growth opportunity of a community or the state of Oklahoma.

“Businesses can request a comprehensive analysis of a community they are considering for a new location,” Murphy said. “This easy to navigate site provides a wealth of information necessary for a number of projects from grant applications to business plans.”

Combining information from a number of sources, including the Oklahoma Department of Education, Oklahoma Department of Tourism, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and other state agencies, along with the latest aerial photos, the site provides in-depth information for businesses and communities.

The site has a number of features, including charts and maps, which detail the population within given driving distances of a community, health statistics for each county in Oklahoma and aerial photos of state.

Northeastern State University first lady Pam Williams credits the Oklahoma Center for Rural Development and the Oklahoma Virtual Community site with compiling information that helped convince several well-known companies, include Lowe’s, Starbucks and Chili’s, to open their doors in Tahlequah.

“Those companies received information directly from me about the Tahlequah area,” said Williams, a member of the Tahlequah Industrial Trust Authority and a well-respected businesswoman throughout Oklahoma. “The Oklahoma Center for Rural Development can put informational packets together to enhance and encourage businesses to come to Oklahoma.”

For more information on the services offered by the Oklahoma Center for Rural Development, visit oklahomavirtualcommunity.com. To contact the Oklahoma Center for Rural Development, call (918) 458-9687.

Contact: Sean Michael Kennedy, NSU, (918) 444-2897