ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — Companies with manufacturing or distribution centers in southern Oklahoma are helping the region by providing jobs with improved average wages, generating more than a billion dollars in revenue, and attracting competitors.

"They're there, no matter what," said Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance agent Kay Watson. "With the ups and downs of the economy, manufacturers are there."

The OMA says there are around 3,500 manufacturing centers in the state, 15 percent of which are in southern Oklahoma, accounting for about 15,000 jobs. The abundance of centers has led to an increase in support jobs in the retail and service industries.

"For every 100 manufacturing jobs, that has a multiplier effect producing 240 other jobs," Watson said. "That's why you see economic development people wanting to attract manufacturers to their community; it's a big part of the economic growth."

The Ardmore Development Authority said area companies helped bring in $1.3 billion of products and revenue last year. The number of companies coming to the area — along with revenue and potential workers — is a draw for more companies to move to the region.

"Other manufacturers look at that and say, 'Okay, this one has been here for 50 years,'" said ADA economic development executive Andrea Anderson. "You know that the people are going to have a work ethic that will accommodate the type of work that goes into getting these products made."

The presence of manufacturers is continuing to help southern Oklahoma through job opportunities, economic growth and competition.