“The EDA grant has helped us diversify our business tremendously,” Nock said. “The grant allowed us to get out into very different industries, such as this large turntable for the nuclear power industry. A turntable of this magnitude is several hundred thousand dollars, and this is the fifth turntable that we’ve built for that customer.”
EDA grant funding provided to participating Oklahoma companies like Preston Eastin averages $75,000 each, said Dan Luton, programs director at OCAST.
The Preston Eastin website also was redesigned through the EDA grant, which has allowed it to reach more potential customers because of better search engine optimization, Nock said. The company has boosted its employment by 50% in the wake of the grant, including five engineers on the staff who design the precision equipment.
“I’ve worked in numerous states, in Washington and California, and I’ve been blessed being here in Oklahoma since 2008,” Nock said. “This state is far superior as far as helping businesses grow and diversify than other states I’ve been part of.”
Sparks continued to fly as Nock walked off the production floor, where welders remained focused on fabricating the giant turntable for a nuclear power industry customer.
“The amount of growth that Preston Eastin can see in the next 5 to 10 years is amazing,” he said. “All we have to do is ship quality products on time and keep our customers and keep our employees happy.”
Jim Stafford writes about Oklahoma innovation and research and development topics on behalf of the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science & Technology (OCAST).