Cherokees Create Hundreds of Jobs

Cherokee Nation Enterprises created more than 200 new jobs and millions in new payroll for the region in 2008.
The mix of information technology, marketing, finance and service jobs, among others, generated more than $12.3 million in additional payroll – including wages, taxes and benefits — for northeastern Oklahomans last year.
As detailed in “Where the Casino Money Goes 2009,” the company’s annual report released this week, CNE’s total payroll for 2008 topped $131.7 million and more than 3,400 employees, making it one of the largest employers in the area. With 3,000 of these jobs created in the last 10 years, Cherokee Nation leadership attributes the sustained growth in tough economic times to its Jobs Growth Act of 2005. The act legislates the reinvestment of all Cherokee Nation-owned business profits, including those from gaming, directly back into its businesses to create jobs for Cherokee citizens.
“The best service that we can provide for our citizens is a job that allows them the opportunity to earn good wages, have benefits and become self-sufficient for themselves and their family,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “We don’t spend all the profit as we go or give hand-outs. We reinvest the money to keep creating jobs here in northeastern Oklahoma. Back in 1998, we made $1 million in profit from gaming. If we had spent those dollars instead of reinvesting it, we wouldn’t still be creating jobs today.”
Today, CNE’s revenue is $441.2 million with profits surpassing $116 million. Revenue and profit increased $22.6 million and $4.4 million, respectively, from 2007 to 2008.

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