This month marks the 20th anniversary of our Oklahoma City Customer Support & Services (CS&S) Center, which took its first Customer call this week in June 1995. Built on 12 acres of the Will Rogers World Airport about a mile north of the main terminal, the OC is home to more than 400 Employees, including 93 who will be celebrating their 20th anniversary with the Company this year.
In January of 1995, Executive Vice President John Denison joined Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and Mayor Ronald Norick as they announced plans for the new reservations center (as our CS&S Centers were previously called) which would be 46,000 square feet and have capacity for over 500 Employees. The announcement was made shortly before OKC celebrated 15 years as a Southwest city. Construction began shortly after, which allowed for the first training class to begin on June 2nd. The first call came in June 5 during a training exercise for the class, and it just so happened to be a caller not too far away in Oklahoma City.
After several training classes had completed, a grand opening celebration was held on July 26th with a Wild West theme making clever use of its ORC station identifier, the “O.R. Corral.” More than 1,200 Employees attended the celebration, as well as many local and state elected officials who were on hand to celebrate our newest hitchin’ post at the “Big Reservations Ranch.” Even the Governor rode in just like many Boomers and Sooners had during the land run in 1889.
The OC remains one of the largest CS&S Centers among the seven locations throughout the country, with some Employees whose Southwest Stories include many years in other Centers and others just starting in recent months. It’s also where I began my career at Southwest and my home for 3 years, which I’m forever grateful for.