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Interesting Jobs in Indian Country: Lawton OK

Updated on April 5, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years' experience in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, history, and aerospace education for USAF Civil Air Patrol.

Early morning campfire drifting over Quanah Parker Lake.
Early morning campfire drifting over Quanah Parker Lake. | Source

Native and Western History

Some folks call Oklahoma "Indian Country", because dozens of Native North American Nations and bands were moved this state beginning before the Civil War. Other people remember the Dust Bowl of The Great Depression in this region.

All of this history led to the building and development of the City of Lawton and its increasing numbers of jobs and businesses.

Map of Historical and Native American Attractions

Lake Lawtawnka:
Lake Lawtonka, Oklahoma 73507, USA

get directions

Medicine Park:
Medicine Park, OK, USA

get directions

The Holy City of the Wichitas:
262 Holy City Rd, Cache, OK 73527, USA

get directions

Lake Quana Parker:
Quanah Parker Lake, Oklahoma, USA

get directions

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge:
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, 32 Refuge Headquarters Road, Indiahoma, OK 73552, USA

get directions

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Home of a long-running passion play: The Holy City of the Wichitas at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma.
Home of a long-running passion play: The Holy City of the Wichitas at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma.
Home of a long-running passion play: The Holy City of the Wichitas at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma. | Source

Interesting Tourism Jobs Related to Native Businesses and History

The following employers are found by and to be increasing job advertisements as larger numbers of visitors come to Lawton in 2019:

  1. Apache Casino Resort Hotel
  2. Food Service Companies: North Texas Taco Bells, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Cracker Barrel, Arby's, Chilis, McAlister's Deli
  3. Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores
  4. IHG Army Hotel - Holiday Inn Express at Fort Sill

These additional attractions advertise larger numbers of jobs as more visitors appear:

  1. The Holy City of the Wichitas. A passion play produced annually during the Easter season since 1926 is still running. 262 Holy City Road, Cache OK.
  2. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. 32 Refuge Headquarters
    Indiahoma, OK 73552.
  3. Medicine Park near the entrance to the 60,000-acre Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge cares for a herd of American bison, Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed deer, and Texas longhorn cattle, as well as birds, fish and others wildlife and native plants.
  4. Lake Quanah Parker. Quanah Parker Lake, Oklahoma.
  5. Lake Lawtonka. Lake Lawtonka, Oklahoma 73507.

Largest Employers in Lawton

  1. Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Over 5,000 government, military, and civilian jobs are required to run this military base north of Lawton. It represents a large part of Native American history as well as of the U.S. Army.
  2. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 1 SW Goodyear Blvd, Lawton, OK 73505
  3. Lawton Public Schools. Four high schools, four jr. high schools, and 28 elementary schools are experiences an increase in class sizes with 1,100 certified teachers working and more needed.
  4. Comanche County Memorial Hospital 3401 W Gore Blvd, Lawton, OK 73505.
  5. Stanley. Based in Virginia, Stanley is a major IT consultant to 40+ government agencies, including a $570 million project with Homeland Security.
  6. The Bank One Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University rated Lawton as Number Six in the nation for the development of new non-agricultural jobs in the early 2000s. Lawton had been at far down the list in 192nd place previously.

Top 10 Fast Growing Jobs through 2024

  1. Truck Drivers, Owner-Operators
  2. Veterinary Techs and Vets for cattle and other herd animals, especially.
  3. Network Systems and Data Communications Specialists
  4. Registered Nurses
  5. Computer Applications Software Engineers
  6. Home Health Aides and Certified Nurse's Aides
  7. Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming/Sports Book jobs
  8. Food and Beverage Prep/Service jobs
  9. Pharmacy Technicians
  10. Forensic Science Technicians

Our National Bird

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bald eagle in the Wichita Mountains.
Bald eagle in the Wichita Mountains.
Bald eagle in the Wichita Mountains. | Source

A City Built by Homesteading

A distance of less than 100 miles from Oklahoma City finds Lawton, the county seat of Comanche County. The county was named for one of the Native North American Nations living in the area. and the city was named for an American Civil War General.

Lawton has been recognized as one of the Top 30 Cities for Jobs in the US and appears on the list of Forbes' Best Cities for Jobs and Business in America. It was not founded until 1901, but grew quickly.

Comanche headdress, 1880.
Comanche headdress, 1880. | Source

In 1901, the last of the native territories in Oklahoma were partially distributed by the federal government to private citizens. Today, the state seems filled with Native communities and reservations.

The actual Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation was finally given away by the US to homesteaders through a registered drawing in parcels of 160 acres each.

Some natives moved westward, while at least 29,000 homesteaders went to register at Fort Sill. An additional 135,000 people registered at El Reno, excited about owning land in an uncharted territory. The drawing allowed 6,500 to homestead in one of three Southwest Oklahoma areas, one being Lawton, which still stands in the U.S. Federal Statistical Unit for the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Nations.

The Fort Sill Apache Tribe is the federally recognized native group of Chiricahua Warm Springs Apache.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Apache leader Geronimo, Yanozha, Chappo, and Fun in 1886.
Apache leader Geronimo, Yanozha, Chappo, and Fun in 1886.
Apache leader Geronimo, Yanozha, Chappo, and Fun in 1886. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ka-e-te-nay, Head Chief, Warm Springs ApachesAh-Keah-Boat-(Two-Hatchet), a Kiowa Nation man in 1898Major-General Henry Ware Lawton; US Union Army
Ka-e-te-nay, Head Chief, Warm Springs Apaches
Ka-e-te-nay, Head Chief, Warm Springs Apaches | Source
Ah-Keah-Boat-(Two-Hatchet), a Kiowa Nation man in 1898
Ah-Keah-Boat-(Two-Hatchet), a Kiowa Nation man in 1898 | Source
Major-General Henry Ware Lawton; US Union Army
Major-General Henry Ware Lawton; US Union Army | Source

Fort Sill and Homesteaders

Fort Sill had been a cavalry fort during the American Civil War. Homestead lot parcels in the 320-acre town itself were sold at auction, but commencing August 6th, 1869 winners of a lottery chose plots outside of town.

The homestead of Ms. Mattie Beal was the second lot chosen. Her home and land stand today in the urban district of Lawton as a National Historic Landmark.

At least 25,000 landowners and their families lived in tents at first, without streets, sidewalks, or public utilities. Schools were very small. Fires were commonplace and Fort Sill personnel became experts in firefighting - they have one of the best firefighting units in the military even today.

The U.S. Army Field Artillery School at Fort Sill contributed much to the influx of new residents, especially from 1890 - 1950 with its civilian and military jobs. The cooperative partnership between Lawton and the fort has productive and will likely continue to draw new residents and business to the area.

Lake Lawtonka has provided most of the drinkable water for Lawton OK since 1901.
Lake Lawtonka has provided most of the drinkable water for Lawton OK since 1901. | Source

Downtown Revitalization Plan and Progress

Lawton's planners ensure continued growth through scheduled reconstruction of areas within the inner urban areas and restoration of historic landmarks.

This includes historic commercial buildings, older homes, and other installations as well as brand new living spaces and sports and entertainment venues.

Where colleges, universities, vocational schools, and union-based apprenticeship programs operate nearby, the economy can benefit even further. The educational network often performs research related to the local business community in order to build business and new jobs. In the 21st Century, this often includes green jobs, bio-technologies, medicine, alternative energy sources and similar breakthroughs.

Higher Education Institutions That Partner with Business and Government

Among all levels of education, from High School Diploma and On the Job Training all the way to the PhD, it is the PhD that is most needed in Oklahoma through 2016. Associate Degreed people are next highly sought, followed by Masters Degrees in third place.

  • Cameron University: A Native American university that serves non-natives as well.
  • Central Texas College in Oklahoma
  • Columbia College
  • Comanche National College
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Platt College
  • Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • University of Oklahoma at Fort Sill
  • Webster University at Fort Sill: Masters of Arts degrees in Human Resource Management, Management, and Computer Resources and Information Management. Open to active duty and retired military, spouses and children; civilians employed at Fort Still, Reservists, citizens of Lawton and Fort Sill, Sheppard AFB, and Altus AFB.

Professional Training

  • The Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies at Cameron University: 2800 W Gore Blvd, Lawton, 73505. Comprehensive assistance is made available for entrepreneurs throughout Southwest Oklahoma at this specialized center. CETES offers
  1. A business incubator (start up plan) that for direct assistance to entrepreneurs, and
  2. An academic program to produce highly qualified professionals ready to handle information-based economies.
  • Great Plains Technology Center: 4500 SW Lee Blvd, Lawton, OK 73505. Free of charge to employers the Great Plains Technology Center and the Economic Development Center in Lawton aids company leaders with specialized training custom-designed and delivered to staff by certified trainers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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