Monday, April 27, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today signed legislation streamlining the composition of the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development. Senate Bill 612 changes the membership to give representatives of the private sector and business community a majority on the council, which will still receive input from state agencies.
The Council on Workforce and Economic Development is one of the main state bodies working to implement Oklahoma Works, Fallin’s initiative to help boost educational attainment in Oklahoma. Fallin discussed Oklahoma Works at length in her State of the State address this year, laying out her plan to develop and support partnerships between local businesses, career tech, higher education and K-12 schools. The initiative focuses on regional key economic networks that will collaborate to find solutions to local problems and obstacles. Solutions include local businesses offering internships for academic credit and partnering with local high schools, career techs and colleges to develop industry-specific curricula and career training.
“Oklahoma Works is about getting students and adults the tools and skills they need to find great careers,” said Fallin. “It’s also about ensuring we have a skilled, educated workforce that can support our businesses. That process works best when it is driven locally and by the private sector. The legislation I signed today will help ensure Oklahoma employers have a greater say in the state’s comprehensive education and workforce training initiative.”
SB 612, by Sens, Dan Newberry, Jim Halligan and Eddie Fields and Rep. Harold Wright, takes effect Nov. 1.