Thursday, November 2, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today announced the state’s new goal to increase the number of Oklahomans engaged in quality work-based learning to 20,000 per year by 2020. Currently, Oklahomans experience approximately 15,000 work-based learning opportunities each year.
“It is critical Oklahoma steps up to the challenges of an increasingly competitive global economy,” said Fallin. "Earn & Learn gives Oklahomans opportunities to explore career pathways. Quality work-based learning adds rigor and relevance to academic coursework.”
Work-based learning opportunities include:
Quality opportunities are characterized by clear roles and responsibilities; training plans with specific learning goals and trackable outcomes; a range of experiences in high-demand occupations; and reinforcement of learning outside of work.
Oklahoma Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Natalie Shirley discussed the benefits of work-based learning for students and employers.
“Students benefit by experiencing career exploration, assessing their abilities and strengths, and expanding their professional networks,” said Shirley. “These programs expand talent pipelines for employers to fill vital jobs and close the skills gap.”
Oklahoma Works partnered with various business and education organizations to coordinate and promote work-based learning. The partners include the state Department of Education, the state Regents for Higher Education, the state Department of Career and Technology Education, the State Chamber of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. These organizations signed a memorandum of understanding to codify the goal.
“The State Chamber is proud to join the governor in strengthening local partnerships to invest in future talent for Oklahoma’s business community,” said Fred Morgan, president and chief executive officer of the State Chamber of Oklahoma.
Partners commit to increasing work-based learning opportunities and participants to ensure the state meets the goal by 2020.
“Internships and apprenticeships provide Oklahomans with a clear pathway to wealth-generating careers,” said Fallin. “This goal is part of my Oklahoma Works initiative, which aligns education with the critical needs of the workforce. Work-based learning allows job seekers to gain training and on-the-job experience. I appreciate the hard work of the Office of Workforce Development in ensuring these opportunities are expanded and diversified for our state.”
The governor announced the registered apprenticeship and internship goal during her STEM and entrepreneurship summit in Oklahoma City. The updated Oklahoma Works strategic plan, which includes the new goal and other updates, also was released during the summit.
For more information, contact Erin Risley-Baird, executive director of the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, at (405) 596-6668 o at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Earn & Learn, and to view the strategic plan visit www.oklahomaworks.gov/about.
About Oklahoma Works
Oklahoma Works is designed to increase the wealth of all Oklahomans through facilitating quality employment for workers and ready availability of highly skilled talent for business and industry. Oklahoma Works' strategic priorities are coordinated by the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development. The initiative was implemented by Governor Mary Fallin, and is a coalition of state agencies, educational institutions, businesses and other partners. Learn more at www.oklahomaworks.gov.