Connecting Industry and Education
The State Chamber has taken an intense interest in workforce development with the introduction of a plan to consolidate all workforce related funding and resources under a new agency with the sole purpose to provide workforce solutions to Oklahoma’s businesses.
Chad Warmington, president and CEO of the Oklahoma State Chamber, Ben Lepak, executive director of the State Chamber Research Foundation, Skye McNiel, executive director for OkACTE (Oklahoma Association for Career and Technology Education), along with Dr. Lee Denney, interim state director of Oklahoma CareerTech, toured Central Tech Monday hearing how the technology center trains students to meet the needs of the workforce.
One of the chambers workforce incentives is to “increase access and support to degree and industry endorsed skills certificate programs tied to critical occupations and support employer incentives for work-based learning programs such as apprenticeships and internships.”
Central Tech, a part of the Oklahoma CareerTech system, mirrors that incentive with programs incorporating real work experience through clinical practice, internships, on-the-job training, and apprenticeships. Graduates complete the program sitting for industry recognized certifications.
Another chamber incentive is to “encourage businesses to participate in career pathways or career exploration programs that are specific to the current and future needs of Oklahoma’s economy.”
At Central Tech, businesses partner with the technology centers programs by serving on advisory committees to determine programs offerings, curriculum objectives, and align courses and curricula with industry identified skills. These committees help determine the future high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand jobs ensuring businesses have access to a pipeline of talent for tomorrow’s workforce.
This past year Central Tech achieved a 94% placement for students entering the workforce or continuing their education.