OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) – Governor Mary Fallin today announced a goal to increase post-secondary education and training attainment for Oklahomans.
"The state is facing a critical gap between the skills of the current workforce and the skills that are needed to fill vital jobs," Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Natalie Shirley said. "Launch Oklahoma will address this issue by encouraging youth to seek postsecondary education and training, and by helping Oklahomans who have left the education system to get back in and upskill. Through these efforts, Oklahomans will have the opportunity to get the higher wage jobs that are critical to our economy."
Launch Oklahoma, is for 70 percent of Oklahoma's residents, age 25-64, to complete a postsecondary degree, certificate or credential by the year 2025.
"Projections show that in 2025, 77 percent of the state's new labor market will require greater than a high school diploma, highlighting the critical need for higher education," said Fallin, who authorized Launch Oklahoma in Executive Order 2016-41. "The workplace is changing rapidly with the growth of technology, and it is vital that today's students possess the skills to meet this reality. Launch Oklahoma will help ensure Oklahoma has enough workers with the right skills to enter and succeed in the workforce. In return, Oklahoma will succeed."
The statewide goal to increase the overall postsecondary educational attainment of Oklahoma's workforce from 40 percent to 70 percent means nearly 600,000 more workers will need a postsecondary degree, certificate or other high-quality credential in just eight years.
"The state of Oklahoma must employ a globally competitive workforce to attract companies with high wages to increase the wealth and quality of life for all Oklahomans," Fallin said. "To meet this challenge, I created Launch Oklahoma to build upon my existing Oklahoma Works initiative. By aiming for this ambitious postsecondary education attainment goal of 70 percent by 2025, we will put Oklahoma on the path to meet labor demands, recruit new and grow current businesses, and increase the opportunity for all Oklahomans to achieve the American Dream."
To learn more about the goal, current research, and data, visit the Oklahoma Works website.