Oklahoma has well-paid jobs unfilled for lack of skilled workers, business leaders say

The state Department of Career and Technology Education is seeking an additional $35 million in funding for 2014-15 to ensure ‘a job for every Oklahoman and a workforce for every company,' CareerTech Director Robert Sommers said.
by Kathryn McNutt Published: January 24, 2014
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Good jobs in Oklahoma go begging because companies can't find trained workers, business leaders said Thursday in support of giving more funding to the CareerTech education program.

Oklahoma's education system must equip people with the academic and technical skills needed to step into wealth-building jobs, CareerTech Director Robert Sommers said during a Capitol news conference.

Sommers announced the 2014 legislative agenda and funding request for the state Department of Career and Technology Education.

The goal is “a job for every Oklahoman and a workforce for every company,” he said.

“We recognize that education has many purposes, but we must prepare people to be economically productive. That's what CareerTech does,” said Sommers, who also is the state's secretary of education and workforce development.

CareerTech officials have requested an additional $35 million in funding for 2014-15, with $24.6 million going to local schools in the form of performance-based funding.

The idea is to fund training with proven results in terms of taxes generated by the people who go through the program.

Dana Weber, CEO of Webco Industries in Sand Springs, said she supports the “pay for performance” plan and a bigger investment in career and technical training.

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by Kathryn McNutt
Higher Education Reporter
Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from...
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We recognize that education has many purposes, but we must prepare people to be economically productive. That's what CareerTech does.”

Robert Sommers,
CareerTech director

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