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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Webco, which manufactures specialty tubing for companies, relies on CareerTech to teach entry-level workers basic skills and other workers new technology, Weber said.

“Things are constantly changing,” she said.

The company almost always promotes within, so entry-level workers have a path to higher paying jobs, Weber said.

Half the jobs in Oklahoma don't provide a living wage, Sommers said.

He stressed collaboration among K-12 education, CareerTech, higher education and commerce to prepare Oklahomans for successful careers.

Fred Morgan, president and CEO of the State Chamber of Oklahoma, said the state needs both a strong college system and a strong CareerTech system to provide the workforce needed.

“I hear from business leaders all over the state that they have good-paying jobs unfilled because skilled workers just aren't out there,” Morgan said.


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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