Oklahoma Lawmakers Look To Boost Community College, CareerTech Educations

Ann McClure's picture

Oklahoma has plenty of jobs, but the state's residents don't have the skills and training to fill them.

As the economic recovery takes hold and employment grows, the problem is on pace to get worse, state leaders said. The state Senate Education Committee met Thursday with education and commerce leaders to discuss ways to head off the state's looming shortage of qualified workers.

During the interim study session, lawmakers discussed ideas for increasing the number of degrees and postsecondary certificates awarded at the state's community colleges and CareerTech centers.

The problem comes from job growth in particular areas, said Diedre Myers, director of policy research and economic analysis for the state Commerce Department. Only 18 percent of the new jobs created in Oklahoma between 2010 and 2020 will require no postsecondary education, Myers said.

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