Posted Date: 02/02/2023
WILBURTON, Okla. – Governor Kevin Stitt declared February Career and Technical Education Appreciation Month, recognizing the educators, administrators and partners of the Oklahoma CareerTech system who make a significant impact on workforce development.
The ongoing workforce shortage is a challenge for companies across the nation, and Oklahoma is no exception. Oklahoma Department of Career and Technical Education Director, Brent Haken, reminds Oklahoma businesses struggling to find skilled, reliable and qualified workers to look no further than their local technology center for help.
“Now more than ever, Oklahoma businesses are in need of highly skilled, trained workers,” said Haken. “Oklahoma CareerTech is built as a solution for workforce. Our system prepares students for work and equips businesses with the workforce they need to succeed, helping keep Oklahoma’s economy moving forward.”
In fiscal year 2022, Oklahoma CareerTech served approximately 6,670 businesses and had nearly half a million enrollments statewide, preparing students for the workforce and providing credentialing and certificates for many critical occupations in the state. This includes more than 18,000 industry-endorsed certificates earned by CareerTech students in fiscal year 2021.
“Kiamichi Tech proudly works alongside our local business and industry to train workers that fits the needs of the workforce in our area,” said Shelley Free, Kiamichi Tech Superintendent. “Hiring CareerTech graduates gives businesses an advantage, as they can quickly onboard a highly skilled worker who already has hands-on experience in their industry.”
Oklahoma CareerTech’s reputation goes well beyond state borders, as it is often used as an example at the national level of how CareerTech should work with industry to design courses that meet the needs of local businesses.
CareerTech’s 29 technology centers operate on 60 campuses throughout the state, including Kiamichi Tech’s presence in southeast Oklahoma. In fiscal year 2022, Kiamichi Tech had 27,997 enrollments and served 502 businesses throughout its district.