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Workforce, Commerce Combine to Tackle Workforce and Economic Development Demands

Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce & Workforce Development, recently announced that the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development (OOWD) will be joined with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (Commerce), effective January 1, 2020. Don Morris, a former Human Resources executive with nearly 30 years of experience, was hired as the Executive Director of OOWD.

“Workforce development is a critical component of our economy and the future success of Oklahomans. When I took office, I vowed to break down silos that would limit our progress,” said Gov. Stitt. “By joining the Department of Commerce and the Office of Workforce Development, we are moving in that direction and I’m confident we will see positive results as these teams work together to strengthen workforce development in our state.”

“We know jobs are becoming more technical. We hear it every day from Oklahoma companies. It’s important for us to outline pathways for students, working adults, and dislocated workers to get necessary training to be successful and earn a sustaining wage.  This will, in turn, help companies operating in our state be successful,” said Morris.

Morris, alongside Kouplen and other stakeholders, are leading a task force to develop a roadmap that will make Oklahoma a national leader in workforce development. The group will then collaborate with economic development organizations and educational institutions across the state to implement the plan.

“This new path is very exciting and will lead to more and better trained Oklahomans in the workforce,” said Kouplen. “Our state’s culture is founded upon diversity and a strong work ethic. It’s time we ensure Oklahomans have career pathways and employment skills that companies need to be successful in our state.”

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