Fallin Announces Initiative to Increase Post-Secondary Degrees in the Workforce

With the goal of increasing the number of Oklahomans who have a post-secondary degree or training certifications, Governor Fallin announced she has started the Launch Oklahoma program. The goal is for 70 percent of Oklahoma’s residents age 25-64 to complete a degree, certificate or credential by 2025. Right now, that level stands at 40 percent.

“Projections show that in 2025, 77 percent of the state’s new labor market will require greater than a high school diploma, highlighting the critical need for higher education,” said Fallin, who authorized Launch Oklahoma in Executive Order 2016-41. “The workplace is changing rapidly with the growth of technology, and it is vital that today’s students possess the skills to meet this reality. Launch Oklahoma will help ensure Oklahoma has enough workers with the right skills to enter and succeed in the workforce. In return, Oklahoma will succeed.”

While the Governor’s program has a lot of goals, there isn’t much mentioned about the method of reaching those goals. Launch Oklahoma is a recommendation by the Oklahoma Works Leadership Team. According to Fallin, state agencies, educators, businesses and workforce partners will collaborate over the next few months to create a strategic plan. The Governor expects the report on her desk by November 1, 2017.

Fallin contends this will make Oklahoma’s workforce competitive.

“The state of Oklahoma must employ a globally competitive workforce to attract companies with high wages to increase the wealth and quality of life for all Oklahomans,” Fallin said. “To meet this challenge, I created Launch Oklahoma to build upon my existing Oklahoma Works initiative. By aiming for this ambitious postsecondary education attainment goal of 70 percent by 2025, we will put Oklahoma on the path to meet labor demands, recruit new and grow current businesses, and increase the opportunity for all Oklahomans to achieve the American Dream.”

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