Oklahoma: Launch Oklahoma

It is expected that by 2025, 70 percent of the jobs in Oklahoma will require education or training past high school. However, in 2014, Oklahoma found that only about 40 percent of the state’s workforce held a degree, certificate or credential. To address this, in 2016 Governor Mary Fallin announced Launch Oklahoma (Executive Order 2016-41), an initiative to support the goal of 70 percent of Oklahomans between the ages of 25-64 attaining a postsecondary degree, certificate or credential by 2025. As a first step, a cross-sector task force was launched, which included leadership from across state education, workforce and economic agencies. The team was tasked to analyze statewide data and forecasts and determine what the state should do in response to these results.

The group calculated that, to meet its goals and the needs of its workforce, Oklahomans must earn more than a collective additional 880,000 degrees and credentials over eight years, 41 percent of which should be CTE certificates or credentials. 

Retrieved from https://oklahomaworks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Oklahoma-Works-Strategic-Delivery-Plan-6.8.2017.pdf  

In order to meet this ambitious target, the group determined that a crucial step would be to develop a deliberate and useful strategic plan, in order to coordinate activities and monitor progress.

Policy in Action
Through Oklahoma Works, a statewide initiative to build Oklahoma's workforce, the state identified nine driver (industries that generate wealth) and complementary (industries that help to expand economic wealth by providing the infrastructure and support services to the drivers) economic systems. From this, Oklahoma was able to form a list of the most critical occupations for the state in terms of labor demand and economic growth. For each occupation the group developed additional information, such as expected increase in jobs through 2025 and level of educational attainment needed for an entry position.

In November 2017, the Oklahoma Works Leadership Team finalized a strategic plan for achieving Launch Oklahoma’s goal and included the goal of establishing 20,000 quality work-based learning opportunities annually by 2020 to create greater access to internships and Registered Apprenticeships.

The strategic plan has three areas of focus: traditional students transitioning into postsecondary education without a gap in enrollment; adult and non-traditional students participating in postsecondary education; and success strategies to better support students while they are in education and training programs. Based on research of those areas and related state best practices and barriers, Launch Oklahoma has four objectives, each with its own outcomes metrics:

  1. Increase awareness: Promote the importance of education and training
  2. Ensure access: Students are able to access tuition assistance and supportive services to stay enrolled in, and complete, education and training
  3. Ensure college and career readiness: Students are prepared to enter and succeed in education and training
  4. Engage employers: Employers play an active role in supporting Oklahomans in completing education and training
Launch Oklahoma Overall Annual Attainment Goals
Retrieved from https://oklahomaworks.gov/docs/2017/04/Launch-OK-Strategic-Recommendations-2017.pdf


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Published: 
September 2018