RIED supports efforts that make a transformational impact on Oklahoma's workforce. Currently in Oklahoma, there are numerous entities with some hand in Oklahoma's workforce development. But there is no cross coordination of programs. There is no overarching plan for development for future needs. There is no single owner. The siloed thinking in workforce development creates a mismatch of goals, needs and economic growth. Ultimately leading to employers without people to fill the available jobs. Oklahoma businesses cannot grow without the necessary workforce but Oklahoma has no plan to equip current and future Oklahoma workers with the skills needed for future success.
Oklahoma needs a future-looking workforce development commission that leverages various funding sources for programming. One that brings industry leaders to the table to help forecast what comes next in their industries and for the state's economic development. Senate Bill 621 does just that. It creates the Oklahoma Workforce Commission consisting of private sector leaders with the power to create a coordinated workforce plan and disseminate funding for various programs that aligns with the plan. SB 621 does not create a new agency, it just coordinates functions across the government.
For these reasons, RIED rates SB 621 as pro-growth. A vision is vital to Oklahoma's workforce future; SB 621 will be scored accordingly.