Bartlesville, Okla. (July 10, 2020) – Governor Kevin Stitt today announced a $1 million grant through the CARES Act Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund to Tri County Tech of Bartlesville to launch its Skills to Rebuild initiative in partnership with several local employers.
Tri County Tech’s Skills to Rebuild initiative will provide accelerated programs to train 375 individuals to immediately enter well-paying jobs that are in high demand in the region, generating an annual payroll of $10 million in Oklahoma’s private sector. The CARES Act grant will allow for Tri County Tech to make these programs tuition free for students who complete the programs.
“A new and emerging workforce must be upskilled and trained to move the needle on Oklahoma’s 12% unemployment rate, and it is incumbent upon education in Oklahoma to innovate and respond quickly,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “Tri County Tech is breaking the mold of continuing education by offering several accelerated courses targeted for industries where there is known demand and ample opportunity for career growth.”
Tri County Tech’s Skills to Rebuild program will get students into the workforce in as little as 2 months by offering accelerated certifications in the areas of accounting, health care, nursing, child development, computer networking/cybersecurity, and manufacturing. Skills to Rebuild is unique in that it shortens the traditional time it takes for a student to complete these programs by an average of 20% while maintaining high educational standards for certifications and graduation. Furthermore, most courses will be offered virtually and on evenings and weekends to accommodate working students.
“Unemployment is not a sustainable economic solution. Oklahomans want and need to get back to work and Tri County’s Skills to Rebuild is here to help,” said Lindel Fields, CEO and Superintendent of Tri County Tech. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unstable and uncertain economic environment, but Skills to Rebuild is the solution to train Oklahomans for re-entering the workforce with gratifying, upwardly mobile careers in a rapid amount of time.”
Due to the deep recession caused by the pandemic, national economists have predicted many jobs will disappear for a long period of time or all together. The silver lining is that there are many established and emerging industries in desperate need of workers. For example, in Tri County’s district that serves Washington, Nowata, and Osage counties, Tri County Tech has identified a need for over 200 frontline nurse assistants and 60 LPNs.
“The Tri County Tech’s Skills to Rebuild project is an innovative educational initiative for essential workers on the frontlines of caring for Oklahomans. Ascension St. John Jane Phillips will be taking full advantage of these quality training opportunities,” said Mike Moore, president and COO of Ascension St. John Jane Phillips. “The accessibility and flexibility of these certified courses allow the underemployed and unemployed to immediately gain the skills needed to influence their lives, businesses, and the economy in Oklahoma.”
The program is open to Oklahoma residents with the first round of classes slated to begin in August. For more information visit: www.Tricountytech.edu/Skills
Tri County Tech, a 2018 Malcolm Baldrige Recipient, has one of the highest completion rates in the nation at 95%. Over the past 10 years, Tri County Tech has seen a 117% increase in students enrolling, with 67% going on to earn additional or higher levels of certifications and degrees.