Gov. Fallin launches goal hoping to increase Oklahomans post-secondary education

(KOKH/Keaton Fox)

Governor Mary Fallin has announced an executive order that hopes to expand the number of Oklahomans with post-secondary education and training.

Launch Oklahoma hopes to have 70 percent of Oklahomans, ages 25-64, complete a post-secondary degree, certificate or credential by the year 2025. Currently only 40 percent of Oklahomans have that level of education.

“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,” Gov. Fallin said.

Launch Oklahoma was authorized by Executive order 2016-41 and signed by Governor Fallin Dec. 29. Gov. Fallin says the state faces a gap between the skills of the current workforce and the skills that are needed to fill vital jobs.

“Launch Oklahoma will address this issue by encouraging youth to seek post-secondary education and training, and by helping Oklahomans who have left the education system to get back in and upskill," Gov. Fallin said.

To achieve the number, nearly 600,000 more workers would need to attain that level of education. Gov. Fallin's office says the need for the plan came from a 2016 study commissioned by the Oklahoma office of Workforce Development. The full study will be released in January.

State agencies, educators, businesses and workforce partners will now collaborate to create a strategic plan to increase overall educational attainment. Their plan is due to Governor Fallin by Nov. 1, 2017.

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