Skip to main content

Workforce Problems

– Oklahoma’s workforce shortages, particularly in critical occupations, pose a strategic threat to the state’s future economic growth.

– Oklahoma’s workforce development systems are very siloed. The various parts are not incentivized to coordinate with one another, pursue different goals and strategies, and suffer from administrative duplication.

– Many state agencies and individuals touch workforce development in some way, but no single entity or individual OWNS workforce development.

Workforce Solutions

The Governor’s Executive Order 2023-02 establishes a new vision for the state’s workforce development system and charges a task force (Workforce Transformation Task Force) made up of private sector leaders and public officials with identifying ways to align funding to goals and economic needs.

SB 621 creates the Oklahoma Workforce Commission, a new commission made up of private sector business leaders who will direct the state’s workforce development strategy long-term and administer and oversee funding allocated by the Legislature for workforce development initiatives.
The Oklahoma Workforce Commission will be empowered to contract with outside parties to achieve its mission.

The Executive Order and Legislation are Both Vital for Long-Term Success

The EO moves the pieces the Governor is in control of (recurring federal funds through WIOA, state agencies that report to the Governor) toward the new system.

SB 621 moves the pieces the Legislature are in control of (state funding for workforce priorities, establishing a new entity and reporting mechanisms necessary to truly unify the entire system long term) toward the new system. The legislation also ensures accountability.

Both share the same goals of transforming workforce delivery and coordinating workforce ecosystems to ensure better outcomes.


Governor J. Kevin Stitt

Workforce Transformation Task Force Members

Chad Mariska- Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development

Chad Warmington- State Chamber President & CEO/ Task force Member

Sen. Adam Pugh – (R) Edmond

Rep. Brian Hill – (R) Mustang

Rick Nagel- Managing Partner, Acorn Growth Companies/ State Chamber Board Member

Tim Pehrson- President & CEO, INTEGRIS Health

Karen Pennington- Executive Director, Madison Strategies Group

Elizabeth Pollard- Secretary of Science and Innovation

Ryan Walters – Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Jeff Stava- COO Tulsa Community Foundation/CPO George Kaiser Family Foundation

State Chamber Board Members

Bill Schonaucher- State Chamber Board Chairman, President & CEO IBC Bank Oklahoma

Kevin Gross- CEO Hillcrest HealthCare System

Kristin Peck – Vice President of Public Affairs, Cox Communications

Media Contact  

Brent Skarky  405-818-1939