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Oklahoma

Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
Oklahoma Department of Commerce


Oklahoma Project Green

Community Challenge/Problem

With the green economy fast emerging and Oklahoma leadership eager to build on the state’s rich oil and natural gas tradition and become the nation’s clean energy leader, Oklahoma needed a coordinated and comprehensive effort to train people across the state and place them in 21st Century jobs.

Oklahoma put together a coalition of energy, workforce and education stakeholders to apply for a $6 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Board Solution/Innovation

Oklahoma received the grant and has since selected six Oklahoma workforce training programs to use more than $3 million to train almost 5,000 Oklahomans for careers in emerging "green" industries such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Oklahoma Green, as the effort is called, originally set a goal of training 1,000 people.

All of the programs selected are comprised of partnerships that include a state training entity, a Workforce Investment Board, and employers who will ultimately create the demand for these trained workers.

Outcomes & Results

"In addition to workforce development, we are simultaneously able to support statewide energy efficiency and environmental conservation strategies and help our Oklahoma companies be more energy efficient, utilize the newest technologies and protect our great State’s environment," says Oklahoma Green Project Director Shawna McWaters-Khalousi.

The remainder of the grant will fund other state green initiatives, including a center of energy efficiency innovation and a Lean and Green Institute.

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