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Statement in Response to the The Frontier article published April 28, 2020

We have received many concerned questions and comments from Oklahomans in response to the recent article published yesterday in The Frontier. We want to reassure you that there has never been any intention in State leadership to cut unemployment funds to any Oklahoman. It is unfortunate this very brief discussion was taken out of context and misrepresents the spirit of this meeting and the work of The Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development. The Governor’s Council is made up of a majority Business owners and leaders more than Government people. They asked a question and it was answered. The matter was only discussed due to the publicity it has received in the national news. This was not the focus of the meeting, it was never under serious consideration or up for a vote, and does not represent the work of our state’s workforce development system.

The Office of Workforce Development and the Governor’s Council work to help thousands of Oklahomans find work and to find higher paying jobs all year long. There are numerous positive stories about how people’s lives have been turned around through workforce programs and we will continue to make that happen. We have worked to apply for millions in additional COVID funding that will go specifically to people who are laid off to help them with reskilling, upskilling, and supportive services like transportation, child care and housing. Our goal has always been, and continues to be, helping Oklahomans achieve their career goals, including obtaining higher skilled, higher wage jobs.

We appreciate your interest in supporting working Oklahomans. We certainly share that passion and will strive to better communicate that to the public so that more folks see and experience the truly great things the Office of Workforce Development does for the citizens of our great state.