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Make recommendations, inform, coordinate and facilitate statewide efforts to improve Oklahomans’ exposure to high-demand career and entrepreneurship opportunities, along with the education and training required for entry into and advancement within a chosen career. Develop industry sector strategies in state and regional ecosystems to ensure that the education and training system is delivering the skills needed by employers.


  • Create a plan for Career Pathways efforts to be based on industry sectors within Oklahoma’s state and regional ecosystems.
  • Establish strategies to support the use of career pathways for the purpose of providing individuals, including low-skilled adults, youth, and individuals with barriers to employment (including individuals with disabilities) with workforce development activities, education, and supportive services to enter or retain employment.
  • Create and use Career Pathways approaches to increase the proportion of low-skill learners who ultimately earn a degree or certificate.
  • Increase high school graduation rates – decrease high school dropout rates.
  • Increase the percentage of Oklahoma workers with a recognized postsecondary credential. (A credential consisting of an industry-recognized certificate or certification, a certificate of
    completion of an apprenticeship, a license recognized by the State or Federal government, or an associate or baccalaureate degree.
  • Reinforce the alignment with Registered Apprenticeship for earn-and-learn opportunities.
  • Use performance data to demonstrate progress and impact, thereby supporting partner buy-in and reinforcing continued engagement over time.
  • Make Career Pathways part of the Board certification process.
  • Introduce employers and educators to the value of partnering by describing best practices and success stories.
  • Develop or research pilots and models.

Action Items:

  • Based on regional ecosystem industries and workforce and economic development data, identify skill gaps in specific occupations.
  • Work with education and training partners to adopt or align curriculum in programs to meet needs of employers.
  • Create awareness with business and industry, educators, local and regional leaders, community, students and parents to develop understanding and importance of career plans
    and career pathways.
  • Explore and promote work-based learning opportunities (e.g., workplace simulations, school-based enterprises, cooperative work and study programs, internships (paid or unpaid), on-the-job training (OJT), job shadowing, apprenticeships, fellowships, short-term employment, and other paid or unpaid work experiences).
  • Explore promising strategies that have been working for others and might be easily replicable.
  • Hold regional summits or meetings on Career Pathways and Sector Strategies.
  • Develop a Career Pathway pilot in each region of the state.


  • Adult Basic Education
    Focused on implementing strategies to increase the number of Oklahomans with a high school equivalency.
  • Employer Engagement and Industry Partnerships
    Focused on implementing strategies to support regional Key Economic Network (KEN) Champions, regional Sector Partnerships (including grantees), and engaging industry associations and employers in support of education and training attainment strategies, teacher externships, and other statewide initiatives to close identified skills gaps.
  • Work-Based Learning
    Focused on implementing strategies to expand work-based learning opportunities for Oklahomans, including apprenticeships, internships and job-shadowing. Paid work opportunities are important for many Oklahomans entering or continuing on a career pathway, particularly adults already in the workforce.

Chuck Gray, Chair
VP and COO, Frontier Electronic Systems Corp., Stillwater

Kevin Arnold, Career Pathway Champion
Business Development Manager, Francis Tuttle Technology Center

Jeannie Bowden, Career Pathway Champion
Assistant Director, Duncan Area Industrial Foundation

Stephanie Cameron, Career Pathway Champion
Community Relations Administrator, AAON, Dream It. Do It., OK2GROW

Katherine Long, Career Pathway Champion
Data Master, Ponca City Economic Development

Lance Allee
OK Dept. of Career and Technology Education

Daniel Craig
Executive Director, Oklahoma Office of Educational Quality and Accountability 

Jimmy Curry
President, Oklahoma AFL-CIO

Karen Davidson
Deputy Board Director, Southern Workforce Board

Drew Dugan
VP Greater OKC Chamber/Workforce

Kerry Manning
Executive Director, Southern Workforce Board

Chuck Mills
Mills Machine Co.

Sharon Harrison
Rose State College

Steven Shepelwich
Sr. Community Development Advisor, Oklahoma City Branch – Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

David Crow, Outreach and Information Officer
Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development
Representing Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development

Sarah Ashmore, Director of Public-Private Partnerships
Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development
Representing Office of Workforce Development