Workforce Development

Workforce FAQ

Oklahoma recognizes the importance of linking workforce development and economic development for the long-term success of the state. The following are questions most often asked about how this partnership works.

If you have additional workforce-related questions, please submit them to David Crow - (918) 594-8040 or david_crow@okcommerce.gov.

What is the purpose of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce Workforce Solutions division?
The Workforce Solutions division provides a focus on the development of a comprehensive workforce development system and ensures that workforce development supports economic development and the growth of the state’s economy.
What does Workforce Solutions do, exactly?
The goal is to create a totally integrated and fully accountable approach to workforce and economic development by linking the public and private sectors and forming a partnership that addresses employment, economic development, and education issues. The Office of Workforce Development facilitates the collaborative process of creating and implementing a systems approach to workforce development that serves business and creates employment opportunities for all Oklahomans.

Specifically, the office coordinates workforce system projects, provides strategic guidance to local workforce investment boards and local business service teams, supports the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development and the Workforce Solutions Staff Team. In addition, the office supports the Governor and Secretary of Commerce in development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development plan.
What is the Workforce Solutions Staff Team?
The Workforce Solutions Staff Team (WSST) consists of executives of various state agencies and local entities that come together to collaborate and find solutions to workforce issues. The goal is to leverage resources, eliminate duplication and barriers between agencies, and deliver comprehensive services to clients and businesses.

Partners on the WSST include: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Department of Education, CareerTech, Regents for Higher Education, Rehabilitative Services, Department of Human Services, Office of Handicap Concerns, community colleges, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and representatives of local workforce investment boards.
What is a Business Services team?
A business service team is a group of local people who represent education, employment, and economic development entities that work together to provide a comprehensive business solution within a local area. Business Service Teams provide a single point of access for business and can broker team member services to ensure a one-stop approach to business needs.
Where does the money come from to support Workforce Solutions activities?
The majority of the funding comes from the federal Department of Labor through the 1998 Workforce Investment Act.
What is the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development?
Since 2004, the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development has been working to develop creative solutions that expand and improve Oklahoma’s workforce, promote a stronger economy, and make the state more competitive globally The Council also assists the Governor in the development of continuous improvement activities for the statewide workforce system and helps develop linkages with public agencies to avoid duplicating efforts.
Who serves on the Governor’s Council?
The Governor, members of both houses of the state legislature, representatives of private industry, and representatives of the public sector are members. Private sector members of the Council are appointed by the Governor and are decision-makers for their respective organizations.
Can anyone be a member of a Workforce Investment Board?
Private sector members are appointed by the Governor from nominations received by statewide business organizations. Private sector members are required to represent businesses that hire employees, and the board member must be a high-level decision-maker within the company.Are Workforce Investment Boards and the Governor’s Council connected?
Yes. In accordance with the Workforce Investment Act, the Council provides guidance for the local boards. The Council works to ensure a collaborative statewide system, while each local board must establish a comprehensive workforce system in their local areas.
Is Workforce Solutions connected with the Governor's Council and Workforce Investment Boards?
Yes, the Workforce Solutions Staff Team supports the Council and facilitates the work of the Council. In accordance with the Workforce Investment Act, the Council provides guidance for the local boards.
What happened to the State Workforce Investment Board?
The State Workforce Investment Board was re-constituted as the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development.
Did the Governor’s Council for Economic and Workforce Development replace the previous State Workforce Investment Board?
Yes.
How often does the Governor’s Council meet, and are these open meetings?
The Council follows open meeting requirements. Its schedule of meetings is posted at www.okcommerce.gov/council.