State grant to fund tuition-free programs to accelerate employment opportunities

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Oklahoma State Capitol building

Oklahoma State Capitol

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (KFOR) – A grant from the State of Oklahoma will fund tuition-free programs at Tri County Tech in Bartlesville to accelerate employment opportunities for Oklahomans.

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday announced a $1 million grant through the CARES Act Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER), according to a news release from the governor’s office.

The grant enables Tri County Tech to launch its Skills to Rebuild initiative in partnership with several local employers, according to the news release.

Skills to Rebuild will provide accelerated programs to train 375 individuals to immediately enter high demand, well-paying jobs in the region, generating $10 million in annual payroll in Oklahoma’s private sector.

Students who complete the programs will not have to pay tuition thanks to the CARES Act, according to the news release.

“A new and emerging workforce must be upskilled and trained to move the needle on Oklahoma’s 12% unemployment rate, and it is incumbent upon education in Oklahoma to innovate and respond quickly,” Stitt said. “Tri County Tech is breaking the mold of continuing education by offering several accelerated courses targeted for industries where there is known demand and ample opportunity for career growth.”

Skills to Rebuild is designed to get students into the workforce in as little as two months by offering accelerated certifications in the following areas: accounting, health care, nursing, child development, computer networking/cybersecurity and manufacturing, according to the news release.

Courses will be primarily offered virtually and on evenings and weekends to accommodate working students, the news release states.

“Unemployment is not a sustainable economic solution. Oklahomans want and need to get back to work and Tri County’s Skills to Rebuild is here to help,” said Lindel Fields, CEO and Superintendent of Tri County Tech. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unstable and uncertain economic environment, but Skills to Rebuild is the solution to train Oklahomans for re-entering the workforce with gratifying, upwardly mobile careers in a rapid amount of time.”

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