August 27, 2020
Oklahomans' resilience never ceases to amaze me. Oklahoma's recovery is far ahead of many other states. Business owners refuse to let this health crisis keep them down. They are working tirelessly and depending on their innovation to get them through.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of sharing any jobs your business has available on the state job database at http://www.OKJobMatch.com. Many Oklahomans are looking, and we need to make sure that they know about every possible opportunity. It's free to post jobs on this site.
Another great resource for those looking for jobs is http://www.OklahomaWorks.gov. This is the state's partnership with the business community to assess which industries are growing and make sure we have citizens equipped to go into those fields. Having a strong economy requires having citizens with higher education but also a skilled workforce trained in various vocations.
This site provides education of varying levels, and information on internships and apprenticeships to help move Oklahomans' career path forward. It's estimated that by 2025, 70% of Oklahoma jobs will require education or training beyond high school. Unfortunately, only 40% of Oklahomans currently have such credentials.
This site provides career and educational resources for all ages from job fair information to insight into various careers and the education required to pursue them. You'll find career ladders where you can explore ways to enter and advance in occupations in vital industries in our state. There's information about our technology centers as well as colleges where you can learn more about certifications, licensing and degrees.
If you're a working adult who has already earned 18 hours or more of college credit, you'll want to check out the Reach Higher program that will help you complete your degree. There are also resources for veterans including hiring events happening statewide. Finally, there are resources to help with tuition costs.
There's also information about the state's job centers, which is where you can go for help with unemployment issues. These sites also provide assistance through partnerships with nonprofits and the business community to help with resume writing, interview training and other skills needed when looking for a job.
The site also provides important information for employers about state incentives and workforce development programs. In these difficult times, struggling businesses will find free assistance to help possibly avoid layoffs or closure as well as help the employees transition should layoffs or a closure occur.
Incumbent workforce training is also available for businesses of all sizes. This resource will provide your employees with the necessary skills to help build your business and keep it competitive.
This is a tremendous resource for Oklahoma businesses and employees. Please check it out and share with others. Whether you're a business owner or an employee, you are not alone. Take advantage of these free services.
Speaking of employees, Gov. Stitt submitted Oklahoma's grant application earlier this week to FEMA for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. On Wednesday, Oklahoma became the ninth state approved for the program, which will provide unemployment claimants with an extra $300 per week on top of their state unemployment benefits. This will replace the previous $600 extra a week that was available under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) that expired at the end of July.
The LWA will be available for weeks beginning on or after Aug. 1, 2020 and ending Dec. 27, 2020. To qualify, you'll need to provide proof of your unemployment (full or partial) and you must also already be receiving at least $100 of regular state unemployment benefits from OESC.
Please don't hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions about these resources, legislative matters or need help getting your unemployment. If I can be of any assistance, you can reach me at [email protected] or (405) 521-5539.