OKLAHOMA CITY – (Oct. 19, 2020) The Oklahoma Energy Workforce Consortium (OEWC) is launching a new energy career cluster to promote the benefits of pursuing careers in energy. Energy is the highest-paying industry in the state, averaging more than $100,000 annually.
Leaders within the energy industry initiated the OEWC to address a looming shortage of skilled workers that is expected nationwide by 2025. With the help of educational leaders, the group aims to engage the next generation by adding a new career cluster to the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education’s instructional framework.
In anticipation of the new career cluster’s introduction, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a state proclamation recognizing Oct. 19-23, 2020 as Oklahoma Careers in Energy Week.
“The energy sector is a key element of Oklahoma’s economic growth, and it is more diverse and modern than many realize,” said Gov. Kevin Stitt. “The next generation of bright minds and aspiring leaders will continue this work. These students represent the future of our state, and the unity within this career cluster, encompassing some of our largest industries including utilities, renewable energy, and oil and gas, shows the ever-increasing diversity and complexity of Oklahoma’s energy sector.”
In addition to industry leaders, the consortium includes representatives from CareerTech, common education, higher education and government focused on creating a pipeline of talented, diverse individuals to meet future needs within the state’s energy sector.
“Providing opportunities for students to learn about the important industries in their own communities through partnerships like this one is a long-valued pillar at CareerTech,” said Dr. Marcie Mack, state director of CareerTech. “The Energy Career Cluster is the most recent example of CareerTech’s ability to partner with employers and all levels of education within Oklahoma and equip students with tools and skills they need to thrive within our state’s diverse workforce.”
The Energy Career Cluster will be one of 17 career clusters in Oklahoma, and will be added to the list of industryspecific sectors that comprise CareerTech’s instructional framework.
“We are challenged with meeting our energy needs reliably, affordably and in environmentally-responsible ways,” said Chris Meyers, General Manager and CEO of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives. “There’s never been a more exciting time to be a part of this industry.”
OEWC, initiated by industry leaders and endorsed by state education leaders, is planning to celebrate Careers in Energy Week by highlighting the importance of energy, the benefits of the industry and how students can get involved in the field. On Oct. 21 at 2 p.m., CareerTech will host a virtual discussion on zoom about the career cluster’s launch. The group has long-term plans to work closely with educators, career counselors and parents to raise awareness about the energy industry.