Higher Education Regents Enter Three Work Force Development Partnerships
OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) -- The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on Friday entered into three work force development partnerships designed to help advance the state's economic growth.
The partnerships with the U.S. Navy, CACI Inc. and FlexForce are the first of their kind between Oklahoma's system of higher education and business and military organizations. Typically, work force development agreements are made with individual colleges and universities.
In a similar action, Regents also awarded a $125,000 economic development grant to the Center for Aging Systems and Infrastructure to support engineering research for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base.
The partnerships will be coordinated and administered through the Oklahoma Higher Education Office of System Advancement and Economic Development.
Regents established the office earlier this year to coordinate and provide leadership for economic development activities throughout Oklahoma's college and university system.
"When we established higher education's Office of System Advancement and Economic Development last January, we envisioned systemwide partnerships capable of propelling Oklahoma into a new era of growth and vitality," said Chancellor Hans Brisch. "We are pleased to see that vision beginning to take root.
"Institutions have different strengths, and the partnerships we are entering today are proof that by coordinating these assets, we can produce powerful development programs that business, industry and the military can use to educate, train and advance their organizations for generations to come," Brisch said.
Under the partnerships, the State Regents will coordinate resources provided by Oklahoma colleges and universities to meet specific work force needs.
For example, in response to requests from the U.S. Navy for college-level education opportunities, Oklahoma higher education will be one of two systems in the country to help the U.S. Navy establish a talented pool of technicians through degree programs focusing on fiber optics, electronics, communications and other high-tech fields.
Also, Navy service men and women who are pursuing a college degree may receive college credit for some of their military training.
"The U.S. Navy, and especially Navy Recruiting Districts in Dallas and Kansas City, is proud to be partners with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in work force development," said Commander Mark McDaniel, U.S. Navy Recruiting District, Dallas.
"They are true visionaries with the insight and `spirit' to make things happen. Hopefully, many Oklahoma students will take advantage of the new degree programs offered at Oklahoma colleges to expand their education and obtain their degrees. We look forward to this distinctive partnership with great expectations," McDaniel said.
Commander John M. Persyn, U.S. Navy Recruiting District, Kansas City, said the agreement between the Oklahoma State Regents and the U.S. Navy highlights the common commitment to prepare today's young people for economic, technical and societal challenges.
"The State of Oklahoma has taken the lead position and will undoubtedly be modeled by other states as we build similar partnerships nationally," Persyn said
Regents also entered a partnership with CACI. …