Steve Tumpkin

Retraining Tulsa: Open Jobs and Lack of Skilled Workforce Clash to Create a Gap in Employment Opportunities for Tulsa-Area Workers and Companies

March 4, 2022

National and international headlines report that employers are not filling open positions following the COVID-19 pandemic. International employment agency, Randstad, conducts a semiannual survey to outline trends in job markets. Their most recent study, known as Workmonitor, [hyperlink:] which was released in November 2021, reported that more than half (59%) of North American workers are on a job hunt with 30% actively looking and 29% recently changing jobs. Randstad reported that 67% of respondents feel empowered by the pandemic to make changes to their work/life balance and nearly three-quarters (72%) have more clarity over professional goals since the pandemic.

Despite this “Great Enlightenment” among workers, employers are finding that applicants or existing employees do not have the skills to meet the demands of the current workplace. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review [hyperlink:], 58% of the workforce needs new skill sets to do their jobs, 83% of industry association economists say employers are finding it more difficult now compared to five years ago to fill jobs in their respective sectors, while 55% of employees struggle to find and share organizational knowledge to advance their careers.

Tulsa has not escaped this reality.

“We are hearing from our Tulsa-area employer partners that they have higher-paying jobs and just cannot find the applicants with the skills to fill those jobs, or do not have the infrastructure internally to train their existing employees for a promotion,” said Madison Strategies (MSG) Group Executive Director Karen Pennington. “That’s why we created Retrain Tulsa in partnership with the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County.”

Madison Strategies Group [hyperlink:], the organization behind Tulsa Community WorkAdvance [hyperlink:], recently launched Retrain Tulsa [hyperlink:] as a new initiative to support and empower Tulsans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to access career services, training, and certifications for promotion or new jobs. The goal is to assist Tulsans find high-wage employment in some of the most affected sectors – healthcare, information technology, professional services, and advanced manufacturing.

“Retrain Tulsa is here to help Tulsa-area residents upskill and access a variety of career services and technical training to launch new careers,” said Retrain Tulsa Managing Director Steve Tumpkin. “Based on these employment trends, we know that our program will serve a diverse group of people who are different ages, have different amounts of experience, bring different levels of computer skills, and may be currently unemployed or underemployed. Our clients can work with us to seek the higher-paying job they need to find more financial security and work-life balance in a 21st century workplace.”

Retrain Tulsa, a program of Madison Strategies Group, closes the gap between job seekers and employers by offering free technical training, job placement and career assistance to Tulsa-area residents looking to expand their skills in pursuit of in-demand, higher-wage employment. Madison Strategies Group helps individuals reach their full-potential and achieve economic mobility by developing and delivering innovative employment, education, and financial empowerment strategies. Madison Strategies Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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