Steve Tumpkin

Retraining Tulsa: Madison Strategies Group to Launch New Program Designed to Help Tulsans Upskill for Higher Earnings

January 4, 2022

In March 2021 the City of Tulsa announced a $3.1 million investment in Madison Strategies Group [hyperlink:], the organization behind Tulsa Community WorkAdvance [hyperlink:], to launch Retrain Tulsa [hyperlink:, 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 residents upskill and access a variety of career services and technical training to launch new careers,” said Madison Strategies (MSG) Group Executive Director Karen Pennington. “Through our partnerships with Tulsa-area employers and educational partners, we see immediate openings for higher-paying jobs in areas that require specific training or certifications, but employers don’t have the infrastructure to provide these services in-house and job-seekers may not have the knowledge or resources to efficiently move into those positions. That’s where we come in.”

Akin to other programs in the MSG training arsenal, Retrain Tulsa services are free to both prospective employees and Tulsa-area employers through a federal grant, the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA), implemented and overseen by the City of Tulsa. In this most recent COVID-19 relief package, the Tulsa City Council awarded Tulsa Community WorkAdvance, a program of the Madison Strategies Group, $3.1 million [hyperlink:] to expand their programming to reach those affected by the pandemic find higher-wage careers.

"For the past four years, we have focused on becoming a globally competitive, world-class city,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “In the face of the current public health and economic crisis, we are more committed than ever to investing in initiatives that will help Tulsa build a strong, resilient economy. These programs will help us grow Tulsa's economy by focusing on both sides of the jobs equation: ensuring we're creating more 21st century jobs, and training Tulsans to move into living wage careers.”

In addition to hiring Managing Director Steve Tumpkin to oversee Retrain Tulsa, Madison Strategies Group has expanded their Downtown Tulsa facility and online presence to provide equitable access to counseling, soft skills, and retraining for a new career in a comfortable, seamless environment, whether in-person or online.

“In my role as the Managing Director, I serve the program as the internal and external leader who plays a critical role in building, managing, and sustaining its operations,” said Tumpkin. “I foster partnerships with a diverse group of organizations, build infrastructure and lead a talented team of professionals dedicated to empowering others with knowledge.”

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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