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Morning Bell: Workforce needs continue to shift

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Aerial drone photo. Looking northeast at downtown with BOK Park Building and Devon Energy Tower in foreground. Photo by David Morris, The Oklahoman
Aerial drone photo. Looking northeast at downtown with BOK Park Building and Devon Energy Tower in foreground. Photo by David Morris, The Oklahoman

Good Monday morning and happy Labor Day! 

Employers across the country have long claimed there is a shortage of skilled workers to choose from and that includes Oklahoma companies. Last week, some of those companies gathered in Oklahoma City to discuss how rapid advances in technology are continually changing workforce needs and how students today need to be educated for the jobs of tomorrow.

Of the 20 jobs expected to be most in demand in the next decade, only three require a bachelor's degree, said Jody Kent, a vice president at Universal Technical Institute, who was the keynote speaker at the Age of Agility summit presented by America Succeeds and Oklahoma Achieves.

However, those degrees are becoming more costly. The total student loan debt in the U.S. has been climbing steadily and hit $1.5 trillion this year, according to Federal Reserve data. That translates to an average $28,288 owed by each individual borrower, LendEDU reported in August. 

Education legislation: State Senator Dewayne Pemberton has been appointed to chair the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. Senate Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat announced he tapped the Muskogee Republican for the position last week.

Filling vacant Tulsa seat

The Tulsa school board will choose between nine applicants for a vacant school board, reports the Tulsa World.  Amy Shelton, the former District 2 representative, resigned her seat at the board’s last meeting Aug. 20 and it’s up to the board to fill the seat until an election in early 2019.

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Now get out there and enjoy your holiday. 

Related Photos
Aerial drone photo. Looking northeast at downtown with BOK Park Building and Devon Energy Tower in foreground. Photo by David Morris, The Oklahoman

Aerial drone photo. Looking northeast at downtown with BOK Park Building and Devon Energy Tower in foreground. Photo by David Morris, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8424fcd0029de1d570d3fbd0054fc128.jpg" alt="Photo - Aerial drone photo. Looking northeast at downtown with BOK Park Building and Devon Energy Tower in foreground. Photo by David Morris, The Oklahoman" title="Aerial drone photo. Looking northeast at downtown with BOK Park Building and Devon Energy Tower in foreground. Photo by David Morris, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Aerial drone photo. Looking northeast at downtown with BOK Park Building and Devon Energy Tower in foreground. Photo by David Morris, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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