Colleges gear up to meet demand for aerospace, cybersecurity workers

Published: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 By: The Journal Record Staff Source: The Journal Record

Rose State College and Tulsa Community College have been designated as partners in the first Aerospace and Cybersecurity Center of Workforce Excellence in Oklahoma.

The designation followed a nearly yearlong application process and affirmed both past work and ongoing initiatives by the colleges to create a pipeline of skilled individuals to meet workforce demands in the aerospace and cybersecurity sectors. It has been estimated that the sectors will attract some 3,500 jobs to Oklahoma annually in coming years.

“The Center of Workforce Excellence at Rose State and Tulsa Community College will serve as a go-to resource for all things aerospace and cybersecurity related to moving industries forward in Oklahoma,” said Rose State President Dr. Jeanie Webb. “It’s an amazing opportunity that will propel our state to the next level of economic development.”

The designation actually represents a collaboration of efforts by higher education, career tech and industry partners and communities to answer workforce needs with educational pathways and training. An advisory council including aerospace and cybersecurity employers from Oklahoma City and Tulsa will offer the centers advice and guidance. Oklahoma City and Tulsa are aerospace hubs with Tinker Air Force Base and American Airlines, respectively, and together, they service defense and commercial aviation/aerospace and cybersecurity industries.

“This special designation strengthens the ongoing work and allows us to expand our relationships with employers across the state. Not only does this partnership double our expertise and resources for training; it also leverages best practices to position Oklahoma as a top-10 state for business and to attract new companies,” Tulsa Community College President Leigh Goodson said.

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