Skillful and the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development Partner to Bring Skills-Based Practices to Oklahoma

By Kymberly Lavigne-Hinkley, Senior Manager of Coaching and Deployment at Skillful 

At Skillful, we work with partners across the nation through our growing network of states in the Skillful State Network, a coalition of 29 governors who have made workforce development a state priority.

Today, we are proud to announce the very first of a new type partnership with a Skillful State Network state to share Skillful programming locally. This represents a new and exciting chapter for Skillful and how we share our work in a sustainable and scalable way.  

Over the past year, a lot of work has been happening behind the scenes to build a partnership between Skillful and the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development. We are thrilled to officially announce our partnership and kick off our work together. Our goal is to help local employers’ transition to skills-based talent management practices. This will help employers attract talent and create new opportunities for workers in Oklahoma.  

Skillful is actively helping Oklahoma employers adopt skills-based hiring practices in line with Governor Stitt’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development Strategic Plan in several ways. First, by sharing the Skillful Talent Series, our Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM)-certified workshop program, which makes the case for the switch to skills-based practices and provides implementation guidance. Then, by providing our intensive train-the-trainer model to Oklahoma-based business services professionals so that they can offer employers a skills-based approach to HR practices. We are also working to build awareness of Skillful Job Posting Generator, our free, online tool that helps employers build skills-based job postings instantly.  With this guidance, employers will be able to attract the right talent for their open positions and develop a foundation for employee career advancement through skills-based pathways.

A group photo of Trevor Pruitt, Manager of Employer initiatives at Skillful, and Oklahoma workforce development trainers during the first Skillful train-the-trainer bootcamp.
Oklahoma workforce development trainers attend the first Skillful train-the-trainer bootcamp.

Oklahoma is invested in helping employers to adopt a skills-based approach, as it helps to create a more equitable job market. With this focus, candidates are evaluated based on their skills and abilities, and not screened out because they lack traditional academic credentials, such as a bachelor’s degree, or face other barriers to employment. When employers better define the skills they need, hire based on an individual’s skills (not solely on credentials and job history), and expand training at every stage of a career, they expand opportunity for all.

This year long partnership is a new type of collaboration and approach which will allow Skillful to more rapidly share our unique model. Check back for more updates on our progress in Oklahoma. We look forward to partnering with more states in the future!