March 16, 2015
Governor Mary Fallin, along with state agencies and local organizations, will host the initial Oklahoma Job and Resource Fair, which will connect job seekers with employment opportunities and resources. The job fair is meant, in part, to assist with the economic effects of the downturn in the state’s energy sector.
The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. March 26 at the Western Technology Center, 301 Western Drive, in Elk City.
The governor has directed Secretary of Education and Workforce Natalie Shirley and Secretary of Commerce and Tourism Deby Snodgrass and their staffs to work with the energy sector and non-profit organizations to help displaced workers transition to new job and career opportunities while also meeting the immediate needs of families.
“I know this is a stressful time for laid-off workers and their families,” said Fallin. “State agencies are trying to streamline the process for these displaced workers to learn of available services, including resume building, re-employment opportunities and health and service benefits. Non-profit organizations are demonstrating the Oklahoma Standard by supporting families and addressing their immediate needs.”
Oil Patch Chaplains, a faith-based organization, is coordinating with local organizations and churches throughout the region to provide resources such as food, clothing and health care if needed at a later time.
The Oklahoma Job and Resource Fair will have a Rapid Response presentation from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Rapid Response activities are designed to quickly address employee, employer and community needs when a layoff or closure is imminent. Employees are educated about the assistance available to them, such as re-employment services, unemployment insurance, child care assistance, health insurance, training opportunities and other supportive services. These services are aimed at helping transition the workers from notification of layoff to re-employment.
A career fair for those who are seeking employment will also be held at the event. Chambers of commerce and area economic developers are working to have companies that are hiring to have booths at the event. Western Technology Center advisers along with representatives from Southwestern Oklahoma State University will be available to discuss additional training and re-education that might be needed to place individuals into new careers.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services and the Oklahoma State Department of Health will be present to provide information about available programs and facilitate application. Families will be able to sign up for WIC benefits by bringing a photo ID, proof of residency and income verification. Parents and children must be present to qualify. Vouchers will be printed and brought to the technology center, or may be mailed to the family.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield will have an immunization van at the event. A photo ID, proof of residency and an insurance card if the family has insurance will be needed for immunizations.
The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief will provide lunch for those attending.
The Elk City event is the first of several Oklahoma Job and Resource Fairs being planned across the state. They are a part of the governor’s Oklahoma Works initiative, a state-driven workforce and jobs initiative. The goal is to help give Oklahomans the work skills and education they need to find good-paying, fulfilling careers. It's also to ensure that Oklahoma businesses have the access they need to the educated and skilled workforce that today's modern economy demands.
The Oklahoma Job and Resource Fair is being hosted by the Office of the Governor, Oil Patch Chaplains, Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Office of the Secretary of Education and Workforce Development, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Human Services and State Chamber of Oklahoma. Local partners include Western Technology Center, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, business partners and faith-based and community organizations.
For more information on this and future job fair events, visit OklahomaWorks.gov.