Tulsa Teachers, Chambers, Work To 'Strengthen Workforce Pipeline'

Thursday, August 4th 2016, 6:53 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Thursday, some Tulsa teachers took a field trip to learn about some jobs their students might need to consider once they graduate.

In year's past, the group visited the Port of Catoosa and the downtown banks. Thursday, it was the Cancer Treatment Center to learn about healthcare.

Fifty Tulsa teachers spent the day in class, learning about jobs their students might want to consider. There are plenty of jobs in healthcare, and it's not just doctors.

Cancer Treatment Center CEO Jay Foley said, “We have individuals who are cooks and housekeepers all the way up to doctors and surgeons. So it's not just doctors and nurses we're recruiting for, it's all sort of individuals across the spectrum.”

It's a Chamber of Commerce idea to get teachers with employers - they call it strengthening the workforce pipeline.

"We know that students are not making the connection each and every day of what's required of them to take the jobs, and we have a little bit of unawareness of what's available to them. I think they don't know there's a nuclear medicine technician here and an acupuncturist and an amazing variety of jobs for them to take after high school," said Kuma Roberts with the Tulsa Chamber.

The teachers visited every department in the hospital to talk with employees and learn what kind of education and aptitude is needed.

Webster High School teacher John Wells said, “I feel there's a disconnect from what we do here in education and just get them ready for college, but we need to be thinking, what's the next step? Where are they going? So we should be preparing students for careers and not just post-secondary education."

Schools are talking more about college and careers, and it comes from the realization that not everyone needs or wants to go to college - and good jobs don't always require it.