Tuition-Free Programs to Accelerate Employment Opportunities for Oklahomans

Tuition-Free Programs Announced

Governor Kevin Stitt today announced a $1 million grant through the CARES Act Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund to Tri County Tech of Bartlesville to launch its Skills to Rebuild initiative in partnership with several local employers.

Tri County Tech’s Skills to Rebuild initiative will provide accelerated programs to train 375 individuals to immediately enter well-paying jobs that are in high demand in the region, generating an annual payroll of $10 million in Oklahoma’s private sector. The CARES Act grant will allow for Tri County Tech to make these programs tuition-free* for students who complete the programs.

“A new and emerging workforce must be upskilled and trained to move the needle on Oklahoma’s 12% unemployment rate, and it is incumbent upon education in Oklahoma to innovate and respond quickly. Tri County Tech is breaking the mold of continuing education by offering several accelerated courses targeted for industries where there is known demand and ample opportunity for career growth.”

Governor Kevin Stitt

Tri County Tech’s Skills to Rebuild program will get students into the workforce in as little as 2 months by offering accelerated certifications in the areas of accounting, health care, nursing, child development, computer networking/cybersecurity, and manufacturing. Skills to Rebuild is unique in that it shortens the traditional time it takes for a student to complete these programs by an average of 20% while maintaining high educational standards for certifications and graduation. Furthermore, most courses will be offered virtually and on evenings and weekends to accommodate working students.

“Unemployment is not a sustainable economic solution. Oklahomans want and need to get back to work and Tri County’s Skills to Rebuild is here to help. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unstable and uncertain economic environment, but Skills to Rebuild is the solution to train Oklahomans for re-entering the workforce with gratifying, upwardly mobile careers in a rapid amount of time.”

Lindel Fields | Tri County Tech Superintendent & CEO

Due to the deep recession caused by the pandemic, national economists have predicted many jobs will disappear for a long period of time or all together. The silver lining is that there are many established and emerging industries in desperate need of workers. For example, in Tri County’s district that serves Washington, Nowata, and Osage counties, Tri County Tech has identified a need for over 200 frontline nurse assistants and 60 LPNs.

“The Tri County Tech’s Skills to Rebuild project is an innovative educational initiative for essential workers on the frontlines of caring for Oklahomans. Ascension St. John Jane Phillips will be taking full advantage of these quality training opportunities. The accessibility and flexibility of these certified courses allow the underemployed and unemployed to immediately gain the skills needed to influence their lives, businesses, and the economy in Oklahoma.”

Mike Moore | President & COO of Ascension St. John Jane Phillips

The program is open to Oklahoma residents with the first round of classes slated to begin in August. For more information visit:

Tri County Tech, a 2018 Malcolm Baldrige Recipient, has one of the highest completion rates in the nation at 95%. Over the past 10 years, Tri County Tech has seen a 117% increase in students enrolling, with 67% going on to earn additional or higher levels of certifications and degrees.

Bartlesville, OK | July 10, 2020

To see the official press release from Governor Kevin Stitt and State of Oklahoma Education, click below:

* The Skills to Rebuild Scholarship is for Oklahoma residents only. The Skills to Rebuild Scholarships will be awarded to Tri County Tech students enrolled in an adult Flex or Fast Track program during the 2020-2021 school year. The Skills to Rebuild Scholarship is contingent upon the successful completion of the training or program. Students who drop out during the first two weeks of the program will be responsible for 50% of the tuition and testing fee if the Accuplacer assessment was taken. Students who drop out after the second week of the program will be responsible for 100% of the tuition and testing fee if Accuplacer was taken.

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