Improving the rural workforce: small town stories and takeaways

By dpoig Feb 7, 2024

Takeaways for improving rural workforce: Bring together students, employers and multiple levels of education Build and document employee skills with micro-credentials Use apprenticeships to build skills, increase awareness of local job options Stitch together multiple programs to build your own workforce To add a new program in the public schools, hire dedicated program staff (at […]

Photos of diverse people in the rural workforce at various jobs

Takeaways for improving rural workforce:

  • Bring together students, employers and multiple levels of education
  • Build and document employee skills with micro-credentials
  • Use apprenticeships to build skills, increase awareness of local job options
  • Stitch together multiple programs to build your own workforce
  • To add a new program in the public schools, hire dedicated program staff (at least part time)

At the Teeny Tiny Town Summit held in Woodward, Oklahoma, a panel of local people addressed rural workforce challenges and what actions they were taking to address them.

The panelists were

And I’ll share some additional information from:

Bring together students, employers and multiple levels of education

To encourage local students to consider additional local career options, High Plains Technology Center offers TAP (Technical Applications Program) for sixth through 10th graders, Barclay Holt said. The project is for career exploration that leads into the full-time training programs at HPTC. Think hands-on welding, tool and equipment use. All of the kids get to see and participate in all of the education areas. It is held at Woodward schools in their existing buildings, and at other schools across the HPTC district.

This brings together the two levels of education (career tech and public schools) in a way that didn’t require a lot of new investment. They also partner with community leaders, business owners, and parents.