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U.S. Chamber Workforce Program Selects OK Chamber

Monday, September 29, 2003 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Tulsa Metro Chamber and Workforce Tulsa to the Workforce Innovation Networks, a national partnership that works with employer organizations on the cutting-edge of workforce development to meet the needs of their member firms for employees at the entry-level and above.

"Hiring, training, and retaining qualified employees is a top priority for almost every business owner," said Beth B. Buehlmann, executive director of the U.S. Chamber's Center for Workforce Preparation. "Tulsa Metro Chamber's success at partnering with Workforce Tulsa can be a learning tool for other local chambers that want to have the same kind of bottom-line impact for their members and local workers."

The Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce joins six local chambers and 14 other Workforce Innovation Networks partners to help improve workforce systems, provide targeted training and services, and improve the hiring and promotion of workers with multiple barriers to successful employment.

"Our goal is to create and sustain a workforce development system that engages employers with the publicly funded workforce system," said Steve Gilbert, CEO of Workforce Tulsa. "It's time to bring the community together around workforce development."

The main priorities for the Tulsa program will be to engage business leadership in an industry roundtable process; formalize and launch business services teams; promote the use of employer services and unique on-line tools to bring employer involvement to scale; and incorporate new lessons for continuous improvement.

The Center for Workforce Preparation, established in 1990, is a nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that develops workforce strategies for businesses, chambers of commerce, and communities to hire, train, retain, and advance skilled workers in the 21st century.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses, 3,000 state and local chambers, 830 business associations, and 92 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.

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