Communications & Public Affairs
August 27, 2019

Contact: State Rep. Mickey Dollens
Phone: (405) 557-7371

Blancett, Dollens and Wallace to Host Study on Apprenticeships

OKLAHOMA CITY – Three Oklahoma lawmakers are set to host an interim study to look at how an apprenticeship tax credit could encourage more businesses to enroll in the state’s registered apprenticeship program. The meeting will be held ‪Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the State Capitol in Room ‪432A.

The Apprenticeship Tax Credit Study, hosted by Appropriation and Budget Chair Kevin Wallace (R-Wellston), Rep. Meloyde Blancett (D-Tulsa) and Rep. Mickey Dollens (D-OKC), will look into how state apprenticeship tax credits are currently used in other states and the effectiveness of tax credits for employers that use apprenticeship programs.

“Offering paid apprenticeships is another tool that helps Oklahoma build a skilled and trained workforce, which in turn has the potential to expand jobs in our state and boost our economy,” Wallace said. “It’s certainly worth exploring whether offering a tax incentive or credit for companies offering these opportunities would result in a positive return on investment for our state.”

State registered apprenticeships offer lucrative opportunities for all Oklahomans. However, these career pathways are largely dependent on the various businesses that willingly register in the state-regulated apprenticeship program.

“The Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development has created a strong foundation for apprenticeships, which offer various career pathways for all Oklahomans,” Dollens said. “Now we are looking at ways to encourage more employers to register their business under the apprenticeship program. Other states have had success with offering an apprenticeship tax credit. Our study will determine if this incentive is a worthwhile policy proposal that will benefit our state’s economy and citizens.”

Diversity in an economy can be the difference between a flourishing community and a stagnate one.

“Anyone that has spent time in Oklahoma communities knows that there is a demand for jobs that pay liveable wages and provide benefits,” Blancett said. “Through a strong apprenticeship program, we can work toward the goal of increasing these types of employment opportunities, and we can do it in a way that is beneficial to the company, the employee and the community.”

The study will include the following presenters:

  • Larry Brouk, Business Agent Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 334L
  • Emily Crouch, Vice President of Government Affairs at the State Chamber
  • Scott Fry, Dave Stewart, Liberty Sheer, Mid-America Industrial Park
  • Sharron Harrison, Director of Workforce Development and Community Partnerships at OK Manufacturing alliance
  • Dr. Marci Mack, State Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
  • Tony Mastin, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Tax Commission
  • Jenna Morey, Vice President of Community Workforce
  • Carla Whitlock, Senior Apprenticeship Consultant at Apprenticeship Carolina
  • Tim Yaciuk, Executive Director IEC-OKC