About Us

The Southern Workforce Board is a community based not-for-profit entity operated by a volunteer Board that is business-led by members representing the community and who have an interest in workforce and economic development issues. 

How We Got Here

Signed into law on July 22, 2014, WIOA is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system in 15 years. The law supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

WIOA reinforces the partnerships and strategies necessary for the workforce development system and one-stops to provide job seekers and workers with high-quality career services, education and training, and supportive services they need to get good jobs and stay employed, and to help businesses find skilled workers and access other supports, including education and training for their current workforce.

WIOA empowers State and Local elected officials and private sector-led workforce boards with the responsibility of developing a strategic, integrated plan that supports economic growth and labor force needs intended to grow the capacity and performance of the workforce system.

Local Workforce Development Boards

The primary framework behind the Southern Workforce Board is to serve as the community leader and catalyst for alignment of workforce with economic development. The Board will provide policy guidance that will allow the staff, Oklahoma Works Centers, and partners to create, within the Southern Workforce Development Area, an environment where every person maximizes his or her career potential, and all employers and businesses have the human resources they need to grow and prosper.

Local Workforce Board Membership

map of 2017 workforce development areas

Representatives must either be the owner or chief executive of the business or be an executive with optimum policy making or hiring authority.

Workforce Boards are led by Private Business 

51% Members – Private Business

20% from the workforce—Labor & CBOs

29% System Partners, Education & Econ. Development

Appointed by Local Elected Officials


The Board's Vision

The Southern Workforce Board envisions a high performance workforce in which partnerships proactively identify workforce needs and facilitate solutions

The Board's Mission

We implement the strategic process that aligns workforce with economic development in partnership with the community to maximize opportunities and address needs.

The Board's Strategic Economic & Workforce Development Goals

  • Identify and provide on-going access to quality services that meet the current and future workforce needs of youth, job-seekers, and employers and businesses;
  • Identify trends and opportunities in the workforce area and local labor markets;
  • Report to the community on outcomes, trends and issues;
  • Maintain and publicizing an inventory of programs and services to the businesses of the workforce area in order to meet their workforce needs;
  • Partner for education and training services to meet the needs of the underemployed, unemployed, and newly emerging workers;
  • Design and facilitate a framework for coordinating public policy impacting workforce development issues in Southern Oklahoma