Rogers State University and RSU Public Television this week publicly launched RSU Works, the university’s career advancement learning program.
RSU Works, found at www.rsuworks.com, features online workforce training options to help individuals, businesses and professional organizations provide job readiness for Oklahomans, earn skill certifications for current or future employees, and boost workforce development efforts statewide. The program centers around an online learning platform where individuals can complete skills training, industry certification, or personal enrichment through 4,000 available courses, including more than 300 certification and career prep programs in Oklahoma’s highest demand fields.
Oklahoma companies, small businesses to corporate offices, along with local community organizations can offer RSU Works programs to current employees to upscale job skills and even design onboarding training packages to ensure success of new hires. Course offerings come in self-paced, instructor-led and mentor-led formats. RSU Works learning programs are scalable from high school students to working adults.
“RSU Works is a great new tool that serves the university’s mission to provide educational opportunities to Oklahomans,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. “This helps prepare Oklahomans to achieve individual success while also creating a positive impact on our state’s business climate through education.”
Fifteen key business and industry categories include aerospace and defense; business and finance; design, media and web; energy and construction; ethics and legal; healthcare; information technology; logistics and operations; mining and manufacturing; MSHA and OHSA; personal development; professional certificates; teaching and education; and tourism, hospitality and gaming.
RSU WORKS offerings align with the Governor’s Council for Workforce and Economic Development’s mission to expand and improve the state’s workforce, which has been identified as key to attracting future investment in the state, providing better jobs and pay for workers, said RSU TV General Manager Royal Aills, who has overseen the development and rollout for the online program. RSU Works is being offered by the university and RSU Public TV through its partnership with Vegas PBS, which operates similar programs in four other states.
Prior to its public launch, RSU Works held focus group and individual meetings with leading regional business and industry owners and management, Chambers of Commerce directors, the leadership of Oklahoma’s state and regional Workforce Investment programs, One Stop Job Centers and the Native American tribes to assess the interest and need for an online skills and career advancement training solution.
“The feedback was most favorable to an online option in the northeastern and Tulsa metro region,” Aills said. “We see RSU Works as another tool in northeast Oklahoma’s workforce development toolbox. We are diversifying educational choice and expanding training capacity in our service region. Our goal is to provide training solutions that deliver job skills, career advancement and lifelong learning anywhere, anytime on any media.”
Michelle Bish, Executive Director of the Northeast Oklahoma Workforce Development Board, said some of the greatest barriers jobseekers face are transportation and childcare issues as they try to develop or upgrade skills needed to land a job. These obstacles are removed through the convenience of the 24/7 nature of an online learning program like RSU Works.
John Feary, Executive Director of the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority, said a workforce development program like RSU Works is advantageous to area jobseekers. “RSU Works will allow those people who are underemployed to advance their skills, make more money, provide better for their families and hopefully set the path for that next generation of people seeking out those educational opportunities,” he said.
Grand River Dam Authority CEO Dan Sullivan said RSU Works provides a new path for Oklahoma’s workforce needs. “What we’ve done in the past isn’t what needs to be done in the future,” he said. “Being flexible, being able to provide component pieces that are easily accessible is really what’s going to benefit workforce development and the RSU Works program does that and provides a real benefit to businesses.”