Oklahoma CareerTech and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced new educational programs this week to help curb a workforce shortage in the meat processing industry.
The curriculum was designed to encourage more commodity processing within the state and help address the ever-growing labor shortage within meat processing plants across the state. It also helps to supply a skilled workforce to rural areas and processing plants across the state.
“This is an exciting day for the Oklahoma meat processing sector,” said Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma secretary of agriculture. “I am very proud to be here especially because this solves problems across the board. A lot of times, we just address one piece of something but this provides a solution to both our producers and consumers.”
Central Technology Center plans to offer multilevel, customizable, online courses to provide students with the certification that aligns with the American Meat Science Association while still supporting industry need. It will provide workforce development and training within a timely manner.
Marcie Mack, state director of CareerTech, explained at the announcement event how CareerTech began the process of offering these courses by meeting with an industry panel to determine the specific criteria and credentials they are needing in their workforce.
“Right now, we have the new opportunity for individuals to enroll on our website in three meat certification programs,” she said. “The initial phase will be online to help students get their foot in the door. Eventually, we will move to in-person classes for courses such as carcass harvesting.”
You can find more information about the courses on the CareerTech website.