This week I am excited to announce that our application to the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development to be designated as a Healthcare Center for Workforce Excellence has been approved! JAMM, which stands for Johnston, Atoka, Marshall and Murray Counties, is a grassroots workforce development effort. We have come together and recognized that with healthcare being one of our top industries for the communities, we have an opportunity to build the businesses and focus attention on creating a ready and able worker population for this sector.

Strong partnerships with our post-secondary education institutions like Murray State College, East Central University and Career Technology Centers in the area, K-12 school districts and our healthcare businesses are making this possible. Our county leads, as I call them, consist of the Johnston County Chamber, Atoka City Industrial Development Authority, the Marshall County Chamber and Murray County Development Authority. We also have representatives from OG&E, Choctaw Nation, and Southern Workforce Board on our executive team.

We’re taking information from monthly meetings about barriers and opportunities and are working as a team to come up with the best ways to help one another. This works because the right hand knows what the left is doing. For instance, if K-12 and post-secondary are aware of what skills students are lacking going into the workforce, they can make changes to align students better. If our healthcare businesses know what schools need to meet ICAP requirements, they can make more opportunities available for internships, job shadowing and scholarships!

Being designated as a center for excellence is only the beginning of the work. We have set strategic goals and objectives to move the mission of the program forward. We’re looking for funding opportunities to help ease the load. The work being done to push this along is accomplished by people that have full time jobs. The legislature is working to make some funds available to help but we’re starting with as many free resources as we can get our hands on and with the little time we have in our day-to-day.

Designation also means that the Oklahoma Department of Commerce will be promoting our communities and pushing new healthcare business ventures to this area. We’re creating new economic development opportunities!

I am working on building a website with information about the Center with resources for starting in the healthcare field. Whether you have a child interested in pursuing a degree or certificate or you are looking for a change in your career, we want to connect you with resources that will get you trained and placed in a job in this area. For more information, please contact me anytime!

-Jordyn Frazier, Executive Director
Johnston County Chamber of Commerce

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