PONCA CITY, Okla. — The Oklahoma Career Technology Center and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced new educational programs to help curb the workforce shortage in the meat processing industry.

Oklahoma Career Tech includes Pioneer Technology Center in Ponca City.

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 throughout Oklahoma.

Central Technology Center plans to offer multi-level, 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.

Dr. Marcie Mack, state director of Career Tech, explained how Career Tech began the process of offering these courses by meeting with an industry panel to determine the specific criteria and credentials they need in their workforce.

“Right now, we have the new opportunity for individuals to enroll on our website in three meat certification programs,” Mack 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.”

For more information about PTC, call (580) 718-4312 or visit www.pioneertech.edu.

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