The board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) appointed Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) President Jerry Steward to the Commission on Economic Workforce Development.
The Commission on Economic and Workforce Development is charged with examining ways to close the American skills gaps by sharply focusing career and technical education on preparing students with the knowledge and skills required for existing and future jobs in regional and global economies; showcase cutting-edge innovation with proven outcomes that improve student success; and offer affordable, high quality technical assistance in areas that support student success.
President Steward is a passionate advocate for economic and workforce development efforts. Steward made significant contributions to those efforts by playing a key role in major projects such as the development of the college’s Professional Development Institute and the OCCC Capitol Hill Center. Most recently, he put forth a proposal for the development of a new Workforce Development Center which will house educational and technical programs that specifically cater to workforce needs. The project is set to break ground in 2019.
“Education is a crucial component to economic and workforce development,â€ says President Jerry Steward. “We are in a unique position to collaborate and implement solutions that advance our communities and brighten the future for the next generation of workers.â€
During the college’s early years, President Steward actively supported the growth of OCCC, eventually becoming a regent for the college and would later serve in key administrative roles such as general counsel, vice president for community development, and executive vice president. He was also a professor of political science. Over the course of his career, President Steward provided leadership in securing over $48 million for Oklahoma City Community College.
President Steward began his professional career as a public-school teacher. After graduating from law school, he established his own law firm, Steward Law Firm, and was a senior partner for over 20 years. He is licensed to practice law by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court for both the Western and Eastern District of Oklahoma, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
As part of his ongoing community outreach efforts, President Steward serves as a member on several boards; including the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Council of Presidents, the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society, the State Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma, Allied Arts, the Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors. Throughout his professional career, he has held many other positions of leadership in the community. He is also a member of Leadership Oklahoma, Class XX.
OCCC enrolls more than 20,000 students annually. The college is currently the largest adult basic education provider in the state. OCCC offers a full range of associate degree programs that prepare students to transfer to baccalaureate institutions while other degree and certificate programs prepare students for immediate employment. At OCCC, students receive a quality education with small class sizes, dedicated professors and leadership opportunities. Students can choose from more than 60 major fields of study and participate in any of the 40+ clubs and organizations. For more information about OCCC, visit www.occc.edu.