Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.
Jimmy Hollis – Granite Skills Center
Skills Centers grad chose the right pipeline for success.
THEN: The maintenance supervisor at the Oklahoma State Reformatory, who wound up on the inside of the bars for drug trafficking. Jimmy Hollis said he was making a lot of bad decisions in his life at that time, and called his three-year incarceration “the worst thing that ever happened” to him.
Eventually Jimmy started making better decisions, including the decision to enroll in the Skills Center’s plumbing program. He had worked part-time as a plumbing apprentice before he was incarcerated, but even with his background, he said he learned a lot from CareerTech’s self-paced plumbing modules. At Granite Skills Center, Jimmy
- Completed a 1,050 hour plumbing program.
- Prepared for the plumbing journeyman exam.
- Passed the journeyman exam before his release.
NOW: Running his own service truck for Andy’s Plumbing in Lawton. Jimmy earns $22.50 an hour, and he even supervises a helper.
“The CareerTech instructors pushed me to succeed,” he said, adding, “I use the skills I learned in the plumbing program every day on the job.”
CareerTech currently offers training at 16 sites across Oklahoma.
“The plumbing program opened my eyes to the shortage of skilled tradesmen”
Jimmy Hollis, plumbing journeyman