Monthly Archives: August 2019

What It Takes – CareerTech State Director Welcomes Students


Students in Oklahoma CareerTech programs earn credits toward high school graduation as well as the opportunity to prepare for industry recognized certifications and credentials and licenses.

CareerTech Champions

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.

Tarence McLane – Jim E. Hamilton Skills Center

Electrical trades program was the spark this offender needed to get his life started.

THEN: Two stints in jail and two failed attempts at drug rehab. Tarence McLane was on aTarenceMcLane downward spiral before he was accepted into the electrical trades technology program at Jim E. Hamilton Skills Center. That program was a game changer for Tarence, giving him the skills he needed to become a residential, commercial/industrial or maintenance electrician. Tarence said at the Skills Center, he learned:

  • Knowledge of basic safety and how to use specialty electrical tools.
  • How to read blueprints.
  • Career readiness skills that helped him get a job after his release.
  • Code and licensing requirements.
  • Residential, commercial, industrial and motor control wiring techniques.

Tarence knew he desperately needed to change his life, and change it he did. Since his release, he has worked as an electrical inspector for Devon Energy and electrical superintendent for both MMR and Quanta Services. He credits his instructor for much of his success.

“Kevin Copeland was a great instructor who took time for his students,” he said.

NOW: Tarence is no longer using drugs, and he’s taking care of his wife and children. He has even worked with other Skills Centers graduates to help them get jobs and tools.

“I do my best to give back to the CareerTech program and its students when I have the opportunity,” he said.

Tarence works as an inspector and construction manager for the instrumentation and electrical department at WaterBridge Resources. He oversees the company’s electrical construction contractors in the West Texas oilfields.

“My family and I are so thankful CareerTech was an option for me. It is literally what saved my life.”

Tarence McLane, electrician

Technology Centers of the CareerTech Education System

CareerTech’s technology centers provide cost-effective training throughout Oklahoma.

FY18 Technology Centers EnrollmentsThe foundation for Oklahoma’s statewide network of 29 technology center districts, operating a total of 58 campuses statewide, was laid in 1966 when Oklahoma voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing the establishment of what were then called area vocational-technical schools.

One of the main goals of these schools was to provide cost-effective vocational education. The amendment allowed school districts to join together to form a vo-tech district with an independent board of education and its own locally approved tax base. The new school could then offer specialized occupational training programs that sending schools could not afford to offer, or for which they might not have enough enrollment to justify the offering.

Gov. Dewey Bartlett, who campaigned on the issue of industrial expansion, championed the formation of these new schools as the linchpin of his efforts to diversify Oklahoma’s economy, previously so dependent on oil and agriculture. He knew that these schools would teach high school students the technical skills that a diversified Oklahoma economy would need as well as provide Oklahoma adults the opportunity to upgrade existing skills or learn new skills. He also believed these schools would evolve into a critical recruiting tool to attract new jobs and new investments to Oklahoma. Time, and hard work, has proved him right.

Oklahoma’s technology centers serve full-time students, both high school pupils and adult learners. Also, district residents, usually adults, flock to the centers to learn new skills or enhance existing ones in popular short-term courses. While high school students attend tuition-free, adult students are charged nominal tuition to offset costs. Students are frequently able to earn credit hours for their studies from local colleges.

In FY18, 20,971 high school students enrolled in Oklahoma’s technology centers. Most attend approximately three hours per day, either in the morning or the afternoon. Due to increased graduation requirements, centers are adapting schedules and pursuing other avenues to provide students with the flexibility they need to attend. The centers also serve more than 10,000 full-time adult enrollments.

On a statewide average, technology centers receive about two-thirds of their funding at the local level. The remaining is a mixture of state and federal funds.

For more information click here:   Technology Centers