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

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