Oklahoma CareerTech is joining other career and technology education entities around the country this month to celebrate Career and Technical Education Month. Each year this national awareness campaign celebrates the value of career and technology education and the achievements and accomplishments of programs across the country.
Oklahoma CareerTech touches and improves the lives of state residents in many ways. Through more than 522,000 enrollments, the system provides education and training for individuals and companies in a myriad of specialized and customized opportunities.
One of the strengths of our CareerTech System is its accessibility. Students in grades six through 12 can receive CareerTech hands-on learning while exploring career paths. More than 139,000 students take advantage of this opportunity. Young people experience career options and get to see first-hand how their passions can fuel education and training for careers.
More than 20,000 high school and adult students attend one of Oklahoma’s 29 technology centers, and adult enrollments in career programs, industry-specific training and career and development training total more than 339,000. A study conducted by economist Mark Snead found that graduates of CareerTech programs in technology centers annually add more than $3.5 billion to Oklahoma’s economy. CareerTech students earned more than 15,000 certificates and/or industry-recognized credentials. Through CareerTech programs 94 percent of students were employed, entered the military or continued their education.
Another valuable component of Oklahoma’s CareerTech System is specialized occupational training offered to more than 1,800 adult and juvenile offenders at Skills Centers sites throughout the state. These individuals are completing programs that will allow them to earn living wages for themselves and their families when they are released.
More than 88,000 Oklahoma students learn important leadership skills as members of the seven CareerTech student organizations: Business Professionals of America; DECA; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; FFA; HOSA; SkillsUSA; and Technology Student Association. According to a study published by the National Research Center for CTE, participating in career and technology student organizations increases students’ academic motivation, academic engagement, grades, career self-efficacy, college aspirations and employability skills.
Not only does Oklahoma CareerTech work to fill the workforce pipeline through its Business and Industry Services, in FY17 CareerTech worked directly with more than 7,800 companies, helping them increase profitability through training, entrepreneurial services, bid assistance and more.
Individuals who dropped out of high school can also receive help from Oklahoma CareerTech. In FY17, CareerTech served more than 1,000 students through Dropout Recovery and served more than 17,000 individuals through Adult Basic Education, which offers high school equivalency, English as a second language and literacy.
Through all of these delivery arms, Oklahoma CareerTech plays a vital role in advancing Oklahoma workforce and powering our economy.