Category Archives: Career and Technology Education

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.

Buddy Pearce – Pontotoc Technology Center

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Firefighter followed his dream to the highest, driest, windiest, coldest continent on the planet.

THEN: After a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps, two years of college and an unsatisfying job in the oil and gas industry, Buddy Pearce needed a new challenge. He said the most exciting thing he could imagine was to be a firefighter, so he sold his Harley-Davidson motorcycle for tuition money and enrolled in the 20-week fire academy at Pontotoc Technology Center. Buddy said his instructors at Pontotoc:

  • Taught him the importance of honor, loyalty and hard work.
  • Helped him prepare for a number of certifications, including firefighter I and II, HAZMAT operations, EMT basics, CPR and first aid.
  • Made it possible for him to land a full-time firefighter/EMT job in Seminole.

Buddy said his instructors inspired him so much he began working part-time as an instructor for the academy.

“The instructors prepared us not only for the fire service, but also to lead successful lives,” he said.

NOW: Buddy served four years with the Seminole Fire Department. He left Oklahoma to accept a position with the Antarctic Fire Department, the only full-time professional fire department in Antarctica. He is deployed six to seven months a year at McMurdo Station, a U.S.-managed scientific research station. He returns to Oklahoma between contracts.

“I am now skilled enough in my craft that I have been able to follow my dreams,” he said.Buddy Pearce 2

“I absolutely use the skills I acquired at Pontotoc Technology Center every day of my life.”

Buddy Pearce
Antarctic firefighter

 

“Oklahoma CareerTech is Workforce and Economic Development”

February is CTE Month, but shouldn’t every month be about career and technology education?

For more than 100 years, Oklahoma’s system of career and technology education has focused on improving Oklahoma’s economy by offering individuals the training and skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and providing companies with the required workforce necessary to compete globally.

Watch Dr. Marcie Mack, State Director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, discuss the exciting opportunities that CareerTech offers…

 

 

Gordon Cooper Tech Breaks Ground for Public Safety Training Facility

05e610d7-aac8-44f4-9bb2-1f0d14e70d7eA large gathering of community leaders, school officials, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel broke ground on the Marty Lewis Public Safety Training Facility recently at Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

GCTC Board of Education President Gary Crain said the board decided to name the new building in honor of GCTC Superintendent Marty Lewis because he fostered a culture of united purpose and commitment to serve people of this area.

A retired Oklahoma Highway Patrol supervisor, Crain said providing the latest and best training for emergency responders can make the difference between life and death in a critical situation.

“Leaders in this area worked with the technology center without division on the common goal of making our communities safer,” he said.

Lewis, who plans to retire at the end of June, acknowledged the support his family received from emergency responders when his son was involved in a fatal accident on Turner Turnpike in 2010.

“The police, firefighters and paramedics of this area deserve our respect and the best education and training we can provide for the future and existing emergency workforce,” he said.

The $5 million facility adjacent to 45th Street and the GCTC south entrance will house training for area high school students and working law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs and paramedics.

The more than 20,000-square-feet facility contains four classrooms, a paramedic training lab, a firearm simulation room, a driving simulation room, a workout space, a large meeting room, a fire training tower and additional water features for fire equipment.

Construction is scheduled for completion in December.

CareerTech’s Business and Industry Services

Oklahoma CareerTech’s Business and Industry Services division has the resources to guide you through the maze of government contracting to help your company grow. Assistance for small business is available to train and retool workers or train a new workforce to guarantee production from day one. The CareerTech system also provides training and resources for volunteer firefighters and short term professional development for adults.

See what Business and Industry Services can do for YOU!

CareerTech Skills Centers – Changing Lives

At the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech, our Skills Centers division offers job training to juveniles under the supervision of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs. Programs like Cedar Canyon teach both job skills and life skills.

 

We See You

We’re more than Vo-Tech, we’re CareerTech, and we see YOU. Whether you’re getting a head start for college, or completing a career program, nothing teaches better than experience…and we have that in abundance. Keep striving, keep learning, and maximize your full potential!

CareerTech 2020 Agenda to Add High-Demand Programming

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A $21 million increase in funding would allow the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education to expand programming to fill Oklahoma’s skills gap.

ODCTE’s state appropriations request for fiscal year 2020 for the first regular session of the 57th Oklahoma Legislature targets narrowing Oklahoma’s skills gap through the proposed increase of $21 million that would allow CareerTech to achieve the following:

  • Fund more than 130 unfunded programs and provide for 90 new programs to be added to K-12 CareerTech offerings.
  • Add 12 new programs in state correctional facilities that would serve 500 to 600 more inmates.
  • Increase Training for Industry Programs by 10 percent to more than 3,200 enrollments.
  • Increase customized training by 10 percent to almost 300,000 enrollments.
  • Increase certifications/credentials annually by 5 percent, adding almost 2,400 more during three years.

“Oklahoma has a skills gap, and CareerTech has a solution,” said Marcie Mack, ODCTE state director. “Investing in CareerTech will produce more skilled workers for existing, unfilled Oklahoma jobs. It will invigorate program offerings in our K-12 schools and technology centers. It powers training programs for Oklahoma businesses, and it gives our incarcerated students a second chance at life.”

As a part of the appropriations request, $11.8 million would go toward paying the state’s obligation to fund the required health benefit allowance. If the state funds the current requirement, Mack said, it will immediately free up that amount to be redirected to CareerTech classrooms.

The appropriations request seeks a 14.8 percent increase over the FY19 budget of $120.4 million. While funds did increase in FY19 from FY18 levels, in the last 10 years Oklahoma CareerTech education has seen an overall reduction in general appropriations by 28 percent.

Industry leaders from across sectors that provide significant impact to Oklahoma’s economy emphasized the need to increase investments in career-ready education as a primary component of moving Oklahoma forward.

“The strongest pipeline to meet the demand in the agriculture industry is through CareerTech agricultural education and the FFA,” said Brent Kisling, Enid Regional Development Alliance executive director. “This investment in agricultural education, as well as other K-12 CareerTech programs would provide direct funding to classroom resources.

“I truly have never seen a more valuable program than Oklahoma FFA when it comes to instilling leadership and work ethic in our youth. CareerTech student organizations across the board add the workplace elements that help to make students successful. These programs are vital to training future generations.”

CareerTech’s skills gap solutions also help attract new businesses to the state and help existing businesses expand. In 2018 the CareerTech System served more than 6,900 companies, helping their employees gain new skills and adding new jobs to the Oklahoma economy.

“Solving the skills gap is at the forefront of an economic transformation pushing our state forward. CareerTech and their capabilities in upskilling workers, customizing training for industry and growing a pipeline of skilled workers is essential to keeping Oklahoma on the map for expanding and attracting companies to the state,” said David Stewart, chief administrative officer for MidAmerica Industrial Park and member of the State Board of Career and Technology Education.

Michael Culwell, campus director in Poteau at Kiamichi Technology Centers and president of the Oklahoma Association for Career and Technology Education, said, “Programs like welding technology, which give our students a high-quality wage for construction and manufacturing jobs that are in high demand in our area, should be expanded. The value of these programs and other CareerTech industry training programs are a priority to keeping Oklahoma’s future bright.”

Other items in the 2020 agenda include enriching work-based learning experiences, expanding professional development for CareerTech professionals and deploying new technology for career awareness. For an itemized list of all FY20 funding requests view the business plan and annual report for FY18 details.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA’S CAREERTECH SYSTEM

Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Education System is focused on developing a world-class workforce. This comprehensive system delivers educational experiences through 393 K-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 Skills Centers sites and 31 adult basic education providers and to more than 6,900 businesses. CareerTech’s mission is clear: to improve Oklahoma’s economy by providing individuals with the training and skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and by providing companies with the required workforce to compete globally. We are faced with a skills gap, and CareerTech has a solution.

For more about CareerTech visit OkCareerTech.org.
Learn more about the difference CareerTech makes for students.

Francis Tuttle Tech Opens Industrial Technology Center

Francis Tuttle Technology Center opened its new Industrial Technology Center on its Reno campus with a ceremony Monday afternoon. The building opened to students last week.francistuttleindustrialtech

The new building accommodates expanded career training offerings with programs in welding and advanced manufacturing that duplicate the programs at the Portland campus and an Adult and Career Development Lab with space for short-term programs.

The building allows Francis Tuttle to expand capacity for the welding and advanced manufacturing programs that consistently run at full capacity and makes programs more accessible to residents in the southern part of the technology center’s district.

More information about the grand opening and the programs can be found in an article in The Oklahoman.

Oklahoma’s National Career Readiness Certificate

The State of Oklahoma issues the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate™ as an assessment-based credential powered by ACT WorkKeys®.

The ACT National Career Readiness Certificate is an industry-recognized, portable, research-based credential that certifies essential skills needed for workplace success.

This credential is used across all sectors of the economy and documents the following cognitive skills:

  • Problem-solving.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Reading and using work-related text.
  • Applying information from workplace documents to solve problems.
  • Applying mathematical reasoning to work-related problems.
  • Setting up and performing work-related mathematical calculations.
  • Locating, synthesizing, and applying information that is presented graphically.
  • Comparing, summarizing, and analyzing information presented in multiple related graphics.

Individuals can earn the ACT NCRC by taking three WorkKeys® assessments.

  • Applied Math
  • Graphic Literacy
  • Workplace Documents

WorkKeys assessments measure real-world skills that employers believe are critical to job success.

Click HERE to learn more about OKCRCs!

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astellas“In a way, WorkKeys assists in turning the art of hiring the right candidate into more of a science. As a science-based company, that is very important to us.” – Pam Maguire, Sr. Human Resources Manager – Astellas Pharma Technologies, Inc.

 

EOC Tech engine build team wins nationals at SEMA

Note: The EOC team also placed fifth at the National PRI competition in Indianapolis in December. Team members each brought home $30,000 in scholarships.

The Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center’s engine build team members traveled to Las Vegas for the Specialty Equipment Market Association Auto Show to compete in the engine build competition — marking the ninth year EOC Tech has participated, and the third year they have left with a first place title.

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From left: Instructor Jim Lafevers, engine build team – Collin Dobson, Chris Hackney, Mikel Barba, Harrison Mayo, Bryce Pearson

Students Harrison Mayo, Collin Dodson, Chris Hackney, Bryce Pearson and Mikel Barba made up the engine build team. They competed in a total of three rounds over the course of the week and finished with a time of 18:35.6, making them the fastest team out of the 26 teams that competed.

“EOC Tech has competed in the engine build Competition for nine out of the 10 years that they have held this in Las Vegas,” Automotive instructor and engine build team adviser Jim LaFevers said, “Out of the nine years, we have won our district competition eight times and have won two national titles.”

Although taking apart and re-building an engine quickly and without error may be the primary goal of the competition, The engine build team is just that—a team, something LaFevers emphasizes to his students year after year.

“The most important thing I have learned through coaching this team and traveling with them over the years is that this is a team sport,” he said. “If they don’t work together, they fall apart and when they do, they are so much more successful. Finding the match to make the team is often the hardest part.”

Bryce Pearson, an automotive student and engine build team member was drawn to the team when he first enrolled in LaFevers automotive program and recognized the benefits that could follow if he participated in the competition.

“I wanted to be successful in something automotive and I thought this would be a great opportunity for that,” Collin Dodson said. “I’ve learned that if I dedicate myself and work hard with my teammates, I can achieve much more than I thought.”

The engine build teammates left Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 1 with their eye on an even bigger prize—the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) National Title.

LaFevers said students who have won the national competition in the past have gone to the NASCAR Technical Institute, worked in dealerships or continued their education as an automotive machinist with the money they received from the competition – something Dobson is considering himself.

“My future plans are to hopefully win at PRI in December and continue to study and become a diesel technician or maybe some sort of high performance technician.”

Win or lose, LaFevers is happy to encourage students to compete, learn about the industry and help them set goals for their future—and the engine build team is just one tool he uses to do that.

“This competition, learning to work as a team and even just meeting new students from all over the world, it helps them jump-start their career in the automotive trade. It helps them build their confidence and then away they go, working toward their dreams.”

Sadie Heath, Marketing Assistant
Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center

E:  sheath@eoctech.org; P:  405.390.9591 ext. 221

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