Category Archives: Career and Technology Education

Northeast Tech gets Google grant

Northeast Technology Center was recently awarded a $55,000 grant by Google for its virtual welding training project.

The donation will help Northeast Tech use virtual tools to improve the hands-on learning process for students in the welding program, said Roger Crutchfield, superintendent. For more, about the grant, visit the News on 6 website.

Tinker AFB donation will help Mid-Del Tech students

Mid-Del Technology Center recently received a KC-135 outboard wing for its aircraft sheet metal program, thanks to Tinker Air Force Base.

After learning of a need for students to learn to drill and shoot rivets on aircraft curved surfaces, Tinker officials worked with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona to ship the outboard wing. Tinker received the wing in September, but Mid-Del was unable to get it then because of COVID-19. Mid-Del worked with a shipping company, which delivered the wing this month. It will be used to help the students understand how to work on curved surfaces.

Oklahoma CareerTech uses virtual format to introduce students to career possibilities

More than 16,000 students in 20 PK-12 and technology center districts across Oklahoma are learning more about nontraditional careers in a new Oklahoma CareerTech initiative.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education launched the VirtualJobShadow.com initiative as a way to encourage more students to investigate nontraditional careers. A nontraditional career is one in which less than 25 percent of the labor force is of one gender.

VirtualJobShadow.com is an online, video-based exploration and career planning platform designed to help students and job seekers learn more about themselves, career pathways and skills needed for independent living. It features videos showing a day in the life of men and women at employer worksites.

“This new platform empowers students to learn more about careers that suit their interests,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director. “Through hundreds of professionally produced videos, our goal is to boost student awareness, interest and eventual employment in nontraditional careers.”

The platform turned out to be ideal for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic because it is video-based, said Steven Aragon, equity/diversity professional development specialist at ODCTE. In addition to workplaces, the videos show students in classrooms learning the skills they will need for various careers.

“There’s one with a female auto mechanics instructor teaching female students how to balance tires,” Aragon said. “We know in education — and other areas, for that matter — we need to see people who look like us. It’s one of the biggest ways to get students excited and thinking about possibilities they’ve never thought about — seeing people who look like them doing things.”

ODCTE sent recruitment letters to technology center and PK-12 school districts last summer with the hope of reaching 15,000 students in Oklahoma. Districts submitted proposals, and those approved began using VirtualJobShadow.com in September, Aragon said. To date, about 20 districts use the pilot program, with more than 16,400 student users. Tulsa Public Schools has more than 14,000 student users alone, Aragon said.

High Plains Technology Center in Woodward uses VirtualJobShadow.com in its Technical Applications Program to introduce elementary and middle school students to career and technology education.

“The students are exploring careers and being exposed to things they didn’t know. It is opening their eyes to the endless career options available,” said Danna Goss, HPTC middle school TAP instructor.

VirtualJobShadow.com also includes curriculum and tools to help instructors create lessons for their students, along with reporting tools that can help instructors, administrators and parents track students’ progress and career interests.

Assessment of the initiative, which uses money from the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, will begin in the spring, Aragon said, with data collection starting in March. ODCTE will make a decision about continuing the program based on the data, he explained.

“If it is doing what we want it to do and making a difference, we’ll keep doing it,” he said.

For more information about VirtualJobShadow.com, go to https://www.virtualjobshadow.com/ or contact Steven Aragon at steven.aragon@careertech.ok.gov or 405-743-5180. To see a video about the initiative, go to https://www.virtualjobshadow.com/partners/non-traditional-careers-overview/.

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 399 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.

The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.

CareerTech Horizon Podcast: “Showing You Care”

2020 has been called a lot of things, and most of them aren’t very nice. But at least one positive situation has emerged from this challenging year – a profound appreciation of our frontline health care workers.

As COVID-19 fills hospitals with critically ill patients, nursing homes battle the virus among its patients and staff, and front line nurses give countless COVID tests and now…vaccines…now, more than ever, Oklahomans owe a debt of gratitude to workers in the health care industry and those who train health care workers.

In this season finale episode:

  • We talk about the worldwide nursing shortage and its effect on Oklahoma’s health care system.
  • Connie Romans tells us about a generous gift from a CareerTech grad that’s benefiting health care educators and students across the state.
  • We hear about some of the challenges of training students for health careers – in the middle of a pandemic.
  • We’re reminded that men and women can follow whatever career path they choose…especially in health care!

You can subscribe to our podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, TuneIn, Stitcher, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CareerTech Horizon.”

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @CT_Horizon, or on Facebook to stay up to date with this ongoing project. Visit our website for show notes, episode trailers, and bonus content “Beyond Your Horizon” at http://cthorizon.org

Beyond Your Horizon — Articles, videos, and bonus content

Getting Started in Health Careers
EMSA Bed Donations
Related Episodes
Classic Horizon Stories

CareerTech Champions

Corey Martin – FCCLA

Then: Not your typical high school freshman. Corey Martin was a gifted artist, and even as a high school freshman, he loved to sew. Martin said his family and consumer sciences teacher (then home ec) recruited him for her class. There, the Okeene High School student flourished. He used his artistic skills to decorate for school events, such as the school’s annual style show, and he sewed for competitive events. Martin graduated from Fort Cobb-Broxton High School, and said his involvement in FHA (now FCCLA) taught him

  • Basic life skills like setting up a budget and balancing a checkbook.
  • Meal preparation.
  • Sewing skills.

“Through FHA I developed as a leader and a communicator,” he said. “These skills have become very valuable in my adult life, both professionally and personally.”

Martin said the most valuable lesson he learned was to appreciate people. He learned the importance of creating a network of peers and friends, which is extremely important in the theater industry.

In college, Martin majored in musical theater and costume design. He designed theatrical productions and began working from home, creating costumes and evening wear for individual clients. From 2007-2010, he worked as an installer on cruise ships. On the ships he fit, altered and repaired costumes for the new performers.

Now: A member of IATSE 705 Motion Picture Costumers Union. Martin is listed as a women’s custom-made pattern maker, fitter and tailor and has worked in 11 states and 22 countries. Most recently, he was working on a new series for Amazon, not yet released. He hopes to continue to work in the film and TV industry. Martin has started writing and hopes to create a movie or series of his own.

“I often serve as a leader in whatever costume shop or production I am working on. If I had not developed my sewing skills and the leadership qualities I learned in FHA, I would not be where I am today.”
Corey Martin, costume designer

CareerTech Horizon Podcast: “Power Up!”

When is the last time you thought about what goes into keeping power going to your home, uninterrupted?

Oklahoma’s thriving and evolving energy industry can be found in many forms. Whether it’s oil, gas, hydroelectric, wind, or solar energy, careers in this field can be lucrative and rewarding, but with a growing gap for skilled labor around the state, energy leaders hope more students sign on to technical programs to keep things going.

In this episode:

  • Horizon travels the state to hear from energy leaders on the challenges they are facing, and the new programs in place to help alleviate the energy skills gap.
  • Two students from very different backgrounds are profiled, and who are training for two very different jobs, but are ultimately working for the same goal.
  • They climb hundreds of feet to get a good view of the wind energy industry, and learn about the technical and safety demands of the job.
  • Listen in on a panel discussion, as Oklahoma’s energy experts discuss what parts of the industry will change in the coming years, and what parts will stay the same.
Episode 8: “Power Up!” Listen on your favorite podcasting app or on the Horizon website

You can subscribe to the Horizon podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, TuneIn, Stitcher, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CareerTech Horizon.”

Also, don’t forget to follow them on Twitter @CT_Horizon, or on Facebook to stay up to date with this ongoing project. Visit their website for show notes, episode trailers, and bonus content “Beyond Your Horizon” at http://cthorizon.org.

Oklahoma Aerospace: Building on a Rich Tradition

Home to aerospace pioneers such as Wiley Post and Clyde Cessna, Oklahoma has a rich legacy of aerospace innovation dating back more than a century and has played a decisive role in America’s aviation history.

Today, Oklahoma continues to serve as a hub of aerospace innovation, as some of the world’s most successful aerospace companies choose to run major operations in the state.

Oklahoma is home to more than 1,100 aerospace entities, which employ more than 120,000 Oklahomans, according to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Among them are Boeing, NORDAM, American Airlines, Spirit AeroSystems and Tinker Air Force Base.

Tinker is the largest single-site employer in the state and contributes more than $3 billion to the local economy annually. The Oklahoma City installation has an annual statewide economic impact of $3.6 billion, creating an estimated 33,000 secondary jobs.

A central hub for maintenance, repair and overhaul of military and civil aircraft, Oklahoma’s aerospace and defense industries produce about $27 billion in sales and $19 billion in exports each year. The aerospace industry spans the state with major centers of operation in Ardmore, Fort Sill, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and western Oklahoma.

In addition, the state’s reputation as a leader in aerospace stems from its central location, higher education, military bases and a CareerTech system that offers a wide range of career training opportunities in aerospace at seven campuses.

Providing educational opportunities for a career in aerospace is an important part of the state’s mission to sustain and grow the aerospace industry in Oklahoma. By creating pathways for education in aerospace, Oklahoma CareerTech is offering Oklahoma aerospace companies access to a pipeline of talent.

What’s more, with the recent donation of the MD-80 from American Airlines, Oklahoma CareerTech students will be able to train hands-on with the equipment they will use in the field.

CareerTech, vet med association partner to teach veterinary assistants

A new Oklahoma CareerTech certification exam will help veterinary assistants show they have the skills they need to care for the state’s animal population.

CareerTech is working with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association to offer veterinary assistant certification for individuals completing the OVMA Certified Veterinary Assistant Program. The program is designed to help veterinary practices spend less time training new employees while ensuring the employees have the skills they need.

“We are pleased to partner with the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association to offer this certification exam,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director. “Oklahoma CareerTech Testing Center has used its proven blueprint to develop an effective assessment with subject matter experts and will deploy the certification on the existing infrastructure, allowing for increased access to the testing across the state.”

Individuals working in the field can complete the OVMA Certified Veterinary Assistant Program at their own pace and then take the certification exam that the CareerTech Testing Center developed with a committee of subject matter experts. Once they’ve earned certification they can renew it every year with continuing education and a renewal fee.

The program’s goals are to increase levels of professionalism and customer service, encourage a culture of teamwork, increase the knowledge of animal care and increase the knowledge of proper handling techniques.

“The Oklahoma Certified Veterinary Assistant Program through the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association will ensure that students and workers are prepared to enter the veterinary world by providing a solid foundation of knowledge required to be successful in the clinic setting,” said Dr. Jennifer Schoonover, a veterinarian and OVMA president. “Veterinarians will be able to feel confident in hiring certified individuals and in continuing their staff’s education through this program due to the standard skill set covered.

“However, I think we can all agree the greatest benefit will be allowing veterinarians to better provide a consistent high quality of care to their patients and clientele.”

Individuals are required to apply for the program and then complete 100 hours of supervised training before taking the exam. CTTC’s network of testing sites at Oklahoma technology centers will give participants easier access for taking the exam.

For more information about the Certified Veterinary Assistants Program, visit https://okvma.org/veterinary-assistants-program/. For more information about the certification exam, visit https://www.okcareertech.org/educators/assessments-and-testing/health-certification-project-hcp/veterinary-assistant/veterinary-assistant.

About CareerTech Testing Center

As a service of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, the CareerTech Testing Center has provided standards and assessments for career and technology education programs since 1985. It also partners with numerous state agencies to develop and deliver examinations required for certifications and licensures.

About Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association

The Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, a professional trade organization for veterinarians, was formed in 1907 and incorporated in 1934. The membership of the association is composed of more than 1,000 individual Oklahoma veterinarians, Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences faculty, veterinary students, out-of-state veterinarians and allied members.

Toyota donates new car to Indian Capital Tech

Indian Capital Technology Center automotive technology students have a new Toyota Corolla to learn on, thanks to two ICTC alumni.

The Toyota Corporation donated the 2019 Corolla through Gulf States Toyota of Houston, along with Jim Norton Toyota of Tulsa and James Hodge Toyota of Muskogee. The alumni, Luke Jackson and Greg Foster, work in parts and service for Jim Norton Toyota of Tulsa and worked with Toyota Corporation to get the donation, ICTC instructor Andrew Theodore told the Muskogee Phoenix.

For more about the donation, read the article on the Muskogee Phoenix’s website.

CareerTech Champions

Ike McVicker – High Plains Technology Center

Newlywed finds one-stop shop to support his growing family.

THEN: Newly married and working a part-time job with no idea what route to take for a career. After Ike McVicker graduated from Woodward High School in 2011 and got married, his mother-in-law mentioned to him that High Plains Technology Center had a wind program. He spoke to school representatives and loved what they had to say, so he enrolled. Through the program, he

  • Learned all aspects of the wind industry from a high-level view down to the small details of how to troubleshoot and use basic tools.
  • Became certified in several emergency rescue devices that are used in the wind industry as well as in Microsoft Excel.
  • Learned how to build a resume and developed interview skills.
  • Installed his own sprinkler system at his home using the skills he learned in electrical and hydraulic systems.

NOW: McVicker is the manager of two wind farms near Woodward. His responsibilities include maintaining the high voltage substation, the turbines themselves and everything in between. He is responsible for the wind farms meeting all of the performance metrics and being safe while doing so.

“A job in the wind industry is stable; it’s challenging but still fun,” he said. “By having that great, stable job you’re able to provide for your family, which is ultimately most people’s end goal, I think.

“High Plains was a one-stop shop for me. My goal was to get a job, but what I ended up getting is more than that. You get so many more skills, and you learn that getting a job or being qualified for a job is a lot more than you would think.”

McVicker says almost all the technicians at his locations have come from the High Plains wind program.

“We feel like there’s so much value in hiring people who have come through this program. They’re committed, they’re trained, and they’re ready to go,” he said.

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