Category Archives: Dr. Marcie Mack

CareerTech Champions

William E. Powell Jr. – Lexington Skills Center

Business owner: Success started with one CareerTech instructor who cared.

L to R: Instructor Cecil Wainscott, CareerTech Director Marcie Mack, business owner William Powell.

THEN: He had lost everything. William Powell was serving a 10-year prison

sentence, and in his own words, his life was completely void of any source of pride. Then a former student at Lexington Correctional Center told him about Cecil Wainscott. Powell said the one-on-one guidance he received from the licensed trades instructor transformed his life.

After Powell was accepted into the licensed trades program, he had something he could be proud of. In fact, he had a lot to be proud of. He completed his GED while he was incarcerated and later became a certified unlimited electrical journeyman and contractor.

Powell said the electrical training and his CareerTech experience helped him develop:

  • Focus – giving him “the proverbial bullseye” he said he is always looking for.
  • Accountability – “It’s not only about me,” he said. “It’s about making everyone around me better.”
  • Pride – “Being able to call myself an electrician gave me a drive to succeed,” he said.

Powell said he uses the skills he learned in the CareerTech program on a daily basis.

NOW: William Powell owns his own electrical business, Powell Electric, in Ponca City, Oklahoma. The business is bonded and insured.

Powell said he is blessed beyond measure.

“I have money in the bank, I own a home and vehicles, and I am a pillar in my community,” he said.

Oklahoma CareerTech Develops World-Class Workforce

Thelogo Oklahoma Career and Technology Education System focuses every day on developing a world-class workforce.

“Oklahoma CareerTech partners with business and educational institutions to enhance career awareness, increase educational attainment and meet the needs of our state,” said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education state director. “CareerTech is an integral part of Oklahoma’s economy.”

The Oklahoma CareerTech System is celebrating CareerTech Education Month in February. Gov. Kevin Stitt recently issued a proclamation declaring this month as Career and Technical Education Appreciation Month in Oklahoma.

Stitt has called Oklahoma CareerTech “a system that has been nimble and robust in helping us train the workforce.”

The CareerTech System delivers educational experiences through a network of 394 PK-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 skills center sites in correctional facilities and 32 adult basic education providers. In fiscal year 2019, CareerTech’s enrollments totaled more than 550,000, and CareerTech System graduates added more than $3.5 billion to Oklahoma’s economy.

The 29 technology center districts have 58 campuses that offer career training to high school and adult students, along with training and assistance for Oklahoma’s businesses and industries.

High school students can attend the technology centers in their districts for free, learning skills that will help them land good jobs after school and also position them to continue their education after graduation. Certifications earned through CareerTech courses give students entrance into higher-paying careers, which can also help them pursue higher education without incurring excessive debt.

Adult students at technology centers can learn new skills and earn certificates and credentials to get jobs, change careers or advance in their current careers. In FY18, CareerTech students earned 19,566 industry-endorsed certificates, showing that they have the skills Oklahoma’s industries need.

In Oklahoma’s comprehensive school districts, 35 percent of sixth through 12th grade students — and almost half of ninth through 12th grade students — enrolled in CareerTech courses: agricultural education; business and information technology education; family and consumer sciences education; health careers education; marketing education; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and trade and industrial education.

More than 82,000 students also learned leadership skills as members of co-curricular CareerTech student organizations: FFA; Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America; SkillsUSA; Technology Student Association; Business Professionals of America; HOSA; and DECA.

In addition, 3,356 CareerTech students in comprehensive schools and technology centers were honored for their work be achieving membership in the National Technical Honor Society.

In 2019, CareerTech also expanded OK Career Guide, its statewide career development education system, to include Galaxy, which introduces career awareness to pre-K through fifth grade students.

Oklahoma CareerTech helps provide qualified employees for the state’s businesses and industries by preparing state residents for successful careers, but it also provides direct services business and industry.

CareerTech’s Business and Industry Services Division helped more than 8,000 companies increase their profitability in FY19 with increased sales, higher productivity, reduced costs and expanded operations and helped companies move to and start in Oklahoma and provided training for 2,527 new jobs. Also, the Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network helped state companies secure more than $550 million in contracts.

CareerTech also has a presence in state correctional facilities through a partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Instructors in the Skills Centers School System teach inmates and juvenile offenders work and life skills that help keep them in the workforce and out of the corrections system after their release. In FY19, more than 2,000 people were enrolled in skills centers, and positive placement — employment, continuing education or military — was 89.21 percent.

The CareerTech System also helps those who dropped out of high school earn diplomas and gain skills to enter the workforce through the dropout recovery program. In FY19, 367 people earned a high school diploma through the program.

ODCTE also oversees Oklahoma’s adult basic education program, which includes 32 providers offering high school equivalency programs and tests along with English literacy and civics courses at 111 sites. In FY19, 12,647 students enrolled in CareerTech’s adult basic education programs.

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, 394 comprehensive school districts, 16 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.

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.

“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…

 

 

Preparing Oklahoma Students for the Workforce

When a CareerTech student brings an idea to life by prototyping it on a 3-D printer, or receives affordable, hands-on training that raises his or her earning potential by tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of months, these experiences are priming them with the skills and sense of purpose needed to work for the companies doing big things in Oklahoma. Employers are taking note, and in some cases even finding ways to support our efforts to prepare the next generation to join the workforce.

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Dr. Marcie Mack

One such company is Midship Pipeline, a project of Cheniere Energy, representing nearly a $1 billion investment in our state. Thanks to Midship’s recent generosity, STEM programs at six Oklahoma CareerTech Technology Centers, in addition to two universities, each received $20,000 donations that will improve the quality of STEM offerings. These funds will be used to buy advanced 3-D printers, create a mobile STEM library, and provide equipment and software upgrades to pre-engineering and aeronautical labs.

Our CareerTech system frequently partners with industries and companies to improve access to STEM education. In fiscal year 2018, CareerTech helped more than 6,900 Oklahoma businesses through our customized training programs and participation in the state’s bid assistance network.

Equally important, CareerTech STEM programs serve private-schooled students, home-schooled students and public school students from more than 390 school districts.

Our goal is to nurture creative students in grades six through 12 to be problem-solvers, innovators, logical thinkers, inventors and strong communicators who excel in science and mathematics.

CareerTech STEM programs play a critical role in expanding a talent pipeline of Oklahoma students who are ready to pursue viable careers in the state’s targeted industry sectors such as aerospace, energy, advanced manufacturing, health care and biotechnology.

A few examples of our STEM offerings are biomedical sciences, pre-engineering and computer science academy programs, which are taught in technology centers as well as high schools. These prepare students for professional health, engineering, computer and science degree programs with rigorous computer, math and science courses, including AP options for students.

More than 80 middle schools and junior highs benefit from our Gateway programs, which introduce students to STEM careers. Gateway courses combine Project Lead The Way math and science concepts with STEM projects to explore STEM fields and help with the transition to high school.

Last, our CareerTech programs provide a pathway for students to enter directly into a career and continue into post-secondary education. A national survey completed by Advance CTE shows that 91 percent of parents of students in CareerTech believe their child is getting a leg up on their career.

One of the greatest challenges facing Oklahoma and the nation is producing skilled workers who are trained on the latest STEM technologies and are ready for work. Without them, Oklahoma businesses cannot compete. CareerTech and our affordable STEM offerings are meeting this challenge.

Thanks again to Midship for recognizing the value of the CareerTech system and for its generous gift that will help prepare our students for a future in STEM-related fields.

Mack is director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

Basic Foundational Skill Sets

What are the basic foundational skill sets that businesses are looking for in their next employees? Watch Dr. Marcie Mack’s interview with Jennifer Monies, Executive Director of Oklahoma Achieve, to learn more.

CareerTech unveils Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in Stillwater has created a new online resource center to help educators make the most of their work.
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The new division, known as the Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement, took shape over the past several months before going live at the end of July.

Francis Tuttle, known as the architect of Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, created the curriculum function at the state agency in 1967. The new Resource Center is a natural next step, said Marcie Mack, Oklahoma CareerTech state director.

“Oklahoma was known for 50 years for its competency-based instructional materials for what was then called vocational education, now career and technology education,” Mack said. “That curriculum was developed, printed and delivered to teachers across the state and throughout the nation from the agency headquarters here in Stillwater.”

Increasing competition from national publishers made it difficult to continue to develop new printed products, but paved the way for a new digital opportunity, she added.

Staff members of the Resource Center research educational materials and best practices to distribute online for free throughout the state CareerTech System. They also adapt select curriculum content into smaller resources for teachers, such as rubrics, PowerPoint files and handouts. The Resource Center also provides support in identifying curriculum, assessments, and other instructional delivery resources on request.

Although the focus is on the needs of CareerTech teachers and administrators, public school teachers will find helpful resources as well, Mack said.

The Resource Center website features categories of resources for teachers, trainers, career counselors, administrators and decision-makers, which include tools for teachers and trainers; resources about standards, credentials and assessments; employability and adult basic education resources; and career and academic connections resources.

Planners and researchers can also find something useful on the Resource Center website. An industry/workplace data and trends category provides links to dozens of recent studies, reports and other publications from sources including state and federal agencies, think tanks, foundations, industry groups and education research organizations.

“The new Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement is a comprehensive source for teaching and planning resources,” said Mack. “It brings together a wealth of expertise and research from across the country so that teachers and administrators can focus on applying that knowledge to the benefit of their students.”

Leaning on its legacy of curriculum development to initiate a digital resource center made sense, said Justin Lockwood, a deputy director at the state agency.

“Today’s teachers can access online textbooks with built-in gradebooks. Students can use their tablets or even their smartphones to access digital content, including video, anytime and anywhere,” Lockwood said.

Instead of competing with the national publishers to provide the textbooks, ODCTE saw an unmet need for digital resources to help teachers enhance their lesson plans, he explained.

“With so many online courses and textbooks available from a variety of sources, it creates a need for supplemental resources that can assist a new or experienced teacher in building a comprehensive learning experience for students,” he said.

One of the most popular resources from the Resource Center is a digital version of a longtime print resource known informally as the web book. When the internet was new, teachers spent a lot of time searching for useful online resources, said Craig Maile, ODCTE curriculum manager. The web book was Oklahoma CareerTech’s answer.

“Our curriculum staff listed links to supplemental resources based on their work developing curriculum. Every few years, we’d produce a new edition of the web book and give it away to teachers at conferences and workshops,” he said.

A 2018 digital edition with hundreds of links to resources organized by career cluster is available on the Resource Center website.

“Our next most popular free resource is a notepad with a grid on it,” Maile said. “We’ll probably continue to print that one.”

The Resource Center for CareerTech Advancement website is at https://www.okcareertech.org/educators/resource-center. Visitors can also find it as one of the divisions of Oklahoma CareerTech at www.okcareertech.org.

CareerTech director elected to national nonprofit executive committee

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Dr. Marcie Mack

Oklahoma CareerTech State Director Marcie Mack has been elected secretary/treasurer of Advance CTE.

Mack will serve a one-year term through June 30, 2019, on the board of the national nonprofit organization. Advance CTE represents state directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary and adult career and technology education across all 50 states and U.S. territories. Members of the executive committee are elected by the Advance CTE membership.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve on the Advance CTE executive committee, whose mission is to advance career and technology education across the nation,” Mack said.

Mack became the eighth state director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in February 2015 after serving as the interim director for six months. She joined the state agency in July 2013 as deputy state director/chief operations officer.

She previously served as assistant superintendent at Autry Technology Center, one of the 29 technology centers within the CareerTech System.

Under Mack’s leadership, the Oklahoma CareerTech System has launched multiple initiatives with a focus on continuous improvement, including creating statewide advisory committees for business and industry leaders and military personnel.

Advance CTE presented Mack the Star of Education Rising Star Award in 2017.

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, 391 K-12 school districts, 16 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 31 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: Changing the conversation

Dr. Marcie MackWhat is one of the most critical economic needs Oklahoma faces? The answer is clear: A sustainable, qualified workforce.

Oklahoma’s relatively low unemployment rate means every Oklahoman is needed to drive the state’s economy.

So how do we work to build a sustainable, qualified workforce?

First, we must change the conversation. We must educate students about the jobs available in our state. We must talk about career options and the education needed to obtain careers.

The conversation about college or career must change. There are multiple paths; education is vital to obtaining any career, but the level of education needed for individual careers varies. So the conversation needs to be focused on, “What skills, training and education do you need to be successful?” not, “What skills, training or education do you need to be successful?”

Today’s qualified workforce does not have an option of either skills or academics. The workforce requires individuals to have both skills and academics along with critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. The conversation cannot be college or career. Our workforce requires both.

The state-by-state analysis in “Good Jobs That Pay without a BA,” a report from The Good Jobs Project, shows that between 1991 and 2015, Oklahoma lost 3,000 good blue collar jobs that did not require bachelor’s degrees, but gained 97,000 good skilled services jobs for workers without bachelor’s degrees. Median earnings of non-degreed workers with good jobs in 2015 was $55,000.

Skills training provides for careers in a variety of areas that lead to wealth-generating, sustainable wages, but students may not be encouraged to look at skilled jobs and technical training. That conversation must change, as more than 50 percent of Oklahoma jobs require a certificate, credential or associate degree.

It’s not just Oklahoma facing the problem. A recent NPR story heard on “All Things Considered” looked at the state of trade employment in Washington and across the country. Reporters found that one-third of new jobs through 2022 will be in construction, health care and personal care, and new plumbers and electricians will be in demand. In the next five years, infrastructure fields will have 68 percent more job openings.

And parents, the story says, often mistakenly believe that career and technology education won’t lead to good, professional jobs. But career and technology education prepares students to meet the demands of skilled jobs, as well as prepares them to continue into postsecondary education.

CareerTech affords students the opportunity to earn certificates, industry-recognized credentials and credit toward associate degrees. Oklahoma CareerTech empowers middle school, high school and adult students to add workforce value to their education. Career and technology education is accessible throughout Oklahoma.

To meet the needs of Oklahoma’s economy, the conversation must change. The conversation around college or career will not get Oklahoma’s economy where it needs to be. We must have a sustainable, qualified workforce, and Oklahoma CareerTech is key.

Marcie Mack is State Director at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

Welcome to our new blog!

Marcie-Mack11x14-X2We founded Oklahoma CareerTech Delivers because we wanted to develop an inspiring place for you to locate useful, informative and thought-provoking information on a variety of topics concerning career and technology education.

Oklahoma’s career and technology education system is focused on developing a world-class workforce as we deliver educational experiences through a network of 391 K-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 skills center sites and 31 adult basic education providers.

CareerTech’s ultimate goal is to improve Oklahoma’s economy by providing individuals with the training and skills necessary to be successful in the workplace and providing companies with the required workforce necessary to compete globally.

We are excited about using this new communication tool and hope it will increase our collaboration and interaction with our stakeholders. Please comment on our posts and on the posts of others, as we hope this leads to an engaging dialogue on our favorite subject: career and technology education.

We are so happy you are here!

Dr. Marcie Mack