Category Archives: Economic Development
Mid-America Technology Center named B&H Construction its Oklahoma Association of Technology Centers Partner for Progress.
B&H Construction, a 36-year contractor for OneGas with crews throughout Oklahoma and parts of Kansas and Texas, is a longtime partner of Mid-America tech.
Changes in the OneGas operator qualification requirements meant B&H Construction needed to train and qualify more than 220 employees. Mid-America assembled subject matter experts and professional partnerships that helped B&H lower the costs of the changes and provided a resource for the tech center to use as well.
The mutual investment allows students and employees to benefit from operator qualification training, operator qualification performance verification, polyfusion pipe welding training, leadership training, safety training and respirator fit testing (service).
The program, which is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor and was developed in coordination with the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development, serves as a liaison between MidAmerica employers and other key community organizations. The Department of Labor provides technical assistance for the formation of on-the-job work processes including technical instruction and has guided MAIP and Northeast Tech through the steps of developing the program.
Participants in the two-year program spend four hours a week in the classroom and the rest of their week at work. The program is in its first year, and the participants are employees at MAIP businesses, giving MidAmerica companies the opportunity develop employees from within.
Apprentices are guaranteed two pay raises within the program and graduate with a certificate in industrial maintenance from Northeast Tech and a Department of Labor apprenticeship certification.
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…
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.
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.
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
Learn more about the difference CareerTech makes for students.
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.
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.
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:
- 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!
“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.
With a low national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find skilled workers, particularly in manufacturing.
With plans to increase production and a goal of filling 45 newly-created positions, Ditch Witch in Perry turned to Meridian Technology Center to partner in a new training initiative. The program was funded in part through the Training for Industry program.
That initiative was aimed at filling jobs in five manufacturing areas: material handling, machining, welding, painting and assembly.
This month, eight employees graduated from the Ditch Witch Skills Academy with a focus in welding. Meridian Technology Center’s Business and Industry Services team worked with Ditch Witch to develop the customized program. During the nine-week program, those in training were hired on as full-time employees and received a salary and benefits. The primary requirements for getting hired were a steady work history and a desire to work in manufacturing.
Meridian BIS employees and Ditch Witch production supervisors collaborated to develop the training curriculum, delivery and outcomes for the skills academy. Meridian developed the curriculum, identified qualified instructors, monitored the trainees’ progress and evaluated the effectiveness of the training throughout the nine weeks.
The academy’s curriculum includes training in manufacturing fundamentals, welding and other technical skills, safety, computer skills, teamwork and communication skills. The students who completed the program received their OSHA 10, forklift, CPR/First-Aid and National Career Readiness certifications as part of the program.
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, 393 comprehensive 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.